Employers Share Top Ten Most Outrageous Excuses Workers Gave for Arriving Late to Work in New CareerBuilder Survey

Jun 14, 2010, 03:00 ET from Career Builder, Inc.

LONDON, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- In today's tough economic climate, where productivity and resources are being closely scrutinized, employers are taking more notice of punctuality. Thirty-nine per cent of business leaders in the UK reported they are paying more attention to what time workers arrive than they had in healthier economic cycles. Fifteen per cent of employers said they would terminate an employee who was late two or three times while 12 per cent would terminate the employee for being tardy four or five times. The study was conducted from 29 April to 7 May 2010 on behalf of CareerBuilder.co.uk and included more than 100 UK business leaders across industries.

While employers would prefer workers to clock in at their designated start time, many are willing to afford workers with some flexibility. Forty-six per cent of UK employers said they didn't care if their employees are running late as long as their work is completed on time with good quality.

When asked to share the most unusual excuses workers gave to explain their late arrivals, European employers offered the following real-life examples:

  • Employee said there was a bank robbery in front of his house.
  • Employee was delayed by volcanic ash.
  • Employee was concerned about an impending comet impact.
  • Employee reported that a horse jumped over a hedge straight on top of her car.
  • Employee's cat was stuck in the cat flap.
  • Employee's house was on fire.
  • Employee's car was blocked in by a stolen car and the police were taking fingerprints.
  • Employee had difficulty adjusting to the climate change from winter to summer.
  • Employee said someone moved his teeth.
  • Employee said, "I always leave at the same time. Sometimes I'm late, sometimes I'm not. I can't figure it out."

"Arriving late can impact perceptions of your professionalism and reliability not only in the eyes of your employer, but in the eyes of your co-workers who may have to pick up the slack," said Tony Roy, Managing Director for CareerBuilder UK. "Getting organized and preparing for the upcoming day the night before can help to improve punctuality and make the commute less hectic."

Three Tips for Getting to Work on Time

  1. Plan ahead. Set everything you need to get out the door in one place the night before. If you drive to work, make sure you have a full tank of gas.
  2. Limit distractions. Turn off the TV or computer. Save phone calls for the commute.
  3. Consider an alternate work arrangement. Telecommuting enables you to start your work day right away.

Survey Methodology

An online survey of more than 500 business leaders in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden was conducted in a range of organizations between 29 April and 7 May. Business leaders included C-level executives, directors and senior managers with recruitment responsibilities. The survey was conducted online by Shape the Future, a market research agency based near London which specialises in high speed online research.

The total sample size in the UK was 106, giving a margin of error of 9.52 per cent at 95 per cent confidence. The survey was conducted strictly according to the code of conduct of the UK's Market Research Society.

About CareerBuilder.co.uk

CareerBuilder UK is one of the most visited online jobs sites in the United Kingdom. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MFST), CareerBuilder.co.uk powers the career centres for hundreds of UK sites that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. For more information about CareerBuilder products and services, visit http://www.careerbuilder.co.uk.

Media Contact:

Laura Gillen

LEWIS Public Relations

+ 44 (0)20 7802 2626


SOURCE Career Builder, Inc.

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