Charlotte, a woman I worked with, started her second post-college job with huge enthusiasm, a pay raise, and a sparkling brand on her resume. Then she quickly realized she had a problem that was totally going to cramp her happy hour style: No one left the office until the boss did. And the boss didn’t leave until 8 PM.
Being the first to depart in a situation like that can be stressful. If you came in early, it’s likely that no one saw you arrive. If you leave early, everybody knows it. Regardless of how productive your day was, if you regularly jet hours before the majority of your co-workers, you may get inaccurately labeled as lazy or lacking drive.
The most important thing, of course, is that you get your work done, and that your boss knows you got it done. If the pressure to stay late never lets up, or if your performance is deemed lacking as a result, this might not be the right culture for you.