I recently supervised a make-up exam. I couldn’t believe it, students were wandering in ten minutes late to an exam. Like the start time is optional. It made me start to think about the idea of civility. In the workplace, civility is a lubrication that helps us get along with each other. People who experience incivility in their workplace have been shown to experience reduced morale and performance, increased stress and lower job satisfaction.
Showing up late isn’t the end of the world. It’s a fairly mild form of incivility. However, those who are constantly late show a degree of disrespect for others in their self-centred little world. It’s like saying, “My time is more important than yours, and I’m more important than you are”. Here’s the glitch. In a world that is ever more interconnected, and ever more complex, having one person who is not on time holds everyone else back. Workplaces more and more need effective team work, not divas whom everyone sits around waiting for.
Showing up on time isn’t just about good manners. It’s also about playing well with others. So for those of you who are always late (you know who you are), stop being all about you and start to think about others. If I can be there on time, so can you.