If you show up 10 minutes late for work, but stay an extra 20 minutes at the end of the day, that’s a net of +10 minutes extra that you put into your day. You should be applauded for working overtime, right?
Maybe, but that probably won’t happen. Because at 8:30 a.m., when all the workers are at their desks ready to start the day, yours is noticeably empty. And trust me, people notice.
The simple act of getting to the office and being ready to work when the day starts shows your office that you are a team player. At the very least, being on time will help you avoid the devastating perceptions that come with habitual tardiness. In the age of Blackberries and iPhones, we can all send emails from bed at 11 p.m. But true commitment starts with being ready to work when it’s time to work.
Think about it: If you were the manager of a gym that opened at 6 a.m., do you think your customers will give you a pass when you open at 6:05? Do you think the prospective clients in California will enjoy listening to the background music while you are five minutes late for your conference call?
It’s no different in whatever job you have. Be on time. It’s an easy way to start your day right.
Mark Harris is the Assistant Director of Athletic Development at Northeastern University.