Tardiness isn't only a problem for businesses that rely on workers to show up on time. It's also a problem for the people who run late a lot. According to LifeEsteem.org, people who are consistently late score lower on tests that assess attributes like self esteem and discipline. There are several reasons why being late for work, meetings and other professional appointments can be a problem.

It's Inefficient

When you're constantly late for work or important meetings, you're likely to be unfocused and a little frazzled, especially in the first few minutes after you arrive. This can affect your ability to focus and eliminates the few minutes of time you might need to organize your desk or set up for a presentation. Even if you're prepared for the first task that you need to complete when you get to the office, you might come across as unprepared and disorganized if you're late. Being punctual can help you maintain a positive professional reputation. It shows that you prioritize your obligations, and are ready to take on the tasks of the day.

It's Inconsiderate

When one of your employees is late on a regular basis, her colleagues might get the impression that she doesn't value their time. That might not be the case, however. According to Phyllis Korkki of the New York Times, Diana DeLonzor, author of "Never Be Late Again," asserts that an employee's tardiness usually isn't a attempt to control others. "It's not that they don't value your time (or) like the attention when they walk into the room," DeLonzor says. Instead, some chronically late people are described as "deadliners" who are attracted to the rush of adrenaline that comes from rushing to be on time. And than there's the "producer", who prides herself on getting a lot done in a short amount of time. Whichever category an employee falls in, being tardy could come across as a selfish act that can decrease company morale, especially if the employee doesn't make an attempt to correct the problem.

It Could Be "Contagious"

When a colleague is late often and it appears as though management is not doing anything to reprimand him, other employees might take this as a sign that they can be late as well. Some individuals could see this as an indication that being on time is not a priority, and will relax on their efforts to be punctual. This may result in more workers showing up late, which could slow productivity and give the company a less than favorable reputation in the eyes of business partners and customers.


Employees who want to combat their tardiness and be seen as punctual and reliable can create several calendars to remind them of important dates and events. The calendar feature on mobile phones is a practical option, since these can be programmed to beep, vibrate or make an alarm sound an hour, a day or minutes before an event. Many online calendars have the same features. Encourage habitually tardy employees to do an honest self-assessment about their problem. When people are truthful about the reasons they are late, it can help them to prioritize their time and eliminate tasks in their schedules that can wait until later.