WORKPLACE / DEC. 28, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Respond to Your Boss About Being Late

From time to time, you will find yourself being unable to make it to the office in good time. Lateness could be through no fault of your own, for instance bad weather or heavy traffic. It can also be an embarrassing occurrence, especially if you just happened to oversleep because you failed to hear the alarm. However, do not give your boss or superior fodder for gossip by weaving elaborate excuses for being late.

 

Call Your Boss Immediately

Once you realize you are running late, make sure you promptly inform your colleagues and your boss about the situation. Give them an estimate of how long you expect to take to reach work and offer a quick, initial apology. Effective communication in this manner is important because it demonstrates that you are a concerned employee and you understand how much is at stake in your absence.

Accept Responsibility

No matter what held you up, even if it’s through no fault of your own, do not assign blame. Own up and be accountable for your lateness. Such an approach defuses potential fallout between yourself and your boss. A sincere acceptance of responsibility together with an apology is taken as a sign of your confidence and maturity, and even though your boss may be upset, they will respect you for these traits.

Avoid Excuses and Be Honest

Honesty is always the best policy. Don’t undermine your boss’s intelligence by making up elaborate excuses for your lateness, simply tell the truth.

Proceed with your Tasks Immediately

Being late delays the progress of work at the office. Prove to your boss that you are serious about your duties by getting to work immediately after speaking to them. If you have walked into an ongoing meeting, try as much as possible to avoid interrupting proceedings or drawing too much attention to yourself and follow through as best as you can. Non-verbal cues like these demonstrate your capability to engage with assignments even when pressed for time. 

Offer a Solution

You should find a way to make up for the time lost because of your late arrival. Do not be afraid to approach your boss to discuss the matter further. Take this opportunity to demonstrate respect for time by making an appointment to see them. Most managers are open and are willing to help you find a way through any problem you could be experiencing. Furthermore, your supervisor will appreciate the initiative you are taking to remedy the situation.

Lateness is an impediment to production in your work environment and shows a lack of respect for time. Occasionally, you’ll find yourself situations where you’re unable to avoid being late. However, try your best to avoid a routine that lends itself towards tardiness and instill a sense of self-discipline. Sometimes lateness is an indicator to personal issues or work-related concerns such as heavy workload. Talking to your manager could help you seek ways through which you can better manage time and the office work in order to meet personal objectives and your boss’s goals.

 

Image source: Wikihow

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