It’s 5:00 p.m. and your boss gives you an urgent assignment. Due to a client emergency you’re asked to research the issue and provide a solution ASAP. With your husband out of town, you panic. Who will pick up your daughter from day care? Be prepared for late office hours with these tips.
Negotiate with your Boss
Sometimes a last-minute request can actually wait. Assess the urgency of the issue. Can it wait until the morning? Maybe you can come in early in the morning, or if needed, work from home tonight. Your boss’ demand may not be the emergency he first thought it was.
Have a Back-up Plan
If your regular sitter is unavailable, then always have a back-up (someone you can call in an emergency). Keep the numbers of people you can call in an emergency in your cell phone – your mother, a neighbor, another parent from your daughter’s school or day care. Be sure to reciprocate and do favors for other moms.
Prepare your Kids
Let your kids know that you may have to work late some evenings. If your child is old enough to be left home alone, discuss her handling things at home on her own. Set rules about locking doors, cooking, homework and TV. Ask a neighbor to drop by to check up on your kids. If they know someone will check up on them, they’re more likely to behave.
By following these tips you can avoid the panic when you get a last-minute request to work late.
Working overtime can become an obsession for some workers. It’s tempting to work overtime in order to make more money or to prove yourself, but be careful that you’re not sacrificing something more important. For hourly employees, it’s tempting to work overtime in order to earn extra money for your dream vacation or for your child’s college fund. Some people need to work to stay on top of family finances or to pay those extra, unplanned expenses, like major car repairs or medical bills. If you’re on salary, working overtime won’t provide extra cash, but it can help you keep up with your workload. Working long hours may also help you earn a promotion or a bonus.
Before accepting overtime, consider the pros and cons of working extra hours, and the impact on you and your family.
Fatigue – Your ability to think diminishes when you’re tired. Consequently, you are more likely to make mistakes, which lead to rework. This can hurt your productivity and can negatively impact your professional reputation.
Increased Expectations – If you work extra hours as a general rule, you may be given more responsibility! This could create a never-ending and increasing cycle of more work.
Family – You may miss out on important events, such as your son’s championship soccer game, your daughter’s recital, or your father’s 60th birthday party. Missing out on important milestones may hurt your relationships with your loved ones.
Friends – Good friends are an important part of your support network. If you’re spending more time at the office and less time with your friends, then you’ll find it difficult to nurture those friendships.
Sometimes working overtime is important. It’s a choice you can make to catch up on bills or to save for something important. If you work for a company that requires overtime, you won’t be able to avoid it, but you can manage it. If you work overtime for financial reasons or to gain a promotion, do so in moderation. Most importantly, say no when you’re too tired, when it’s affecting your health, or when you have important family obligations.