Why you should never be late for a meeting

Think back to the last time you went to a meeting – did you arrive early, were you bang on time, or did you slope in slightly late?

It may come as a surprise to learn that a massive 81% of meetings start late, according to a recent survey! Even though it appears to be the norm, this doesn’t make it right.

Although on occasion you may have a genuine reason for arriving late to a meeting or an appointment, if it becomes the norm simply due to poor time-keeping, it’s time to nip this bad habit in the bud. There are plenty of reasons why lateness shouldn’t be tolerated.

Late to work

© Innovated Captures / Adobe Stock

Bad manners
First and foremost, it’s impolite. Being late gives the impression that you think your time is more important than anyone else’s. Even if you’re the manager, this shouldn’t be the case. In fact, it can be worse if you’re the boss, as it will demoralise employees and it could even make business partners wonder if you’re the type of person they want to work with.

Secondly, you won’t feel at your best if you arrive late – you may have missed something, you’re likely to feel uncomfortable if other attendees give you a resentful look, you might start wondering if it was a good idea to stop for that extra coffee before you left home, or whether your time-keeping will go against you in furthering your career. Rushing in late and ruffled will make it difficult for you to focus on the meeting itself and you may feel distracted.

If you’re a manager or the person chairing the meeting and you arrive late, you’re wasting other people’s time. The people you supervise are depending on you, so they can carry out their duties – but it works both ways. You depend on them to perform successfully and you should be someone they can look up to, not someone who has a bad reputation for not turning up on time.

Bad for business
Being late could have a detrimental effect on your company’s culture. Continual lateness will start to seem like the norm and this isn’t the kind of precedent you wish to set. If staff think every meeting is likely to start late, they may think it’s not worth showing up on time and they won’t worry if they’re a few minutes late – and thus, it turns into a vicious circle. Make sure everyone knows when the meeting will start and begin on time, whether everyone is there or not.

Incidentally, today’s technology means you need never be late, as you can set your calendar or your mobile phone or your watch with a reminder of scheduled meeting times. You can get your gadgets to notify you when you need to leave, to make sure you arrive on time. Your car’s GPS will tell you how long it takes to reach your meeting destination and you can also find out how bad the traffic will be on your chosen route, so there are no excuses!

Make punctuality a priority
It’s better to arrive early than late, as mobile technology means you won’t be wasting your time. Instead of staying in your office to finish off that final task, put your laptop or mobile device in your briefcase, arrive at your venue safely and then finish your task while you wait for the meeting to start.

Commit to being on time by scheduling properly and planning your diary appropriately. Make punctuality a priority by creating a realistic schedule and this will benefit you and those around you. This will create a happier, more efficient workplace and you will enjoy a reputation for reliability.

No need to run around like a headless chicken! &Meetings specialises in strategically placed meeting rooms in London that are equipped with all the essentials.



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