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What should we do about co-worker’s chronic tardiness?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “In our four-person office, one employee is habitually late every morning. The rest of us work a full eight hours, so we are tired of her tardiness. Otherwise, we all get along fine. Our boss doesn't see us arrive, so he has no clue that she is always late. We believe she is taking advantage of this situation. What should we do?”  —Punctual Co-workers

Answer:  Your tardy colleague may have no idea that you’re upset, so give her a chance to change her ways.  All three of you should meet with her and provide feedback in a calm, straightforward manner.  

For example: “Your coming in late every day doesn’t seem fair to the rest of us.  However, we wanted to talk with you directly instead of going to the manager.  We would really appreciate it if you could be here at 8:30 like everyone else.  Is that possible?"

If she becomes angry or defensive, simply change the subject.  Having given her fair warning, you can always go to your boss if the problem continues.

If you have issues with a colleague, you may find helpful tips at The Best Way to Complain About Co-workers.

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