What to Do When the Boss is Out of the Office

Julie Shenkman
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If your boss is going to be away for a day or more, strive to be a star employee. Employees who perform well when the boss is absent benefit the company and positively promote themselves. Executing a work strategy that fosters efficiency can lead to great rewards when your boss returns.

Make Wise Decisions

To be an independent and reliable employee when your boss is absent, you must make proper decisions to move the company forward. Avoid making major decisions when your boss is not around. When dealing with company matters, it is important to handle minor decisions responsibly and save major decision making for the boss. If it is absolutely necessary in a crisis situation, you can contact your boss by email or phone. Pay close attention to company rules and policies so that you can make better informed decisions. If you make the wrong decision when your boss is absent, you can be held responsible for it.

Pace Yourself

When your boss is absent, it is important to keep up a solid work pace. Doing so shows that you are an independent, self-controlled worker. In addition, if you accomplish more than what is expected, you may be in the running to receive a promotion or a raise.

No matter how tempting it may be to slack off when the boss is not around, you must remember to put your best foot forward. Not can you be a model employee, but you never know who is watching and ready to report your every move. Keep your energy levels high so you are able to concentrate when a task requires it, and it helps you work well all day long.

Follow a Schedule

Too many workers often neglect to follow the normal routine when the boss is absent, and it often leads to workplace issues that could have been prevented with time management. Showing that you do not need micromanagement to excel at work places you in a better light. Use time management to create a detailed schedule and make the most of your time on the clock. Be sure to take breaks to renew your energy and get a fresh perspective of your duties.

It is important to establish a routine to use when the boss is absent if you work on a team. If there is an established team structure when the boss is away, this makes it easier to delegate tasks and stay organized when your manager is away.

Employees who do well when the boss is absent avoid reprimand and attract success. Remember that proper organization and results speak louder than words, so do well while the boss is away to avoid having to defend your performance later.


(Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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  • Martha Wakefield
    Martha Wakefield

    It also depends on the type of boss you have and if there if favoritism in the office or "office politics", etc. Many employees continue to do their work and follow the same routine when their boss is absent, because of their work ethic, and it goes unnoticed; while others will slack off, take extra time at lunch, come in late, leave early, and nothing will be said. That in itself can and will cause discord in any office and some bosses act or seem oblivious to the employees who are doing such, while the employee/employees who function and perform as expected every day, with or without the bosses presence, are too often ignored. It seems that having a work ethic and accountability these days are no longer appreciated as before; the squeaky wheel gets the oil, no matter what made it rust! Negligence, lack of responsibility, accountability, you name it, they will get rewarded, if they CRY loud enough, and I'm talking about both Males and Females here!

  • Gina C.
    Gina C.

    ummmmmm........learn to speak and write English.....that might help you!

  • Migell Carattini
    Migell Carattini

    It does sounds more good of what can really happen on real time since most of these new wave bosses do not appreciate it. It can set you up in more problems overall as if something "goes wrong" them is on you, even if it did mean to be that way, I did tried that and didn't worth it, believe you me!

  • Veronica N.
    Veronica N.

    I attend to my work load when the boss is not in the office. I stay organized and complete as much of my work as possible and have always volunteered to do more if need be.

  • Marcie C.
    Marcie C.

    Jealousy is a huge problem when you start out young in the position of Senior Executive Assistant and work with people approximately twenty years older that have to go through you to get to your boss. If you don't have time to socialize during the work day because you are busy with your job, then they complain you are unapproachable or unfriendly. These individuals have no idea what responsibilities are expected of you and what your life is like outside the office as well. I had ALL the responsibilities mentioned in the article. I never had problems with my CEOs but they could not handle the constant complaining from these upper management individuals. It got to the point where I would become violently sick and tired during the work day. It eventually caused me to leave my job and I have spent the last three years trying to get healthy.

  • Christine Van Woerkon
    Christine Van Woerkon

    u will usually foster jealous relationships in the office as well, if you try to do too much all the time, or if it is noticeable that you are always working hard, witnessed it many times, early on in life, in my 20's, she is one of the few and probably because she forms clicks acting political, and smiling big here, but possibly being not very nice to everyone, in real life.

  • Trudy Rudnick
    Trudy Rudnick

    Humanitarian Leadership is required these days to foster positive working relations

  • Mary M.
    Mary M.

    Whether your boss is "in" or "out," if you start each day with the goal of making your company look good, the only possible outcome is that you will be productive and foster positive relationships with everyone you encounter.

  • Rich Milgram
    Rich Milgram

    I have always believed that no individual can force someone to perform well. Only you can decide to be effective and that desire hopefully stems from striving to be a better person, the passion to learn and grow and the willingness to help your peers. Bosses that cultivate an environment of growth and passion will have much more success than those that demand it.

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