The Effect of Tardiness at Work on Businesses

The Effect of Tardiness at Work on Businesses

The reality of tardiness

It may seem as though being a few minutes late to work is no big deal, and for some companies that is exactly the case. However, for many others, tardiness is not only a blatant show of disrespect for your position, but also it can have a ripple effect across the entire business that results in lessened productivity and a loss of focus for others in the office.


Tardiness is defined as being late -- in any time increment. This might mean two minutes or 20 minutes; the point is that at the moment that an employee should be in his office, he is just pulling into the parking lot or not even on the premises yet at all. It might seem like a small problem, but tardiness can actually have quite an impact on a company and its productivity.


Tardy employees affect more than just their own productivity; yes, they are not technically getting work done when they are late. But the flurry of activity caused by coming in late also throws others around them off focus, leading to a decrease in overall productivity in the office. Bottom line: You aren't getting what you pay for when an employee is consistently late and not getting started on work-related tasks in a timely manner.


Start by giving the employee a verbal reminder of his hours and your expectations regarding tardiness. If the problem persists, then give him a written reprimand and explain what will happen if the tardiness continues. If he still comes in late, you may need to place him on probation and explain that if there are any further problems with tardiness, he could be terminated as a result.


If you are contending with employees that are constantly late, be proactive about the situation. Perhaps you need to give them a more flexible schedule if the issue is something beyond their control (dropping kids off at school, for example). You might be surprised by how much more productive your employees are when you offer just a tad bit more flexibility in their schedules.

Tardiness occurs when an employee fails to be available at work on time

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