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Better Late Than Never to Make Being on Time a Priority

Business Etiquette

May 29, 2018

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date…

Being punctual is important in most jobs.  Whether we work for ourselves or someone else, out in the field or in an office, with clients or alone – most of us work by the clock.  And that clock keeps on ticking regardless of lost keys, telephone calls, spilled drinks, traffic jams, and all the other things that cause unexpected delays.

Tardiness is difficult in all businesses, but it is especially difficult in the call center industry.  We schedule our team members to be available when our clients’ call traffic picks up.  The calls come in whether an agent is ready to answer or not.  If someone isn’t there, the calls over-ring, or wait on hold too long. Clients become upset. Those clients pay us to answer their phone – it’s their business!  We all recognize that. So why are we late?

Some people are never late. Others, chronically so. How do we break the pattern?

If you routinely walk in the door between one and five minutes late – it’s likely a choice, according to psychologists. It may be part of your personality.  Are you rebellious?  Resistant to authority?  If this sounds like your problem, you may want to talk to a behavioral professional.

Most of us, however, have a different problem altogether. We are simply poor time planners.  We always think a task will take less time than it really does.  Even if we’ve calculated exactly how long it takes on a normal day to get from home to work, we don’t consider that not all days are normal.  We all know we SHOULD leave extra time to get where we need to be, but most of us don’t.  On a normal day, we slide right into our seat and begin taking calls.  When the day isn’t normal, we begin our day (and that of our co-workers) rushed, frustrated, and unhappy.

A relatively easy “fix” is to simply add five minutes to the time it takes to get where you’re going and walk out the door on time. Allow no last-minute task to stop you.

Why is being on time so important?  Other than being responsible about the commitments you’ve made, you are creating your reputation. If you want people to trust you, and to feel they can rely on you, then keeping your word and being on time is crucial, and impacts all working relationships.  Not only do your supervisors notice, but your co-workers do, as well. Whenever you’re late they have to work harder to cover your absence.

Being on time is very much appreciated by everyone with whom you interact.  With so many great reasons for being on time – why would you ever choose to be chronically late?