Sometimes working extra hours is unavoidable. We might get behind in our work or we might need to get a bit ahead because of another project that is about to start. Rather than working back late at the office, you should consider starting work earlier. Think about the following reasons:

  • Most people, suitably caffeinated, are more productive in the morning than they are after working their office hours. It is generally easier to maintain focus when you’ve just woken up rather than after a day dealing with work and other people. You may even find that you accomplish more at the office in the hour before work normally starts than you would at the office in the three hours after work normally finishes.
  • If you arrive early at the office, there are rarely any other coworkers around to distract you.
  • Spouses, partners, and family will rarely complain about missing you at breakfast. They are more likely to complain about missing you in the evening.
  • Many managers automatically assume that an employee that comes to work early is highly motivated but that an employee who stays back for the same length of time is bad at time management.
  • Coming to work early can mean that you miss the worst of traffic. It is a lot easier to get a seat on the train, tram or bus, and the roads are a lot less congested earlier in the morning. Depending on where you live, leaving an hour earlier might halve your commuting time.

Johnny Depp was recently reported to have said that when you reach a certain age, you describe a good night’s sleep in the same awed tones that you would have used in your early 20’s to describe an awesome rock concert. Although there is truth in that, most of us would rather spend less time at the office than more. Most of us get more done at the office in the hours before work starts than we would spending the same time in the office after work finishes. Save time. Go to work early!