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Thursday, October 12, 2006

The art of the exit

Thinking about slipping out early from work? Don't. Get the results you need to for the day, and walk out with your head held high. At least that's what a business etiquette guru suggests. From what I've learned, the art of the exit requires mutual respect for the boss/employee relationship (respect for co-workers too!).
I interviewed about a dozen bosses for my Balancing Act column in the Miami Herald and all of them said they want their staff to either check in or wave goodbye at the day's end. And, if you need to leave early, manage expectations by letting your boss know in advance. I interviewed employees, too. Their issues were with bosses who bring up all kinds of new projects or issues to discuss as they attempt to exit the office.
I especially liked the feedback from reader Paula Musto, director of communications for Miami-Dade county. Musto has managed employees in the private and public sector for more than two decades. She writes: "It gets stressful in my county department at 7 p.m. when even the workaholics want to go home but we’re till dealing with the day’s issues. Her observations:
* The clock watchers tend not to be the truly productive employees. If you need to catch them on the way out the door, it’s because they are so hard to find at other times.
* It’s the long and miserable commutes and that are often the real culprit for end of the day tensions.
* Technology has driven the demand for immediate action. Says Musto: "I do ask my managers to check with me on their way out the door—no matter what time…it saves me from having to call them at home.''


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