So….when is fashionably late a good thing? Well from someone who claims to have been born 10 minutes late and who typically starts a conversation with “Sorry I’m late”, I may not be the right person to ask. But studies and fact based research emphatically says “No” to the notion that being late is an acceptable behavior. Not only will this problem put you in a perpetual state of chaos and haste, but you may convey a message to friends and coworkers that you do not value their time. If this description sounds accurate, take note as we begin to explore being tardy…a sign of disrespect!
With the onslaught of cell phones, it has given people some sense of false security that notifying others of your perpetual tardiness is “ok”.
Well it is “ok” if you are detained because of an accident on the highway or a delayed flight…but many feel just by making the effort to call makes lateness ok. Well just because we can doesn’t mean that we should…and what it could mean, is that you don’t get “the job” or “the client”.
So what is the cause?
A study of 225 people with San Francisco State University, giving personality tests to determine what causes chronic lateness. As it turned out, “the late scored higher in several areas, including anxiety and distractibility, while placing somewhat below the timely in the areas of self-esteem and self-discipline.” So being perpetually late ends up becoming a cycle of anxiety and low self-esteem.
And how about the Millennials in the workplace… 60 Minutes and Forbes Magazine have done articles and segments and have determined, “They (millennials) have climbed Mount Everest. They’ve been down to Machu Picchu to help excavate it. But they’ve never punched a time clock. They have no idea what it’s like to actually be in an office at nine o’clock, with people handing them work,” “74% of them require a work/life balance”.
So where does punctuality fit in? And what is the effect?
- Employees who choose to be late are showing blatant disrespect for the manager or administration. This can have damaging effects on the rest of the team.
- Habitually late person is not only illustrating his own dissatisfaction with his workplace, but also affects the work habits and morale of others… If one or two people are consistently late for no reason other than they seem to think it’s not a problem, then the rest of the staff may start to have a problem.
- If you are late you end up paying for it…literally! According to Diana DeLonzor, the author of “Never be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged,” tardiness “costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity. The effect on the bottom line of the average business is significant: An employee who is late 10 minutes each day has, by the end of the year, taken the equivalent of a week’s paid vacation.”
The bottom line…
If you have a flexible boss, who values your worth as an employee, then 5 minutes late here and there may not be an issue. It is when it effects other’s ability to get their work done is where employers have to draw the line.
Respectfully… Mother, May I says make being early, work for you. By being 10-15 minutes early to a business event or meeting can make a big difference in what you get out of it. It shows to savvy observers that you are prepared, and you may get a chance to make an impression on the key note speaker or the president of the company.
So now a days… I set my clocks fast, set reminders in my phone and use Starbucks locations as my early holding spot before a meeting. These work for me…
Tell us what types of things do you do to get yourself to be on time?
Thanks for reading,
Lisa and Demetria
Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts