I work in a company and i need to refer to lot of article and books related to my field of expertise also because i am working alone in my department, i spend sometime day or two reading articles to get better understanding. I had this hunch that maybe it is wrong to read so much during the work because i see my colleague always working, can anybody confirm if it is ok to read at work.

Best Regards

  • 3
    If your manager asked you what you did the past two days, would you be comfortable answering honestly? There's not really a general answer to this as it all depends on the job and your profile.
    – Lilienthal
    Mar 23 '17 at 15:50
  • I always feel uncomfortabe telling i spent time reading article and looking at books because i dont see my colleague doing that but so far i have not had any complaint about that.
    – ezE
    Mar 23 '17 at 15:52
  • @ezE If you are working alone in your department, that what your "colleague" does doesn't matter. He maybe working in a different role which doesn't require much reading. By the way, is the "reading" required to do your job, or do you do it only because you find it interesting?
    – Masked Man
    Mar 24 '17 at 0:54
  • It's never wrong to do something that is part of your job. Have your superiors given any indication as to how you are performing with regard to completing your work? If they're satisfied with the end results you're generating, how much time you spend researching and how much time you spend in execution may be moot. What is the culture at your workplace? Is the focus on results or is it one of those workplaces where the focus is on what you are seen to be doing? Mar 24 '17 at 11:45
  • i read some articles which i can use it later to model and implement in my design, so basically i am reading to get the job done. My superiors are quite happy with the job i am doing, they have even extended my contract, the focus is mostly on result and it doesnt matter what you do (i hope it is like that) but i know its all about end result.
    – ezE
    Mar 24 '17 at 15:26

If it's work related reading, something that you need to do in order to achieve the tasks given you by your lead, then it's fine.

It get's a bit more ambiguous if this is stuff you are expected to know - for example a programming language, calculus, or something of that sort. If that's the case, make sure your supervisor knows you are not proficient at those and doing the tasks will require learning on the job. At this point it's up to management to decide if they are OK with you doing the work or reassigning it to a person who is an expert in that field.

In my field that's normal practice - many people reference physics/mathematics books for formulas and our design docs often read like research papers with formulas being cited all over the place. If I'm asked to implement one of those algorithms it would be expected that I'll lookup all the formulas.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .