Since starting work at Bourke Accounting on September 30th, I have never arrived late. I am a grownup and know how both punctuality and alarms operate. I don’t know the repercussions for lateness (I could read the Bourke handbook, but I like surprises), and unless something catastrophic occurs, my perfect record will remain and I will have no need to know about repercussions.

Not everyone is like your humble narrator (here, I’ll help you pat me on the back). For example, when I was working HR, there was an employee who only managed to arrive on time about once a week – she was so proud of herself when she did. She had an astounding array of excuses: flat tire (no receipt), doctor appointment (no note), many bats flying around inside her house (um), etc., etc. When she was finally given a one-day suspension, she flipped out. Although I had copies of every warning issued to her, along with the company’s attendance policy, she still felt that I was somehow persecuting her. Our boss had allowed her to slide so often, that she felt that she was above the rules.

According to, a YouGov poll reported that “one in five Americans (19%) arrive late for work at least once a week while just under half (48%) are never late.” That’s a pretty sad statistic. In addition, “businesses lose over $84 billion each year to absenteeism” ( This is due, of course, to the fact that absent workers are rarely productive. Also, other workers are forced to take up the slack. Finally, if management isn’t consistent regarding consequences, morale could be seriously damaged or workers may conclude that promptness isn’t a priority.

Some articles I’ve read suggest that, if an employee is consistently late because of something like a conflict with daycare, the employer should contemplate changing the employee’s schedule ( I don’t believe that to be a viable option. When an employee is interviewed, work hours are discussed; it is the employee’s responsibility to mention the issue at that time, not after being late for the 10th time in a month. I’m not saying that accommodations should never be made, I’m just saying that an employee should be truthful from the beginning about what is required.

Although some employees show up late because of naughty, nighttime habits or just out of plain laziness, there’s an additional reason that’s fairly depressing. According to, “if [the employee] feels undervalued and underappreciated…do not be surprised when he submits a letter of resignation.” Oddly, this becomes more prevalent if your employee “belongs to your creative department.” Apparently, we sensitive types are, well, sensitive. Again, I’m not saying that a business should bend over backwards to accommodate a temperamental artist (feel free to do that for me, Bill), but when a worker expresses concerns about something, perhaps you should give said worker a forum to talk it out.

Working is an evil necessity. In my opinion, if you’re being paid to come to work, you should show up at the time that was agreed upon. I might be a bit liberal, but I also have a sense of fair play.

Bourke Accounting specialists won’t deride you for arriving late to your appointment; however, they’d appreciate it if you were punctual – it keeps the schedule intact. If you find yourself consistently showing up late for work, though, you might want to analyze the reasons behind it. Bourke Accounting isn’t an employment agency, but our reps might be able to help you to stack up your money if you’re thinking of a job change. Taking the plunge might be difficult, but with Bourke Accounting on your side, you might find it well worth it.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at See you soon!

Written by Sue H.