February 22, 2024

Late for meetings or work events? How this bad habit can damage your career

Showing up late to work, meetings, events and other work-related responsibilities can be a problem for people in today’s work culture, according to a number of hiring and human resources professionals in interviews with FOX Business.

When employees are late, they demonstrate a lack of concern for their job and a lack of concern for other people in their organization, especially their manager or team leader.

“Punctuality and professionalism go hand in hand in the workplace,” Cheryl Hanson, district manager at Insperity in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, told FOX Business.

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“However, the consequences of being late are often overlooked. Employees should be aware that there are repercussions for being late.”

To better understand how lateness is perceived in the American workplace, labor experts discussed why it’s “time” for people to make punctuality a career priority – as their bosses and managers clearly track their comings and goings to remark.

Arriving 10 minutes late for work or walking into a staff meeting 15 minutes after it starts is not only disruptive to the company culture and flow of business, it is also disrespectful to others. (iStock / iStock)

Here are insights and tips.

How being late affects your work

Showing up to work 10 minutes late or walking into a staff meeting 15 minutes after it starts is not only disruptive to the company culture and flow of business, it’s also disrespectful.

A lack of input can reduce your ability to contribute to the team’s success.

This is what you miss because of your late arrival.

Missed opportunities to collaborate and contribute

Consistently arriving late to meetings or events deprives you of the opportunity to participate in discussions and contribute to decisions and collaborative efforts, Hanson said.

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“When people arrive late, they not only miss out on crucial information, but they also fail to communicate their insights and expertise, which can impact the outcomes of the meeting or project,” she noted.

Your lack of input can reduce your ability to contribute to the team’s success and lead to your ideas being overlooked or ignored, she also indicated.

late for work meetings

Constantly missing opportunities or arriving late hinders both individual growth and team effectiveness. This hinders the achievement of an organization’s goals, noted one recruitment expert. (iStock / iStock)

“Additionally, your absence from critical discussions could lead to uninformed decisions or a lack of innovation and problem-solving,” Hanson said.

“Habitual lateness can have a negative effect on an employee’s reputation.”

Ultimately, consistently missing these opportunities hinders both individual growth and team effectiveness, hindering the achievement of an organization’s goals, she indicated.

Impact on reputation

“Habitual tardiness can have a negative impact on an employee’s reputation and can lead others to view him or her as unreliable and even unreliable. If an employee cannot be counted on to arrive on time for meetings, it raises doubts about his or her ability to perform other duties.” , such as meeting deadlines,” Hanson told FOX Business.

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“Your credibility and professionalism may be hampered by this perception,” she said.

Impact on workplace culture

A culture of tardiness can hinder the organization’s ability to compete in a fast-paced, dynamic business environment and tarnish its external reputation, she noted.

late for work meetings

Many people are in multiple, back-to-back meetings every day – both in-person and remote – and even the slightest delay in a meeting’s start time can have a ripple effect that can disrupt others’ schedules. (iStock / iStock)

“As a result, consistent lateness can have far-reaching consequences beyond just an individual’s career,” Hanson clarified.

Why punctuality is expected in hybrid or remote work arrangements

Given the rise of hybrid and remote work, some employees may be lax about watching the clock.

Videoconferencing should be taken as seriously as in-person meetings and timeliness should be expected.

“Many people are in multiple, back-to-back meetings every day – both in-person and remote – and even the slightest delay in a meeting start time can have a ripple effect that throws the rest of someone’s schedule into chaos,” says Frank Weishaupt, the in Boston-based CEO of Owl Labs.

The most professional way to handle a discussion about someone’s tardiness is privately.

It is a company focused on AI-powered, 360-degree hybrid video conferencing solutions.

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Weishaupt said that at Owl Labs, employees are expected to be on time and prepared.

“To encourage this, meeting leaders circulate agendas in advance so participants can read the discussion topics in advance and come up with ideas,” he said.

young woman working in a cafe

Employers “need to set clear expectations and consequences for what will happen if the problem persists,” one expert said of frequent lateness to work meetings or events. (iStock / iStock)

“We also do a semi-annual calendar cleanse, where we take a step back, look at what we have recurring, determine the need for the meeting and adjust accordingly.”

How can an employer approach an employee about being regularly late?

If employees are consistently late to meetings or work events, it can have a detrimental effect on the company.

Employers need to have best practices in place to confront these types of employees, experts say.

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The most professional way to handle a discussion about someone’s tardiness is privately.

“To avoid public embarrassment, employers should discuss tardiness privately with their employees and not make comments during a meeting in front of colleagues, etc.,” says Sarah Doody, a career expert and founder of Career Strategy Lab in Salt Lake City, Utah.

man is talking to seated colleagues at a table in an office

To hold yourself accountable, start setting goals, tracking your progress, and asking for feedback from coworkers or supervisors, (iStock / iStock)

Employers should enter the discussion with a desire to gather all the context about the situation, she said, so they can understand whether there are legitimate reasons why an employee is late — whether it’s a personal matter or because the employee is too late. has many job responsibilities. and doesn’t stand up for himself.

“After gaining an accurate understanding of the situation, the employer should set clear expectations and consequences for what will happen if the problem persists,” Doody told FOX Business.

What are some ways an employee can reduce tardiness habits?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving an employee’s punctuality.

However, Insperity’s Hanson said the following tips can help reduce tardiness.

Identify the root causes that contribute to tardiness. These may include poor time management skills, procrastination, or personal challenges.

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“Take proactive steps to address these issues, whether it be self-help resources, professional development opportunities or seeking support from a mentor or supervisor,” Hanson said.

Choose an organizational method that suits you best. An organizational method that suits your preferences, work style and goals can increase your ability to manage your time effectively, prioritize tasks and stay punctual in the workplace, says Hanson.

Hold yourself accountable. This can be accomplished by setting goals, tracking progress and asking for feedback from colleagues or supervisors, Hanson said.

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