There was a recent discussion on Linkedin. I rarely have time to go there, but this caught my eye. It was titled Why Are You Late for Work? 

The article sites a Harris poll that found that 25% of workers are late at least once a month. 1 out of 4! Excuses ranged from oversleeping to traffic, to eyelashes getting stuck together. I can add more from my own experience; had a problem with roommate, had a school meeting I did not know about, hangover, cat was sick, phone was in the other room, didn’t hear alarm, and the list goes on.

Career Builder says that 12% of employees are late at least once a week and of those that show up late most (38%) are 18-34 and live in the West (30%) Career Builders says the usual suspects are to blame for why employees are late to work: traffic (51 percent), oversleeping (31 percent), bad weather (28 percent), too tired to get out of bed (23 percent) and forgetting something (13 percent).

What really surprised me was the number of people with the attitude that it’s no big deal. They feel that as long as the job gets done, whenever they make it in should be fine with their employer. Many of those comments were from people in Academia and people in staffing agencies.

What a difference from when we valued our job and respected our employers and co-workers. Despite the fact that over 2 out 5 employers fire people for tardiness, it continues. Despite the fact that it is rude and adds undue pressure to fellow employees who have to carry the load for the person not there, and it is a distraction to everyone when someone waltzes in late, and it causes resentment among co-workers, it continues. Despite that when people are hired they agree to certain hours for certain pay, it continues. 63 percent of workers say they believe working 9 to 5 is an antiquated practice, and 88 percent think start and end times should be flexible.

This is the workplace of “it’s all about me”. I am too busy, too important, too self-centered and inconsiderate to do what I agreed to do when I was hired, but I want the same pay, and if I work over for 5 minutes, I want my overtime.

This is the entitled generation of employee. Several people said that they are “enlightened” and just do not see the big deal about being late. Some said they are just always late, they TRY to be on time, it just never works out. One person felt that employees are just happier if they don’t have to stress about spending a few extra minutes with the kids, or if traffic is bad in the morning. Gee that’s nice.

The truth is, they just don’t care enough about the job, and that is a bigger problem. It is about respect for one’s self, and one’s co-workers and one’s employer. It is about keeping the commitment that was the basis for your getting the job in the first place. 

We are all late from time to time. It’s that attitude that is shifting here, that it’s no big deal, and that everyone should just chill and deal with it.

I think most employers think those employees can just “chill” somewhere else. Employers deserve to have employees be on time, it’s just a responsibility and should not be too much to expect.