You need to make yourself useful and wanted at your workplace by superiors and management. With companies laying off employees like there is no tomorrow, as an employee you must produce results which will be appreciated by your superiors and on his or her recommendations the higher management will also recognize you as a good staff member. Do not give a bad impression by napping at your desk, taking work casually and missing on time surely does not qualify as work. Here is a list of other activities that could cost you your job and handy excuses that could pull you out of the mess:
Coming in late: You never did it in good times and now that recession has raised its dirty head you can’t do it at all. If you come even 10 minutes late, you are going to be perceived as being lazy, laid back and casual about your work.
Excuse: I was on my way but this fellow travelling with me in the train fainted and needed some help. Therefore I was late.
Checking networking sites: If it is not official and purely personal like to keep track of the beers, hugs and karate chops sent to you on Face book. This is absolutely unwanted at workplace that too during working time. Make sure your boss doesn’t catch you red handed while you are networking on personal subjects. First of all you must not do it. If you are caught more than once, you clearly are jobless and under-challenged and have reason to worry.
Spending time in the recreation room: All work and no play used to make Jack a dull boy, but this is no longer applicable at least during working time. Now it only makes him a not so useful employee and one who has plenty of time to kill and therefore he or she is safely dispensable.
Taking a vacation on some flimsy excuse when your peer is on leave is really not a good idea if your job is important to you that too when the boss is reluctant to grant leave. When you come back all charged up, you will probably be asked to go and settle the salary before leaving the company.
Socializing: Even if serving tea seems more challenging than your work, do not keep getting up from your seat to catch up with interesting colleagues. Your charge sheet will include two crimes: First not working and second, not letting others work. Those who are seldom at their seats are seldom taken seriously.
On the phone: I am not suggesting that you switch off your mobile phone, but you certainly can put it on silent mode, so that your boss doesn’t get to know how often you get calls. Make sure your conversation does not last longer than 10 minutes. If you are going to be talking for over half an hour at a stretch you might as well be sitting in a coffee shop with the caller.
Enter late for a meeting conducted by a senior boss involving important future plans of the Company during Recession: Arriving a few minutes early for an office meeting gives you time to relax and shows how much you respect your seniors, colleagues and working time. Secondly, it is a great way to make a good impression. Coming in early also guarantees you get a good seat to be in the good books of the bosses.
Come unprepared for the above: Coming unprepared for a meeting shows how disinterested and unprofessional you are. If you’ve been given an agenda or material to read, read it up before you enter into the meeting. This way you will appear confident and professional. Also, if you have any questions or contribution related to the subject being discussed politely ask the speaker if you can share something. This way you can contribute your points and draw the attention of the top manager presiding over the meeting.
Your actions visibly must not be ‘not working’. Your ‘not working’ is easily noticed irrespective of producing results. But if you can maintain office decorum and discipline your actions are construed as work and your immediate superior can have a positive thought on this and during performance appraisal you may get a good rating.