“Somebody died,” has had many variations over the years, but tardiness has not become any more acceptable.
A survey of 270 chief finance officers of Canadian firms and 400 office workers aged 18 and above showed that coming to the office late is still viewed negatively by executives even if the work is getting done.
Thirty-two percent of respondents believe workers should arrive on time so others can rely on them during set hours. Just two percent say tardiness is all right so long as productivity does not suffer.
"Punctuality is often perceived as a reflection of an employee's work ethic," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps, staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.
"Regularly coming to work late can give the impression that you're disengaged, and leave colleagues and employers second-guessing your commitment."
The survey also indicated that older workers are generally more punctual: 55 percent of workers over 55 say they are never late to work.
By contrast, 45 percent of workers aged 35 to 54 are never late. Among millennials – workers between 18 and 34 – just 28 percent maintain impeccable attendance.
Four per cent of respondents admitted they are tardy every day.
It’s not just about the person who is late, either. One-third of respondents say their productivity has suffered because a colleague arrived late to work.
Fifty-six per cent of workers said they are occasionally late to work. Sixty-five per cent of respondents said coming in late on occasion isn't a problem unless it becomes a pattern.
These are the more outrageous excuses given by workers for their tardiness:
You’re late! – But does it even matter?
This guy taught his boss a thing or two about punctuality
- "My dog was feeling anxious."
- "Got pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt."
- "I thought it was Saturday."
- "My alarm clock died overnight."
- "Someone's water broke."
- "Saving a cat from a house fire. Turned out to be true."
- "I thought about quitting."
- "Someone spilled coffee on me and I had to go home to change."
- "My dog ate my car keys."
- "I dreamed I was fired and fell back asleep."