Tips for sneaking out early from the office on Fridays

WORKING DIGEST

June 07, 2006|By HOUSTON CHRONICLE

"Bob's still here," your co-workers exclaim. "Look, his wallet and keys are still on his desk."

Little do they know the wallet's empty and the keys fit your long-expired 1973 Pinto. You've sneaked out of work early on Friday. Your phone is forwarded, your BlackBerry can catch important messages and you're hanging out at the beach.

Don't laugh. There is serious strategy involved. Men's Journal has actually done a scientific study. Well, sort of.

The magazine dispatched a writer to a beach in San Francisco at 3 p.m. on a Friday and asked the early arrivals how they pulled it off.

Among the findings, to disappear with ease it's best to establish a schedule that requires a lot of time out of the office: long lunches with clients, off-site meetings and frequent conferences.

On the technological end, adjust your computer so it doesn't go to sleep. You can also preprogram your e-mail delivery. If you want everyone to think you're slaving away at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, schedule the distribution for that time.

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