I work in the software industry. I have been released from the project which I was working on previously. I have not been allocated to a new project and I have had no work for the last 10 days. I have already talked with my reporting manager 2-3 times but not sent any emails.

Do I need to send an email to my manager? What should I include in the content of email?

  • 1
    What have you done in those 10 days (and counting)?
    – Kevin
    Jun 19 '14 at 7:30
  • 2
    What did your reporting manager say you should do? Jun 19 '14 at 13:26
  • 2
    Like this: "Dear boss, I am available for new assignments".
    – amphibient
    Jun 19 '14 at 15:51
  • 2
    Please tell me which company you work for. I am way overworked.
    – dayuloli
    Jun 19 '14 at 16:43
  • 1
    Wander around the office tapping on cube walls going: "Boooooooooored!" every couple of minutes. Jun 19 '14 at 17:17

Perhaps it would be best to send an e-mail, expressing your concern that you are not spending your time in the most efficient way.

Are there any internal projects you could work on?

  • Is your documentation up to date?
  • Can you improve your working environment?
  • Thanks to all for your valuable feedback. i have sent an email to my reporting manager and resource manager and currently doing preparation for certifications. Jun 20 '14 at 5:36

I've been in the "project ended, next one not starting yet, gotta do something" situation. You do not want to look like you're expendable, so it's important both to be doing something and to communicate clearly and unambiguously.

On the first, if you have no assigned work and haven't been able to make progress with your manager, you should be looking for productive things to do that never seem to get done because "we don't have time". You have time -- great, use it. I've used times like this to document things that aren't written down anywhere, to refactor work that's "safe" to refactor (don't do this in the upcoming release's branch...), to add automation, to organize things better on the wiki, to improve test suites... what you do depends on what your team/company needs, but look around and you'll surely find something.

Now it would have been better to send email earlier, but you are where you are. Send email now to your reporting manager and, if different, the person who makes decisions about your performance reviews, salary, and continued employment. This email should do three things:

  • Refer to the previous conversations and outcomes. Include here your understanding of the current situation, particularly anything you've been told about your next assignment (or in your case, that you don't know what and when that is).

  • Explain what you are doing now. You want this information to be in people's hands before anybody starts wondering "hey, Hitesh doesn't have a project... has he been goofing on on the Internet or what?". Pre-empt that thought.

  • Ask if these are the right priorities -- is there something else you should be spending the time on instead?

To the reporting manager this is not news, but it might be news to anybody else who's involved (depending on how functional communication at your company or in your group is). The person who decides your fate needs to see that you're being proactive, that you're trying to do something about it, and that you're asking for guidance.


You should go to him the first day you don't have work not the tenth. I would send an email first and if I did not have work within the hour, I would go talk to him in person and stay until he gave me somthing to do or told me why he could not give me something right now.

I would also have a list of work-related projects I would work on until there was something new to do. Things like refactoring or small projects the office could use but no one has had time to do, or writing documention or even cleaning up you files on your computer or clearing old stuff out of your email.


In addition to asking your manager, here are some other thoughts:

How familiar are you with projects that your fellow coworkers are currently focused on? Are they in need of a particular skillset that you happen to be proficient with? Does a certain project happen to be of special interest to you?

The reason I ask is that I feel it is something that can be useful in a conversation you have with your boss (or whomever you report to). E.g.:

"Hey [Boss], upon completing [last assignment], I have been looking into other ways to lend my skills to other projects. Is it possible I could offer a helping hand to [Joe Schmoe] with [project X], because I noticed he had some concerns about completing his project. Alternatively, can I help [Jane Doe] with [project Y]? Because I have a great deal of experience with [thing], I would be capable of supporting her project."

This would show a few things about you:

  • First, and most obvious, it shows you are looking for a way to stay productive.
  • It shows your awareness of the going-ons in the company, and have an interest in their interests.
  • It shows you have communicated with your coworkers, and have an interest in being involved in their success, and you know you are capable of doing so because of [inset your skills/talents here].

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