The Art of Leaving Work Early: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jay Spring
11 min readMay 28, 2021
Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

I’m not a good employee; I’m a great employee.

Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

My days are spent balancing the company’s needs, brainstorming work solutions, and exploring options that others may be too terrified to explore. I have no problem voicing my concerns in meetings, questioning company policies, or volunteering for a task that’s out of the ordinary.

I’m not a drone, cog, robot, or any other metaphor of the typical office worker. Moreover, I never settle for the argument “your job is what I say it is.” As I’ve written about before, that’s the definition of forced labor.

And dammit, do I like to sneak out of the office early.

It’s not so much that I don’t want to be there. But, I know that the remaining 36 minutes of my day is spent unproductively checking the clock, shooting the shit, and doing absolutely nothing to help the bottom line.

So, I just leave.

Although, in your situation, you may not have the opportunity for a premature departure. Especially if you have a stickler of a boss who likes to do their rounds at the end of the day, hoping to coax a few stragglers into suffering through happy hour.

Or at least, that’s what you think.

Anyone — yes, anyone — can leave the office early with little to no repercussions. But only if performed correctly. It’s an art form that can be mastered, tinkered with, and may even benefit the company.

The key is diligent preparation — all day long.

I’ll take you through the proper steps for a successful early exit, and if you play your cards right, you’ll be home binging The Office while everyone else is still stuck in the office.

Step 1: Always Come In Early

Photo by Andrea Natali on Unsplash

If you want to leave work early, you must come to work early. Simple as that.

This is especially important for hourly employees who need to log their time. Most managers only look at overall hours, not start and…



Jay Spring

Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Bro Journal, outdoor enthusiast, and mindfulness buff. Oh yeah, and a second-rate writer —