Tardiness affects fewer workers, but 25% still admit struggling to be on time
- Fewer workers are routinely late for work this year compared to last year, but 25% still admit having trouble getting to work on time, a new CareerBuilder survey shows. The online survey queried more than 1,000 HR professionals and 800 workers in the private sector between November and December in 2017.
- Younger workers are more likely to be late to work than older employees, according to the survey. Among workers ages 18 to 34, 38% are late at least once a month, compared with 36% of workers ages 35 to 44 and 14% of those age 44 and over. Regionally, 30% of employees in the West are late to work once a month, compared with 26% of employees living in the Northeast and 23% of those working in the Midwest.
- A majority of employers (60%) still expect people to be at work on time every day. The survey found 43% of employers have fired workers for tardiness this year, up from 41% last year.
More workers are finding that flexible work schedules meet their lifestyles. Job hunters are increasingly looking for flexible work options in their search, bypassing workplaces with traditional 9-to-5 schedules. Employers are wisely offering remote work, telecommuting, work-at-home and adaptable schedules as options to attract candidates and retain hires.
Behind this trend, of course, is a thin labor market that forces employers to be more tractable about work schedules. It can be difficult to monitor the work schedules of remote and work-at-home employees, who have more leeway in how the work gets done; deadlines still must be met, and that's a reality employers need to stress with workers.
The culmination of lateness eventually scales down productivity, and ignoring the problem won't help employers' cause. Termination shouldn't necessarily be the first response to chronic lateness as workers might be struggling with health, domestic, financial or work-related problems — all of which are stress-producing conditions that contribute to lateness and absenteeism. Once employers rule out these causes, progressive disciplinary action might be needed to curb chronic lateness.