I had a new hire with the same problem. He is an excellent worker but he always came in early (by an hour) and left late (by an hour) while he was doing office work.
I let this slide for the first two weeks - giving the person time to adjust to the new position and reality of working in their first job.
Then it got to the point where he was leaving very late, always working.
This is not good for anyone especially you as a worker. If you are constantly staying late, it can be a sign of many problems:
- Your are being overworked, or mismanaged.
- You are lacking some core skills for your job - and thus are not performing as well.
- Your environment (during the normal working day) is not conducive to your productivity and thus you are getting most of the work done after hours.
- You are lacking some work/time management skills (or your manager is not handling your work schedule) appropriately.
- You believe working late shows that you are a "hard worker" or "sincere about your job" or "want to do well".
All of these are red flags for your management and you should also be aware of this.
For my staff, I stopped one day and I told him to turn off whatever he was doing because it was time to go home. He said he just had one more thing to finish; to which I replied you can do it tomorrow.
Time and work management - and work life balance - is a skill you must learn as you start your professional career much like any other skill and you have to practice at it.
For my colleague, since he was single and a recent graduate he had nothing else to do and was excited about working and wanted to make sure he gave his all. Once during a social retreat for my staff I found out that he was the same way in college, pulling in "all nighters" to get a project or assignment done.
"All nighters" may be okay in college - they are definitely not the norm in a professional work environment - unless perhaps you are on a night shift or part of some fire fighting role.
It is not about "does it make you look bad" - but more about trying to avoid having this be norm - or what is expected of you.
Your job is one part of your broader life. It should be given its due respect / priority, but not at the expense of the rest of your health and well being.