10 hard truths about workplace punctuality

Meetings aren’t the problem. Meetings that don’t start or end on time—especially because one person was ‘just 10 minutes late’—are the problem. They tick people off and kill productivity.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

In the reasonable but seemingly impossible category: (a) standing on the right so others can pass when on an escalator, and (b) showing up to meetings on time.

Putting aside the escalator issue for a problem that’s actually solvable, let’s turn to the matter of punctuality:

1. You’re not that important (really).

Vice President Joe Biden often recalls his mother telling him, “Nobody is better than you, but you’re better than nobody.” Being the most senior person in the room does not give you the right to be late. In fact, the opposite is true.

People with more experience, higher titles, higher salaries and more responsibility should be held to a higher standard. Time is our most precious commodity, not just your most precious commodity. I don’t care who you are, you are just not that important. Show up on time.

2. Long meetings are unproductive and not an excuse.

“So sorry for being late, my last meeting ran long.” If you led that last meeting, no, it didn’t. You were sloppy: You failed to run your meeting efficiently and end it on time.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.