I recently joined a company as a software engineer and was told I need to familiarize myself with a development framework to be able to customize a product (via development). I convinced my manager that he needs to increase the time allotted to me (which was a realistic amount from my side after assessing how much time would be needed).

I keep my manager updated usually on what I am doing however recently I was a little unwell at work(just one day) and when he came to ask me for an update (which he usually never does as I am the one pro-actively updating him or asking for more work) , I had a non-work related general news site tab open on my computer at the time which he noticed .

He didn't talk about it and I gave him an update on what I was doing , however it was hard not to notice that I had a non-work related tab open.I did change the tab while I was giving him an update.

I usually am very professional on doing strictly my work in office time (been 2 months since I joined the company), however I am concerned that my manager might now tell me to "speed up my learning", which is something I think is always counter-productive as people need some space and time to learn and absorb stuff when their self-training .

How can I convince my manager (if there is even a need) that I am using the allotted time fairly and professionally? (I don't want one off thing affect my positive image to him).

  • Visiting a non-work website (especially news) is not unusual and any reasonable manager will have no issue with this. Everyone takes breaks. If it was something else that obviously takes away from your productivity (netflix or poker, for example) they may have a legitimate gripe with you. Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Hopefully, this one incidence is not the only slice of time you're boss is evaluating your ability to get things done. You build trust over longer periods of time by repeatedly proving you can be relied on.

No body is perfect, but don't try to proclaim too strongly how important it is to have enough time when you're caught wasting it. Make sure you are completing the tasks your boss gives the highest priority. Next time you're asked to work a little longer, agree without hesitation.

Get some feedback on how frequently he wants an update. He may prefer you summarize at the end of the week/month instead of more frequent updates.

Sorry to say it, but years of building trust can be ruined with on mistake depending on how big of one it is. Browsing a non-work related website will have no impact if your boss recognizes you as a valuable employee.

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