Do you have nothing to do at work? Congratulations! You are amongst those lucky people who get paid for doing 'nothing'! While the rest of the world toils hard, you simply get to sit there in your air conditioned cubicle, sip coffee, do nothing, go home and come back the next day, only to do nothing! Wow! What a life! I am sure there must be at least a zillion people who would be more than willing to step in your shoes, if given a chance. Jokes apart, I understand how frustrating it must be for you to sit in the office and do nothing (err..are you sure it's really that bad?). Going to office and not having any work to do, is especially difficult for diligent people who are used to a disciplined life.
If you do not have anything to do at work, you should have probably thought about calling a dear friend, balancing your checkbook or doing some light reading. However, you should clear these happy thoughts off your mind as soon as they appear, for office is not a place for personal indulgence.
Remember dude, these things might seem a perfect way to kill time, but you should refrain from doing so, because no matter what, you are still at office! So, here are some perfectly legal ways of killing time (I am not sure that's the right word!) in office.
What to do When there is Nothing to Do at Work
Get Straight with Your Boss
Okay, so before we begin discussing all the exciting things, you can do at work, here is your last chance. You sure must have asked your boss for work, but as usual your request fell on deaf ears. Perhaps you should give it another try, this time proceed with more care. Tell your boss how frustrating it is for a competent employee like you, to sit there all day, waiting for a call from a disoriented soul, asking for directions to use a dishwasher.
If he asks you to take it easy and wait for more work to come, then ask him if you can do your impending personal chores during office hours. After this, you are most likely to come out of his cabin with your hands full of files, in which case, you can skip the tips below and get back to your work. If that doesn't work out, go to the next tip.
Pretend to be Working
If you think you are becoming a bad influence for your colleagues and subordinates, who watch you doing nothing or if you are feeling a pang of guilt watching others work while you do nothing, then use this trick. Since, you don't have any real work to do, you'll have to do away with an illusion of work.
Always look worried and walk fast, creating an impression as though you are busy and stressed. If someone stops you to ask something, reply quickly and in an irritated tone, so that nobody knows what you said, making them assume that you are too busy to talk. Of course, this trick won't give you a satisfaction that you derive after working for real, nonetheless, it will keep your reputation intact.
Internet is the best tool to engage the idle minds. Surf the Internet to gain information on myriad topics of your interest. Share your experiences or hone your writing skills, if blogging is permitted in your organization. I am sure you won't have time to realize that you don't have any work. If you think there is nothing to do on Internet, then god bless you. Perhaps, you should also gain some insight on why you have nothing to do at work!
Request to Change Profile
This is the most practical option, when you have nothing much to do at work. Discuss with the management, if they can change your job profile on a temporary basis. Not only you'll get to learn new things, but your company will also benefit from it. After all, who wants to spend their resources on someone, who absolutely has no work to do? This will also show your positive attitude and abilities to be versatile and adjustable, which can definitely brighten your career prospects.
If change in profile is not possible, you may offer your colleagues to share their workload. However, take care not to act as though you are doing them a favor of lifetime. Remember, you are helping them with their work, because you don't have anything better to do. Also, do not hope to reap advantages of this noble act in future.
Search Another Job
If you have made up your mind to ditch this job and look for another one, then you can best utilize the time at your disposal. However, don't be foolish enough to access job sites from your workstation. Do it from your personal notebook (if you are allowed one at office) or discreetly scan newspaper pages. You may also use this time to draft your CV, so as to increase your job prospects. Do whatever you can to hunt for a new job, just make sure to be as secretive as possible about your mission.
This is the most productive option for you, as well as for your company. If you leave early, you might be able to fulfill all your personal responsibilities. Similarly, your company won't have to spend on the resources for you. However, if your job involves doing work, only when it arrives, you might have to hang up there throughout the office hours. Discuss this option with your superiors first, because you don't want to be reprimanded for leaving office early!
If you don't have anything to do at work, you can think of a number of ways, in which you can utilize this time for honing your professional skills. I am sure you will come up with several ideas. However, if nothing seems to work, then just sit back and enjoy your leisure time, for you may not get such time ever again in your lifetime!