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I am an intern at a small company. Today I came in, discussed the project I am doing with my internship coach and started doing the documentation and thinking of solutions to the project.

At 16-00 I was done, and my coach left. As I had no more work to do since I need to run my ideas by the boss who was not in today, and no one else in the office is directly related to my internship, I decided to leave.

The personnel told me they are flexible with the hours and it is ok for me to leave an hour before the official time (I work 9-5) if I had my work done, but I still felt like I am doing something wrong.

Should have I stayed in the office until 5 even though I had nothing to do or was it fine for me to go?

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    "The personnel told me they are flexible with the hours" - did your boss tell you that too? Then your quesiton has been answered.
    – Brandin
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 16:57
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    @Lilienthal I think the OP being an intern is an important detail that makes it not an exact duplicate. (I did vote as duplicate, and retracted it on second thought.) A regular employee doesn't have to be concerned much about leaving early once in a while, whereas an intern often has the additional goal to "convert" the internship to a job offer, and should therefore, put in more efforts to create a positive impression.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 17:00
  • @Brandin yes, he did. But still, it didn't feel fair to other people in the office somehow, so that's the reason I asked. I think it's not only a question of what the boss says.
    – Mu3
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 17:08
  • see also: Is it OK to leave work early if the workplace culture accepts it?
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 17:29
  • I think the critical difference between this and question linked by @Lilienthal is in that question it talks about starting early and finishing early, thereby still working the requisite number of hours. In this case the OP says they start at 9am thus would be doing reduced hours by leaving early. While the answer may be similar, the question is not a duplicate.
    – Jane S
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 23:16

1 Answer 1

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Should have I stayed in the office until 5 even though I had nothing to do or was it fine for me to go?

You should have asked your boss ahead of time if it would be okay to leave whenever you have completed the day's assignments. Do it now.

And you should have asked your boss what tasks you could perform when you ran out of assignments and the boss isn't around. Do it now.

The only person who can answer "was it fine" is your boss.

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  • Also worth noting is that they may be fine with you leaving early if you charge less time on your timesheet. I don't care if my intern leaves an hour early every day, so long as their paycheck reflects it and they let me know.
    – Kat
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 5:29

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