During my stint with the Indian Police Service, I once got an assignment with barely an hour of work daily. It was a welcome breather after a long back-breaking assignment.
Naturally, I would leave the office at 6 pm. My boss, on the other hand, would sit in the office till 9 PM daily. Also, he wanted people to stay late, leaving only after he had left — for him, that was loyalty and commitment.
In fact, once when he found out that I had stepped out during the day to meet some other officers, he even expressed his displeasure at my not being in office.
Though I did not admire his office-squatting, it was understandable since he probably had a lot of work.
But when my boss was transferred out, his successor found that my boss had kept 200 plus files pending with him. Now here is the fun part — typically, we clear the files within a day or two; these files were pending with my boss for almost 1-2 years.
What was he doing till 9 pm in the office — I have no idea.
Late-night office-squatting or keeping ourselves busy with random activity often just reflects our insecurity.
To create real value, work with focus, and go home when done. Our families will thank us and we will use less electricity for running the office AC.