If you don’t have to be at work until 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., you might not arrive until you absolutely have to. Getting to work early may not sound appealing unless you are an early bird -and you could argue there are better ways to spend your time in the mornings -but there are benefits to getting an early start.
Instead of hitting the snooze button three or four times and squeezing in an extra 20 minutes of sleep, get up, get dressed and head to the office. Here’s a look at seven reasons why the early bird gets the stone.
1. It Might Be the Only Peace You Have all Day
If you’re the first one in the office, you can enjoy peace and quiet before your coworkers arrive and the place gets rowdy. And depending on how hectic and crazy the mornings are at home, arriving early and sitting at your desk for 30 minutes uninterrupted might be the most peace you have all day. Once you arrive at work, you can get the coffee brewing, and actually enjoy a fresh cup “before” you start the day.
Do you bring your lunch to work? If you work in an office with a lot of people, you know the challenge of finding room in the refrigerator for your food. Get to work early and you’ll have first dibs on the space inside the refrigerator or freezer, and you don’t have to worrying about your lunch sitting on the counter for the next three or four hours. Also, you won’t feel as rushed if you get up and leave the house earlier, which can get your day off to a good start.
2. You Get to Come Home by 5 p.m.
Even if you’re only required to work a traditional eight-hour day, between assignments, emails, phone calls and other distractions, you might have more work than time. This can result in working an extra 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour several times a week, or you might have to bring work home in the evenings.
Unfortunately, there’s probably little you can do to minimize your assignments. Your boss expects you to complete everything by a particular deadline. To avoid falling behind on your assignments -and to ensure you’re able to leave work on time every day- do whatever you can to get to work earlier. The earlier you arrive, the more time you have to finish everything on your growing to-do list.
And if you don’t have a lot of extra work, coming into the office early gives you an opportunity to take care of stuff you’ve been putting off. Maybe your desk or filing cabinet badly needs organizing, or maybe you have a pile of emails you need to sort through. Rather than let tedious stuff pile up and clutter your mind, deal with a different task every day until you’re caught up.
3. Win Brownie Points With Your Employer
You might think your employer doesn’t notice or care that you’re coming into work early, but he does. Although you’re not required to work longer than expected, the fact that you’re willing to sacrifice your personal time in the mornings to arrive earlier shows that you’re a hard-worker. This is what employers like to see. So when the time comes to promote within the organization, you might be the first person that pops into your employer’s mind. Even if you don’t have seniority like another worker or the same amount of experience, taking the initiative and going the extra mile — which involves coming into work early — helps you score points with your boss and he’s more likely to choose you over someone who’s been with the company longer, but only does the bare minimum to get by.
4. The Early Bird Gets the Calls
If you work in sales, you know how important it is to be present in the office so you can get lead calls that come in. Depending on how your office works, lead calls might be shared equally among the staff, or whoever answers the call might get the lead. If the latter applies to your office, getting an early start can result in more calls, more appointments and a bigger paycheck. Your office might not open until 9 a.m. or 10 a.m., yet potential customers might begin calling for information and setting up appointments as early as 7:30 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. If you’re the only person in the office, you can take these calls and potentially boost your income.
5. Reduce Your Commuting Costs
Not only can traffic congestion make you late for work and get your day off to a bad start, congestion has a pricey tag. It might come as a shock, but sitting in traffic day after day can waste fuel and increase your transportation expense. In 2013, Nationwide Insurance reported that “congestion costs the average U.S. driver about $713 a year,” which is more than what some people earn in a week. Additionally about “1.9 billion gallons of fuel was wasted due to road congestion -more than five days’ worth of the total daily fuel consumption in the United States.”
Bottom line: traffic congestion and slowdowns affect your pocket, but if you get to work early and beat rush hour traffic, you can enjoy an easier, smoother commute and get to your destination faster; and you’ll soon discover that your gas lasts longer, while you’ll be spending less at the pump.
6. More Interaction With Your Employer
The same way you’re getting to the office earlier to get a jump-start on the day, chances are your employer will also arrive earlier. This is an excellent opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with your boss -although short and brief. Throughout the day, your boss will undoubtedly be busy managing employees and dealing with problems that arise, and he’ll have little time for a casual discussion. On the other hand, the early morning hours might be the perfect time to sit with him, pick his brain and get noticed. If you can get to know him on a personal level, you’re less likely to get lost in the shuffle.
7. It'll Be Easier to Get Time off
If your company doesn’t offer a lot of vacation or personal time off, it might be difficult to schedule days off when you have appointments or need to deal with other personal matters. But if your boss notices that you’ve been going the extra mile and coming into work early, he might be willing to grant the time off you need. This is especially beneficial if you’re trying to schedule time off during the holidays. Some of your coworkers may also request days off during this time, yet your boss will only be able to approve a few requests. As someone who consistently comes in early, you might get first dibs.
See Also: How to Survive an Early Work Schedule
Getting up earlier in the mornings and getting to the office sooner will have an adjustment period, especially if you normally lounge around house and take your time getting ready. Once you get into a routine, you’ll appreciate how much you’re able to accomplish during the day. As a bonus, you’re making a good impression on your boss, which can potentially benefit your career in the long run.