How to write an apology note for late arrival at a meeting

When good manners and etiquette are discussed, being on time for any appointment or meeting is duly emphasized. The same is true in a professional setting

Every workplace, largely, has set working hours where we are supposed to report by a certain time. Being late is frowned upon and is liable to have consequences.

In a survey, a majority of employers (60%) said they expected employees to be on time every day, and 43% had fired someone for being late, up from 41% the previous year.

But there are times when you cannot manage to be on time for work or a meeting despite all efforts.

How to word a late arrival apology note

What one can do is write an apology letter to the manager for being late. Writing an apology letter is an effective way to show you’re sincerely sorry for missing work. And the effort taken to apologize for it will work in your favor.

Moreover, it is the right professional attitude and will be noted as such.

For people who make a practice of arriving late, it is doubly important to immediately shoot out a letter specifying the reasons for being tardy and emphasize that you would try your best not to repeat the mistake. In addition, mention that you would compensate for the delay by putting in some extra hours, or offer to take up more tasks.

Remember not to give the same old trite reasons for being late, including getting up late as the alarm did not go off, or my pet needed to be taken to the vet immediately. 

Apology notes are helpful and appreciated when arriving late in meetings.

Address the tardiness immediately

Write the note of apology as soon as possible. Keep your tone professional while accepting responsibility for your tardiness. But do not be over-apologetic or self-abasing.

The letter or note of apology

Come straight to the point and start with I want to apologize or am extremely sorry for being late today. After that come straight to the reason for being late.

Acknowledge that the infraction might have caused huge inconveniences for the team and even resulted in some consequences for the business.

Accept your fault for being late and show regret and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation.

After that, be conciliatory and offer to compensate with some extra effort.

Sample Apology Letter to an Employer for Tardiness

Dear Tom/Jane

Please accept my most profound apology for showing up a half-hour late for the presentation with Delta Corp this morning. It was very unprofessional on my part.

I left for work with ample time to spare. I left home at 8 a.m. for the 10 a.m. meeting. Unfortunately, there was a major accident on Highway 32 on the way to the office, which resulted in a massive traffic jam. I parked my car at a retail outlet and backtracked on foot, and caught a taxi to work. All this took a lot of time.

I assure you that I will take all necessary measures to ensure that such an event does not re-occur. Again, I deeply regret putting you in this situation.

I have emailed Mr. X at Delta Corp and apologized for my late arrival. I have offered to make a detailed presentation at his convenience if desired.

Once again, accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused all around.

Yours sincerely,


Here’s a tip: While you can hand-deliver your note of apology, it is easier to send it by email. Be sure to write a clear subject line of “A note of apology” or “Apology for arriving late”. Do not use emojis or fancy fonts. Be straight and to the point.

Anna Verasai

Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

Recent Posts

Gender Pronouns in the Workplace: I See You

One of the most courageous stories in recent times is of the CEO of Swedish…

6 hours ago

BIG MYTH: Workers Aren’t Quitting Over Values

The bond between worker bees and corporate hive remains as sticky and sweet as ever.

1 day ago

The Science of Small Talk—Why Small Talk Has Big Impact

Employees with professional small talk skills get to connect with different people and share thoughts…

3 days ago

3 Insane Workplace Horror Stories, As Told By Real Women

If you’ve ever watched a horror movie, you can imagine what it feels like to…

4 days ago

Boomerang Employees: A Homecoming At The Workplace

Boomerang employee statistics also show that the average time between the exit and return of…

4 days ago

Burnout in Upper Management: Where’s The Exist, Ask C-Suite Executives

The Great Resignation showed the world that people are no longer willing to put up…

5 days ago

Why Employee Engagement Is About More Than Just Metrics

Without people success, there simply is no business success. Lattice is the complete people success…

1 week ago

Deloitte Survey Highlights Impact of LGBTQ Inclusion in the Workplace

Visible use of pronouns, employee resource groups (ERGs), and having allies support LGBTQ networks, made…

1 week ago

5 Ways the Emotion Wheel Can Help You Navigate Stressful Work Situations

Turn your emotion wheel around in a subtle manner while understanding and navigating your feelings…

1 week ago