What to do if you have any down time at work
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What to do if you have any down time at work

We’ve all been there: the working day is slowly dragging itself towards home time, your task list is neither here nor there and you’re sitting at your desk begging for a bit of light entertainment to brighten up your day.

Rather than sit and have a chat with a fellow employee, you decide to stealthily use your work’s PC to stroll through your social media pages, email a friend or have a browse through the latest fashion trends.

Although your sneaky attempts may not be noticeable to the human eye, companies do have systems in operation to see what you are actually doing, when you aren’t knuckling down to the workload.

So what should you be doing while sitting on your work’s computer to avoid any potential telling offs from the powers-that-be?

How to handle work downtime…

Organise your desk

If you have some time to kill, you could use it as the perfect opportunity to get your desk in line. Sorting through piles of paper can help you get your task list in order, plus, categorising documents into specific piles – like to do, done and for the shredder – can help your reduce clutter. It’s also worth taking the time to sort out any cups or other knickknacks that are taking up space.

A desk tidy and document tray can be the perfect tools for getting everything inline and keeping on top of your organisation.

Clean the office

It might sound silly but busying yourself with something as simple as cleaning the office is a great way to pass the time – and help out other people. Collecting empty cups and taking them to the kitchen for everyone on your table, wiping down workspaces with cloths or simply cleaning your own keyboard and screen can be useful in preparing yourself for the next load of tasks. It’s also good to keep on top of the cleaning so the office is looking great when client’s or visitors arrive.

Offer your help

If you’ve not got much on but you see a colleague struggling, ask them if there’s anything you can support them on. Whether it’s basic filling or some proofreading, the willingness to help others shows you’re a good team player while also giving you something to do. The favour is more likely to be returned too, if you’re every under pressure and in need of some support.

Track your progress and accomplishments

If you have an upcoming appraisal or one to one with your manager, now could be the perfect time to think about and note down some key achievements and accomplishments you’ve had. You could even use this time to think about goals you want to set in place and how you’d plan to go about achieving them – this could be anything from taking on more responsibility to growing your contacts.

Grow your skills

A few hours on a Friday afternoon could be ideal for learning something new. You could spend some time researching a work programme or learning about something in more details about the industry you work in. There are plenty of places you can take quick online courses and this willingness to learn more will show you’re serious about what you do – it can also go towards helping the goals you’ve set.

Using your downtime at work can be put to good use with some thought. Don’t instantly check your social media platforms or email your colleagues with silly pictures, take the time to organise yourself and grow your skillset.