5, 10, 15 minutes: How Late is Acceptable?

Posted on August 11, 2011 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

By nature, I am an early bird.  No matter if it is work or getting together with friends, I will be early.  Running late causes me a great deal of stress and anxiety, so I do all that is in my power to not only be on time, but leave a few minutes of leeway just in case.

For me, being on time for work is high priority.  A company is paying me to work, so I have a responsibility to that company to be on time.  A past internship required me to travel forty minutes outside of the city.  I always leave an hour in my time budget because when I’m traveling on three highways to get to work, the chances of hitting traffic or an accident are high.  Generally, I get to work a lot earlier than I have to.  So, I get to work early and end up being able to leave work early.

I have been unexpectedly frustrated with the number of my fellow employees at various jobs that show up late.  At an internship recently, all the interns were told to arrive by 8:30 a.m. to begin work.  There was an email sent out to all interns and our boss verbally communicated this.  The next day, one of the interns strolled in at 9:15 a.m. This particular intern acted as if he was entitled to arrive later.

I began to wonder if tardiness in the workplace was a high occurring event or if I was overreacting.  I talked to some of my family members to get their input since they have been full-time employees at various jobs.  What I heard from my family was extremely similar.  There are some employees that will consistently arrive late.  Based on my mini-investigation, I have developed the top reasons why employees are typically late for work continuously:

  • Entitlement: There are some employees feel that they are entitled to show up late because of their position in the company or for personal reasons.  There is no fear of being reprimanded by authority.
  • Personality: Some people are late to everything including work.  No matter how hard some people try, they will always be late.
  • Loss of Interest: When an employee feels uninterested in their work, they will likely feel less committed to their work. So, why show up early? They try to shave off working as much as possible because their work is just that boring.
  • Conflict with a Manager: If there is an issue with a manager, an employee may try to test the waters.  By showing up late, they demonstrate a lack of respect for authority.  An employee may try to see how far they can go until the manager reacts.

Is tardiness in the workplace acceptable? How late is okay?

TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

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