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What do you do when you have nothing to do at work?

(63 Posts)
ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 13-May-14 20:59:00

My job is a bit of a strange one, I won't bore you with the details, but when I am busy I am snowed under but when I am quiet I have literally nothing to do. I am in a quiet phase right now and it has been like that for about a week. When I was in my old office I was on my own so would just chill out, read a magazine or something. However now I share with two others so it's a bit harder. I am not slacking, there is just genuinely nothing to do.

Should I say something to my boss? Has anyone had experience of this? I have been spending a lot of time sereptisously tweeting but even that is getting boring grin

PirateJones Tue 13-May-14 21:01:31

waste time on mumsnet

If you have nothing to do you really should tell your boss.

fflonkl Tue 13-May-14 21:01:41

Go for a walk? In my first job nobody talked to me and I was so bored I took to going to the loo a lot just to sit down and contemplate the utter shite that was my life then think. (No smartphones to occupy me then either!)

Meglet Tue 13-May-14 21:03:05

We get lulls every so often. I tidy up my e-mails, plan annual leave, sort out all the paper files and tidy my desk. Once that's done I ask for more work, usually random stuff like helping someone to stuff envelopes.

Ledkr Tue 13-May-14 21:03:11

This never happens to me. I could literally work for 24 hrs and still not be finished.
Would you like a job swap?

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 13-May-14 21:04:23

I definitely have a lot of boredom wees grin My boss is rarely around which makes it hard, plus we don't really get along which makes it hard to talk to her. I have a big event coming up on Friday which I have been working towards although I have done pretty much everything for now. Quire looking forward to it though.

When I have nothing to do at work I like to think that I read up on work related stuff online, work out more efficient ways of working, train myself in new software, sort out my dreadful filling system, etc.

In reality I spend too much time looking at lovely gardens on Pinterest.

gobbin Tue 13-May-14 21:07:51

My job used to have quiet times (teaching). Ah yes, back in the old days when a free lesson was, well, just that.

We'd sit in the staff room and chat, read the paper, book a holiday etc.

Nowadays... Lucky to get a wee break never mind anything else.

I do a bit of comping. smile

eurochick Tue 13-May-14 21:09:16


I read articles related to my job and think about ways to win new business. And try to get through my filing backlog.

I go on MN

tries to imagine a job where you can run out of things to do

fails miserably

didyoumeantobesojumperude Tue 13-May-14 21:13:21

I catch up on all of the admin jobs; holiday requests, expenses, filing, clearing emails/documents etc.

My boss always tells us to enjoy the quiet times as they don't come around too often!

mswibble Tue 13-May-14 21:21:13

My job is the same, when we're busy its super stressful and the last time I was close to tears. However after those insane three days I then had about a week where there was no real work. I refused to feel guilty though given that i had worked my arse off prior to the lull. Thankfully its starting to even out and is at a more constant, manageable level.
I always use my quier time to keep all my filing systems up to date or even have a complete overhaul! Im pretty lucky as its understood that you might take a few longer lunches when its quiet, leave early but when the SHTF its all hand to the deck and the job has to be done.

OldVikingDudeHidMyTubeSocks Tue 13-May-14 21:23:57

I lean on the ice cream counter and people watch. grin

Smartiepants79 Tue 13-May-14 21:24:51

This never happens.

OldVikingDudeHidMyTubeSocks Tue 13-May-14 21:24:56

I sometimes stare at the caramel and fudge flavour ice cream and wish I was eating it as well.

WipsGlitter Tue 13-May-14 21:27:27

I read around my subject. Mumsnet. Daily Mail. Like you when I'm busy I'm flat out but there are real lulls particularly as we're getting better and more organised.

CheeryName Tue 13-May-14 21:29:36

I agree with those who research. I never have no work to do but I have days when I can't be arsed to be strategic and manage and things. So I read work magazines and go on linked in.

Nothing to do?


What's that all about then?

I have evolved a third arm and an extra ear since being at my current employment. I am considering a commode, to cut down on those time-consuming visits to the loo.


If I did have any spare time, I would make a scrapbook collection of all the dust clumps that have gathered, like tiny grey sheep, behind my PC. Then I would get down on hands and knees to search for that slice of malt loaf that fell off the back of my desk about three years ago.

After that, I might saunter over to my colleague, grab hold of her swivel chair and see how fast I could spin her round. I would then make her a paper clip and treasury tag necklace to say sorry.

LumionaMoonsplash Tue 13-May-14 21:47:27

Filing, clear emails and tidy up my drawers. I ask for work from my boss and then failing that I go round depts asking if they have any boring admin tgey want me to do. I hate sitting at my desk bored. It rarely happens now I'm pt, but last Friday was a loooong afternoon.

fflonkl Tue 13-May-14 21:48:06

TalcAndTurnips today I had a free 10 minutes in between meetings and decided I cba to finish reviewing a doc I had open it was time to clean my desk. It was very satisfying seeing all the horrible dust gathered up in dark, wet clumps (I used an anti-bacterial wipe, of course) and I got immense satisfaction in seeing a nice, clean, shiny desk.

tabvase Tue 13-May-14 21:48:33

Treasury tags shock do they still exist? They were a very heavy feature of my schooling in the 90s smile

envy at those who have quiet phases.

When I'm not snowed under and need a break, I find myself cleaning up after other staff and fixing the photocopier. And cleaning up my desktop. jobsworth

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 13-May-14 21:49:05

Quiet days always sound like heaven when you are manic but the reality is pretty rubbish. I am hoping that all my comping will pay off though, am finding loads on Twitter grin

ToAvoidConversation Tue 13-May-14 21:50:13

This never ever happens but I suppose if I had to look busy I could meal plan? Look for holidays? Clean my desk?

awaywego1 Tue 13-May-14 21:58:02

I have quiet days and I get horribly bored..I'm on my own so no colleagues to talk to. I cried last week because I was so bored blush
other days it can be really busy but the nature of my job means I can't really control when its quiet. I do research, mumsnetting, planning and random googling..and drink lots of tea!

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