Latecomers, they are the bane of any institution. They walk in as they please, literally wile away their time doing little productive work, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. The excuses they make to escape from being pulled up, that’s a unique blend of imagination and creativity.
Ask any employee and they would have a long list of complaints about how the office work gets affected because of the tardiness of a few employees. The trouble becomes more pronounced if he/she is part of some team and their presence is mandatory for getting the work done.
The ethics of it
Once a latecomer, always a latecomer. In fact, some people take special pleasure in coming late to a function or the office. Of course, for an event like a party you can shrug off your lateness in arrival with the excuse of being fashionably late.
You know, the way some people make it habit of being consistently late, you fully comprehend the meaning of the cliché being late for your own funeral. People don’t normally make an issue out of it unless the party is being done in honor of the latecomer!
But, what about your place of work? Don’t you have a moral responsibility of being there on time to carry out your duties?
Well, with all due apologies to the perpetual latecomer, it shows a gross lack of basic good manners as well as respect for your colleagues when you are continually late to work. You tardiness naturally sends negative signals to your fellow mates.
Just imagine the condition of an educational institution if the teacher itself is late! How would the students react to it? Would the students have any respect for their teacher if the person is always coming late?
The message to the client
You have fixed an appointment with a client and you show up late for it. What message are you conveying to the prospective client about the firm you are representing? Do you think that the client would want to continue to do business with your firm where the employee doesn’t give value for time?
Being an adult, you are expected to show a lot more responsibility towards your place of work. Your employer would expect it from you. It goes without saying that punctuality and time keeping are parts of the job descriptions in any firm.
What do you do when your employee has the habit of always being late to the office as well as to any event that he expected to attend on behalf of the institution?
Would surveillance work?
Will the latecomer be more careful if he/she feels that his activities are being observed through surveillance cameras by the employer? Wouldn’t it be worth a try? There are many employers who have started using surveillance systems to monitor the latecomer.
Naturally, the recorded proof of the late coming with the exact time of entry into the office would deter the person from coming up with excuses like ‘I was only a few minutes late’ when that few minutes can mean anything from half an hour to more.
The technique was tried out in China a few years back by the citizens of the Yangzhou town in Jiangsu province. They stood watch outside the government offices of the town with cameras in hand to record the pictures of later comers to the office.
You see, the occasion was the first working day after the Spring Festival. So they wanted to see how many employees would show up for work late after the holiday season. The medicine worked like a charm in getting rid of the post holiday laziness from the workers. So, why not try it out?
Of course there are bound to be grumbles and complaints about the violation of privacy and unethical practices; but desperate occasions demand desperate remedies, right?
When word-of-mouth warnings, threat of disciplinary actions and even cutting of pay doesn’t seem to have any effects at all, you would be forced to resort to unusual methods to get your message across.
Hidden CCTV cameras could encourage the latecomer to reform himself. But, make sure that you tell the employee of your decision to use surveillance cameras to avoid future issues like complaints of breaching of privacy.
Don’t you think it’s worth a try?