How to deal with a co-worker who is always late?

Do you have the ‘Little Miss Late’ or the ‘Mr. Never on Time’ kind of personalities around you at workplace? You may have experienced times wherein you find yourself to be the only one punctual for the presentation, and we agree it is really frustrating at a point. But can we do something about how to deal with a co-worker who is always late? Maybe, we can.

Late at Workplace

Before we dig into that, let’s get one thing clear. It is not really mandatory to be present at the exact tick of the clock. Sometimes there are certain genuine reasons for getting late. At times it is okay to be late for five, ten, maybe even fifteen minutes. But thirty minutes to half an hour, and that too regularly? Now that is something which cannot be tolerated by an employer or any co-worker. We say it is even acceptable if the concerned person calls up to inform about the same, so that you can plan things accordingly. But for the people for whom running late is a regular habit, they surely need a dose, directly or indirectly.

How to deal with a co-worker who is always late? Use this 2-Step Formula

Follow the Minutes

Most of the meetings or presentations have a pre-decided time slot, according to which all the members plan out their whole day. Now, for just 1 person why should others suffer? Why should 10 people reschedule their day because one person has the habit of arriving? No. They should not, and you should not.

End the presentation or meeting at the pre-decided time and let the late-comer know that the minutes of the meeting suffer due to him. Also, this brings us to our next point, the start of the meet.

Kick-start the Meet (Presentation)

When you are brain-storming about how to deal with a co-worker who is always late, remember one crucial thing that each minute counts at work. Every delayed minute means extra minutes after the work-hours end officially. So it is not even advisable to make 10 other people work for extra hours just because one person does not show up on time.

Start the meeting and let that message pass in a subtle way that the meeting is not dependent on his presence. The workplace does not spin around him, and he is a valuable part of the company, not someone the company cannot work without. Yes, there can be times when his presence is vital to discuss important issues but you can at least kick-start with other discussions until the time he arrives.

When that person notices that the meeting can begin without him, he will expectedly feel left—out from important discussions and make better efforts to reach on time.

Late-comers need a Check

We talked about meetings and presentations above. While for co-workers who are always late (and if that affects your work!) you have some other options like-

  • Politely ask them to reach on time a day before if you have to work together the next day
  • Talk it out with them if they are facing any issues (or being late is just imbibed in them!)
  • Let the HR know about the fact that their late arrival affects your work (if it does!), and you have to toil for extra hours due to that (when you work together). Ask them to look into the matter and possibly help to solve it.
  • Don’t dig into his attendance issues yourself if you are not the one in-charge of it.

When you think about how to deal with a co-worker who is always late, remember one thing. Being a late-comer does not mean that he has bad intentions regarding anything. Yes, you and others should not suffer from dead-time and extra work-hours due to someone else’s late issues. Certainly, he should respect the time and efforts of others. But you from your side should understand that he might be juggling with time-management and personal issues also.

Observe and decide if he needs your help, or a reality check!

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