The costs of employee lateness can be considerable, estimated at around £9 billion to the UK economy annually, according to a Heathrow Express survey.
More than half of people surveyed admitted to arriving late to meetings and other work events.
“Employers loses money because they are paying for time not worked, along with a cumulative loss of productivity, Tim Groves, Business Development & Sales Manager at Addtime, advises. “However, employees are also affected, including those who are late themselves, with many reporting feelings of stress and guilt from being late regularly.”
“The danger for many businesses is that lateness becomes normalised,” Tim warns, “and that it seriously eats away at productivity and the workplace culture.”
The Cost to Productivity and Morale
The cost of lateness to lost productivity is calculable, but it is not always recorded accurately, or sometimes at all. It can be a slow drip-feed of diminishing production, which cumulatively becomes substantial.
Employee lateness is also contagious in its effects. It can impact on staff morale, and on the productivity of those people left to pick up the slack.
“The cost of lateness is much more than simply lost working hours because it can have a negative effect on your entire workplace culture”
Research has pointed out that after late arrival at work, it can take a prolonged period, nearly an hour, for a worker to settle into feeling calm and in control. Similarly, this can have a detrimental effect on how they interact with colleagues.
“In this sense, lateness can be more insidious than complete absenteeism in its negative effects,” Tim says, “which means employers must try and address chronic lateness to prevent the damage spreading.”
Addressing Persistent Employee Lateness
Whereas employee lateness becomes a management issue, it is also a systemic one. Employers must tackle the problem at its source, the employee, but at the same time they need the supporting administrative systems in place for time management.
“Whereas managers must be proactive in identifying the behaviour and addressing it, having the right technology is vital for supporting how they, or their HR department, manage employee lateness”
“Furthermore, what electronic time management can offer is added value, by providing the means to fully integrate various streams of data, including payroll, sickness absence recording and holidays,” suggests Tim.
Cost-effectiveness goes beyond addressing issues, to having the means to reduce their likelihood in the first place.
“Software solutions to staff lateness incorporate the technology to monitor a wide range of aspects to do with HR and payroll, and to weave these separate strands together,” Tim concludes. “So, by employing the technology to solve one set of issues, you benefit from then having a powerful business tool at your disposal.”
To discover how to reduce your cost of employee lateness: