Time On My Hands

How can I avoid wasting time when their is no work to be done. How should I drum up work as a Data Entry Clerk?

Signed, Nothing to Do

Dear Nothing to Do:

As a manager, I encourage each one of my employees to always look busy even when there isn’t work to do at that moment. Nothing is worse at the corporate level to see an employee sitting at their desk and reading a magazine, surfing the web, chatting with a co-worker or on their smartphone when they should clearly be working. It does get noticed by management from all levels. It gets noticed from the direct manager wondering why the employee clearly is not trying to find work and it gets noticed from the hire ups that maybe it’s time to downsize the employee who doesn’t have enough work.

I tell my team to find something to do even if it means cleaning off their desk or going through files in their drawers and organizing. Some strong advice I learned long ago when I first entered the work force is if you leave your desk to go to the restroom or even take a break, take something with you to include a notepad and pen. Look important and look like you are doing something productive. Even today I never leave my desk without those 2 things.

A good employee is one who asks for additional work when times are slow. Those are the employees who show initiative and want to work. Those are the employees you want to keep when times get tough.  If you ask your manager for work, trust me a good manager always has work to share or a project to start. Guest Respondent, Ann Guariniello, IT Partner Servicre Desk Manager, ComDoc

Second Opinion: Ask a supervisor what he or she WANTS done. Every manager I know has problems with employees creating work for themselves that the employee thinks is a good use of time, but the manager would have had them doing something different. Self-initiative is only appreciated when it is on track with what the manager or supervisor needs to have accomplished for the organization.

A couple of weeks ago a supervisor was complaining about an administrative clerk who had developed a newsletter concept and had examples, etc. The supervisor said, “If I had known she had free time, I had a whole bunch of things that needed to be done. And a newsletter that is not going to happen, is not one of them.”

So, I’ll bet there IS work to be done and a supervisor could suggest some things!

Tina Lewis Rowe