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August 27, 2008

Late to Work – What’s Your Excuse (pt 2 of 3)

Filed under: Management Practices — Tags: , , , 6:44 am

A recent survey by Today found that 16% of employees are late for work at least once weekly.
The Costs

It’s been estimated that workplace tardiness costs American employers several billion dollars each year.  That’s a big number to wrap your head around, but think about it in small terms.  What if you had an employee who was 10 minutes late every day for a year?  What are the consequences?  After punching a few numbers you quickly realize that amounts to the equivalent of 1 week’s time…. an extra week of vacation.   Perhaps the employee isn’t late everyday, but you’ve got many employees and they’re not all on time.  Those “unintended vacation days/weeks” add up quickly.  Obviously the actual dollar costs of tardiness will vary depending on the business and the position.  In some situations punctuality is critical, in others less so.

But the costs can also extend beyond the employee and his/her position.  How are other employees and their projects affected? How much managerial time is spent dealing with the problem? Is overall morale damaged as others are forced to “cover” for the late employee or feel that she is abusing the system?  Most studies have shown that workplace lateness is increasing.

Each workplace must assess its own environment and issues to determine if tardiness is a problem and if so, what should be done about it.

Check back tomorrow for Part 3 and learn the reasons for tardiness.


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