What to do When Your Boss is OOO

Estimated reading time ~ 2 min
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The Jopwell Collection

Around the time of holidays such as the Fourth of July, Memorial Day weekend, or Labor Day, you may start to notice the office slowly starts to empty out — leaving you all alone (or close to it!) It’s easy to give into temptation, open up your browser and waste countless hours when there is no one else around. However, having this free time can actually be a great opportunity for you to showcase your entrepreneurial nature and impress your boss!

Here are four ideas for what you can do when your boss is OOO.

Plan ahead

Ask your manager (or their assistants) when they will be taking a vacation. Put those dates on your calendar as well and then make sure you ask them what projects they would like you to work on while they are away. If your manager doesn’t have any ideas, take the initiative to propose some yourself — then schedule them on your calendar so you know you’ll be busy.

Ask for work

Don’t be afraid to ask other team members if you can help out with projects they are working on if your boss has left you with a light workload. Offering to help with small projects or assignments is a great way to get to work with an individual/team that you may have not crossed paths with before. Your willingness to help will prove to others that you care about the job and want to succeed. Plus, you might learn something about your own role or understand another side of the business!

Learn something new

A quiet office is a great opportunity to learn a new skill — check outLynda.com, Grovo, or even YouTube. Make a list of skills you’d like to improve (for example, enhancing your Excel skills or learning how to use an internal database). Not only will these skills allow you to become better in your role, but it will help you stand out. Future you will thank you — and so will your boss!

Make a new friend

Take notice of someone else who is a lone worker and ask them to get coffee or lunch. With light calendars, people will be more likely to accept an invite! This is a great opportunity to build your professional network, or just get to know someone new in the office.

When your boss returns, make sure you recap on some of the things you have done or learned so they will see that you made good use of your time without them there. This is a great way to show that you are self-motivated.

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