We’ve all been there. That time your alarm mysteriously didn’t go off, you couldn’t find your keys and the train was late. But, there’s another breed of latecomers out there — those who don’t seem the least bit bothered by clocking in late for work.
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, when asked how often they come in late to work, more than 1 in 4 workers (29 percent) admitted they do it at least once a month — up from 25 percent last year — and 16 percent say it’s a weekly occurrence for them — up 3 percentage points since last year.
Most of the time when people are late, the excuses are pretty common. But other times, the story gets stranger — which can make it harder to believe. When asked about the most outrageous excuses employees have given them for being late, employers shared the following:
- I forgot it wasn’t the weekend.
- I put petroleum jelly in my eyes.
- I had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.
- I thought Flag Day was a legal holiday.
- My pet turtle needed to visit the exotic animal clinic.
- The wind blew the deck off my house.
- I overslept because my kids changed all the clocks in the house.
- I was cornered by a moose.
- My mother locked me in the closet.
- The pizza I ordered was late being delivered, and I had to be home to accept/pay for it.
- The sunrise was so beautiful that I had to stop and take it in.
- My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.
- My dad offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich, and I couldn’t say no.
What Are the Rules?
Some jobs require adherence to a specific schedule in order to maintain quality service levels and precise hours of operation. Other jobs can be successfully performed with very flexible hours. Nearly 2 in 3 employers (64 percent) and employees (64 percent) believe the concept of “working 9 to 5” is an antiquated practice, but more than half of employers (53 percent) expect employees to be on time every day, and 4 in 10 (41 percent) have fired someone for being late.
What Can You Do About It?
While coming in late once in a while may be unavoidable, chronic tardiness must be dealt with professionally and firmly. Here are three steps to make sure the issue is confronted before it gets out of hand:
- Call your employee into a one-on-one meeting.
- Discuss any factors causing your employee’s tardiness.
- Write up a list of escalating consequences for tardiness
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