If you're a night owl who has trouble getting to the office on time in the a.m., you may be in the doghouse with your employer. They've heard all the excuses.
These are real:
"¢ "My dog ate my car keys."
"¢ "Geese chased me on my way to the car."
"¢ "I super-glued my eye thinking it was contact solution."
"¢ "I was stuck in the elevator with a kid who pushed all the buttons for all the floors."
Most CFOs expect workers to arrive on time so others can rely on them, according to a recent Accountemps survey.
About 43 percent really don't like employees rolling in after starting time. One in 10 said they'd put up with tardiness if the work's getting done. About 47 percent said coming in late on occasion isn't bad, so long as it doesn't become a habit.
As Michael Steinitz, executive director at Accountemps, put it: "Perception is reality. Right or wrong, showing up to work late can cause people to question your commitment."
Think you can slip in unnoticed? You are probably wrong, said Jeanie Sharp, regional manager for Robert Half staffing agency. "They know the folks who are slipping in the back door. They think they're being discreet, but managers are paying attention to the time employees arrive at work," Sharp said. "They may have chosen to speak with you or they may not have, but managers are noticing, and, frankly, what we're hearing from employers is it's disruptive to their teams."
Shuffling in late can upend your career, even if you take calls during your off hours and stay late some nights, said Sharp, who arrives at work at 7:30 for an 8 a.m. start.
"The proper business etiquette is to arrive on time, if not earlier than you're supposed to start," she said. "Arriving late can come across as carelessness or laziness, and that's never a perception an employee will want to give to their employer. It doesn't reflect well."
If reading this article makes you late for work today, you are not alone. About 58 percent of workers said they are tardy occasionally - and 7 percent said they're late every day.
The tardiest demographic is workers between 18 and 34 - only 23 percent said they are never late to work. About 36 percent of workers 35 to 54 said they always arrive on time. Even among the most punctual group - those 55 and older - almost half admit they sometimes dawdle.
Sleepyheads, take heart, though. Sharp said she's seeing more flexible work arrangements happening - flextime, telecommuting, even job sharing.
And, she said, it's perfectly acceptable to ask about hours before you sign on at your next company.