It's a beautiful Spring day and you're tired of the snow and the rain, and you'd really like to hit the links this afternoon. Uness you're the Governor of South Carolina or self-employed, it's hard to disappear from work--especially in the middle of the day. (BTW: Many of us who are self-employed laugh at the idea that we've got more time to play hookey. I worked a lot less--and a lot fewer hours when I was an employee.)
BloombergBusinessweek had three ideas for playing hooky. Distract your boss and the other employees by saying that somebody from HR is coming in to inspect everybody's computer files. If that doesn't work, sabotage the copy machine. A second is to set up a Skype conversation from your office computer to your smartphone--and then just disappear. A third one is to leave your desk, cubicle or office a mess. Nobody's going to think your gone when he/she sees that.
Well, after you've decided those three are nutty, here's one that often works, especially if you've been overloaded recently. Just ask your boss if you can't disappear after one or two-o-clock this afternoon. If you're a good worker and you've got a decent relation with your boss, you'll be surprised how often you'll get an OK. Since they don't want to condone such absence, many bosses avoid the "yes" when they mean yes. I was sitting in a CIO's office sometime ago when a guy stuck his head in and asked the question. The boss, ever politically correct, smiled broadly at him and said, "I can't imagine you asked me that." One CEO, with about 150 employees will comment to the question this way: "I'm sure I won't be walking by your cubby to check up on you this afternoon." If you've been the recipient of a unique "yes," I'd like to hear about it.
The BusinessWeek article also laid out some unsuprising statistics that revealed that Americans, especially in contrast to the Brits and the French, put in some whopping long hours. Statistics from the Center for American Progress reveal that 86% of men and 67% of women work more than 40 hours a week. Furthermore, the International Labour Organization claims that Americans spend 260 more hours a year at the office than the Brits. Americans also spend a whopping 499 hours a year at the office than the French.
So what's a hard worker like you supposed to do? Once in a while, just go play hooky.