Friday, May 2, 2008


At work we have a LATE CAMERA. It is a web cam that sits near the front door. From 8:31 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. any motion triggers it to snap a picture with a time stamp and then e-mail that to everyone in the company.

My Lame Excuse: I forgot that I needed gas and left the house just in time to get to work. I only pumped 2 gallons but even that made me 3 minutes late. Doesn't everyone have a lame excuse for being late?

There is a problem when people are later than 9:00, but we can't extend the time because the productive people are going back out the door. Also, some folks have tried to sneak in the back door.

An issue that I struggle with is that some of the people who are habitually late, stay late and are the most productive (aka profitable) people. Others not. Some of my early people leave before quitting time.

As an employer, I'm not sure if I should look at tardiness as a personal discipline issue or rather allow people to play to their natural rhythms and work when they are most productive.

Your comments welcome. Are you a late person or early person? Why?


Stephen Lowe said...

I'm all over the place, my natural clock runs in weird cycles. i 'll go months of barely being able to function and get out of bed before 9am, I feel like I can't get enough sleep at night even if I go to bed a 9pm. Then I'll go the other way, staying up till 1 or 2am and being completely geeked out, ready to go do something at 6am. As for enforcing this, for us, it kind of varies by job function. My take is, as long as your work is getting done, you are running at a highly productive level, and you are available for normal office hour things as needed - do what works for you. Always have to employ my "Don't be stupid" rule, don't take a job for an "Office" related position and expect to come in at noon and leave at 9pm. 90% of our employees are in retail environments so they have no lenience at all, glad I'm not in a store....

shannon said...

Ronnie's employer gives cash incentives for those who are not late for an entire quarter. I think all who are not late for the quarter get their names in a hat and there's a drawing for $50 or so. The two who were not late all year got $500 each at the end of the year!

Some people are not motivated by virtue or a work ethic but almost everyone is motivated by money!

Scarlet Snow ::mike:: said...

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

I physically cannot be late. It makes me turn into a blithering mess of a human. And I don't understand those who can be. Especially those who are always late.

I may eat my words but:
You will never get my picture on that Camera!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to work I am usually an early person. I love the cam idea that is too cool, it would be nice to put everyone on blast like that. I got caught on a cam being late...well late for the greenlight in Suwanee that is and they sent me a nice little bill in the mail too!

Angela said...

LOL! Greg, Ren got one of those, too. Too funny.

Michael Cowan, try being 7.5 months preggers, and get out the door with 3 small children. My guess is you would lighten up a bit on us perpetually late folks! ;)

Scarlet Snow ::mike:: said...


And when you used my first and last name, it was clear that I was in trouble.

Scarlet Snow ::mike:: said...


Clearly you are in a league all of your own. I should qualify my statement.

I dont understand people, traveling alone, who are always late.


Kids provide every tardy situation with an unpredictable x factor.

holly said...

early or late? do i really need to answer this??:)

i sometimes get into a mindfog. i will have thirty minutes to make it somewhere and then suddenly i have to stop and relace my shoes or organize something. can't count the number of times i was late because of low fuel.

holly said...

ren, that picture is awesome!

Angela said...

MC, you're forgiven. ;)

I will say that when I don't have to get children ready, I am amazed at how easy it is to get out the door.

scarlet snow:Suzanne said...

Having lived with the "Early Nazi" for almost 13 years, I am finally on time to most events, including work. I think that being "on time" to events is the most polite way to be. It's okay to be early for work, but rude to be early for other things.

Angela said...

Yeah, being early has NEVER been a problem for me. At least I can say that!

Kristen said...

I have been super-early to things my whole life. In college I'd get to class so early that no one else was there yet. Naturally, my husband's ALWAYS late (gives similar reasons to Holly). My Early Nazi is all pent up inside. :)

holly said...

where you is on here ren??

deWeb said...

that's a great picture. the caption at the top is awesome: "email of shame!"

i try to show up early to work, mostly because i don't get anything accomplished the first ten minutes or so that i'm in the office. that way, by 9am i'm going strong.

...i also tend to stay late because i'm always mid thought when quittin' time rolls around.

congrats on your baby girl, too.


Unknown said...

1) Is being on time mission critical?

2) Does being late interfere with others in the company?

3) Does being late prevent the assigned job(s) from being done?

If the answer to these questions is "no", then requiring someone to be on time is just an exercise in control for the sake of control.