Tardiness: how being late could damage even the most promising

Ahead of the game / Tardiness: how being late could damage even the promising career
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Tardiness: how being
late could damage
even the most
promising career
To really get to the bottom of what it takes to stay ahead of the
game in today’s ultra-competitive market, Office Angels asked
its very loyal - and reassuringly diverse - clients and candidates
for their valuable, knowledgeable and altogether informed
opinions; and we’re bringing you the results in the form of
some incredibly useful little articles.
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Ahead of the game / Tardiness: how being late could damage even the promising career
Whether you’re a student or parent, admin assistant or
office manager, there’s one thing that’s almost guaranteed
to stunt your career progression and diminish your prospects:
perpetual tardiness. We’re all human, we’ve all slept through
an alarm and we’ve all been subject to powers beyond
our control - we’re talking tedious traffic jams and utterly
disruptive train strikes - but being late on a frequent basis
can spell real trouble for both the culprit and their
Just under a quarter of employers (23%) believe that arriving
late to the office isn’t ever acceptable, even if all of the work
gets done in core hours; while 13% of employees disagree.
However, around 90% of employers and employees agree
that arriving late to the office but making up time at the end
of the day is occasionally acceptable - but you’d better have
a good excuse.
It seems that the biggest cause of lateness is traffic, closely
followed by oversleeping and getting the kids ready and
out of the door. But for anyone regularly finding reasons to
excuse their inability to get to the office on time, it’s time to
change this career-ending habit.
Work life balance
Over half (64%) of the employers that we surveyed think that
it’s sometimes acceptable to arrive early and leave late to
meet deadlines, as even though work should be done during
contracted hours, some flexibility can benefit employees and
businesses alike. But companies are also starting to realise
how important a good work-life balance is to the productivity
and creativity of their employees, and because of that, most
recognise that consistently working outside of contracted
hours doesn’t make for a healthy or happy workplace.
After all, there’s a delicate balance between efficiency and
effectiveness; and all too often, people work long hours
because they’re simply not effective in their roles.
A healthy work-life balance gives employees a feeling of
loyalty, greater pride in their organisation, and a willingness
to recommend it as a great place to work; in other words, a
higher level of job satisfaction. Employers can help this along
by offering flexible or remote working, compulsory leave, and
strict maximum hours.
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The cause
Being late for work on a regular basis is often down to lots
of issues, rather than a single cause - such as a lack of selfdiscipline or an inability to get organised. Adrenaline could
even be a contributing factor, with some people enjoying
the heady rush of excitement that comes with an impending
deadline (or in this case, contracted hours).
For others, being late may be a way of striking out. Employers
should keep a close eye on this, as the situation may be a
little more sensitive and require a tad more understanding to
get to the root of the problem.
The trouble with being late - and in particular, being late
often - is the impact it can have on someone’s longterm career. No one wants to be seen as unreliable and
uncommitted, but ultimately, never turning up on time means
that’s exactly what’ll happen. When you’re late, people stop
taking you seriously, giving you juicy projects, or keeping you
in mind for promotion.
How to stop being late
First of all, it takes a conscious choice to change. Making a
commitment to get into work on time is the first stage, but
then it’s important to figure out the reason for perpetual
lateness. Once that mystery is uncovered, employees could:
• Set their alarm 15 minutes earlier
• Prepare outfits and lunch the night before to save time in
the morning
• Reward themselves when they arrive early or on time
• Pin down their most frequent excuses for being late, then
wipe them out
• Ask to work flexibly and start half an hour later
• Arrive early but leave on time (59% of employers and
employees agree that’s always acceptable)
Being punctual and reliable can do wonders for someone’s
career. It can also help co-workers to stay motivated, and
business to stay productive. The key is to identify where the
problem lies and figure out the best solution; and if you need
any extra help or advice, get in touch with Office Angels.
We’re always more than happy to help.