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How to Leave Work Early & Arrive Late without Getting Caught

Trick your boss into thinking you're catching the early worm and burning the midnight oil, with these tricks.


  • Step 1: Leave your computer on Turn off your computer's power save option so that it won't go to sleep when you're trying to trick your colleagues into thinking you're still slaving away.
  • TIP: Leave your computer open to an e-mail that you abandoned mid-sentence, as if you'll be back any moment.
  • Step 2: Invest in duplicates Invest in duplicates of an item you'd never leave the office without, like a purse or briefcase, to lend credence to the "so-and-so must be here somewhere" still life you're creating.
  • Step 3: Have a jacket on hand Sneak an all-weather jacket into the office that you can leave behind on nights you want to leave early.
  • TIP: A lightweight rain coat fits many seasons and can easily be sequestered inside a drawer.
  • Step 4: Create a breakfast tableau Keep a bagel, some plastic knives, and a bag of individual cream cheese and jelly packets in your desk drawer so you can stage breakfast before you leave for the night. Now you can take your sweet time getting to work in the morning.
  • TIP: Have a partner in crime who can set up your breakfast tableau on mornings you spontaneously want to sleep in; you can do the same for them.
  • Step 5: Throw in a bathroom emergency Prominently display a large bottle of anti-diarrhea medication when you need to disappear for a few hours; everyone will assume you're indisposed. Best of all, they'll be too embarrassed to ask.
  • Step 6: Get your work done Make sure you get your work done. That way, if you're ever caught, you can at least argue that your erratic hours are not affecting the bottom line.
  • FACT: Did you know? Thirteen percent of U.S. workers arrive late to work at least once a week, according to a survey.

You Will Need

  • An all-weather jacket
  • A duplicate purse or briefcase
  • A bagel
  • Plastic knives
  • Cream cheese and jelly packets
  • A large bottle of anti-diarrhea medicine
  • A lightweight raincoat (optional) (optional)
  • A partner in crime (optional) (optional)

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