Is It Better for Your Career To Arrive Early or Stay Late?

By Chelsea Babin

Unless you want to live in the office, arriving early and staying late every day may not be feasible. With so much modern emphasis on work-life balance it’s important to know whether arriving early or staying late is better for your career. So which is it? There may not be a clear answer but there are pro’s for each.

Arrive Early:

1. Jumpstart Your Day: If you get to the office early you have a window of time where you can jumpstart your day. Whether this means scheduling out everything you need to accomplish, working hard on a project that requires a lot of focus before anyone else gets to the office, or preparing for a meeting or presentation you have later in the day this period of time can help your productivity sky rocket throughout the day.

2. Respecting Others’ Time: If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re early, you’re on time. Although this mentality may have faded throughout the years there are still a lot of people who you’ll work with who see arriving early as respecting their time and arriving late as inconsiderate. So arriving early can give you an edge if your boss, coworkers, or clients are expecting you.

3. Better Organization: It’s easier to organize your day and your desk early in the morning before the other responsibilities of the day get in your way. If you’re looking to be more organized you should definitely consider arriving early rather than staying late.

Stay Late:

1. Prepare for Tomorrow: If you’re the kind of person who likes to prepare for the next day or the next week the day before, staying late might be a good idea for you. This would be the perfect opportunity for you to prepare your schedule for the next day.

2. Help Others in a Bind: When you stay late it should be for a reason. For instance, if a project is cutting it close to an upcoming deadline or a technical issue suddenly arises for one of your coworkers, staying late is a great time to help someone in a bind. This shows that you’re the kind of person who is willing to go above and beyond and helps you garner positive relationships with the people you work with.

In general, arriving early is probably better for your career than staying late but there are certain situations where staying late can be incredibly beneficial to your career. But, if you want to maintain a good work-life balance, try not to arrive early and stay late every day. Choose one or the other, whichever would be most beneficial to your day or your coworkers and bosses.