Due to an unexpected weather event last night my evening commute time was quadrupled, and I had to be back at work only 4 hours after I was able to pull in to my own driveway. It didn't occur to me until today that since I'm usually first one in to work and the last to leave that no one would have been able to tell that I never went home. When is it okay to turn a laptop case in to a pillow and sleep overnight in the office?

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    This would be entirely company policy specific. However, if there was the likelihood of physical danger by leaving, then I suggest most organisations would be compassionate about a very rare exception. – Jane S Jan 21 '16 at 21:51
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    Only your manager can answer this question. – NotMe Jan 21 '16 at 22:15
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    Another reason I can think of not to stay overnight is if the office is locked up overnight, and there are motion sensors connected to the burglar alarm. You don't want to set the alarm off and have the out-of-hours security guards turning up to search the place. – Simon B Jan 21 '16 at 22:31
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    I once worked all night to repair a customer's database: arrived at 8 am and left at 5 am the next morning. I'd say this depends on the company and on your position. If you're a new hire or this is a big, regimented company they might be worried you're going to steal something or vandalize the place. If you're a reasonably trusted employee, especially if you have a key to the building, maybe nobody much cares. – Jay Jan 22 '16 at 8:29
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    If there's no shower at work, this is quite unprofessional. Laptop case doesn't make a nice pillow, either. Some companies have real cots for napping. – Deer Hunter Jan 22 '16 at 8:51

Circumstances in which I have overnighted. This is just my personal view, I'd rather have four hours at home than sleeping on my laptop case.

If I had urgent work that HAD to be completed, this has happened a few times in disaster recovery situations.

Cyclone made it unsafe to leave, this happened once.

Too drunk to care, a couple of office parties in my youth left human wreckage strewn around the place until morning.

In your particular scenario, it would be appropriate to ask your boss first and not make a habit of it.

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