The importance of turning up to work on time

Turning up to work on time is generally seen as professional in most work environments. Often, starting and finishing times are enshrined in your contract of employment. I remember my fascination as a child in watching people on the television clock in and out. I remember asking about it and my parents saying that boss needed a way to tell his employees were in work on time and also that they did not leave early.

I have worked in environments such as advice agencies where members of the public expected a service at certain times of day. If you did not turn up on time, you really were letting your clients down as well as your employer. Your time and attendance records were one way of assessing whether you were professional or not.

However, I have also worked in environments doing management, promotional and administrative roles where I really did question why there could not be more flexibility in working hours. We presumably all have our own individual body clocks so in some roles, I feel it would be better to work to those to enhance employee morale.

I was relatively OK at managing the 9-5 routine until I became a parent. Then it became more challenging. Although the 9-5 may be OK with most nursery hours, it certainly bears little relation to school hours never mind all the events your child would like you to be at such as the Nativity Play and Sports Day.

I think the challenges of trying to be all things to all people leads to many mums giving up work, freelancing or going part-time. Juggling it all can mean that time and attendance goes badly wrong leading to stress for the employee and potentially adverse impacts on the business and its stakeholders.

Although there will always be people who want to play the system and get away with things, I really did want to do the best by my employers. When I realised I could no longer do that due to the demands of parenting and caring, I became a stay at home mum and then a blogger. We don’t have to clock in as bloggers although ironically lots of us end up working harder than we ever have and longer hours too. Having said that, they are the hours we choose so there is more flexibility when the school holidays arrive or little Daniel is poorly and needs a duvet day.

Are you good at turning up to work on time?

Did you find this more challenging when you became a parent?

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • Lauren @ Inspire Create Educate

    I found turning up to work on time difficult only when I was pushed to work earlier shifts than I’d previously agreed. When it became clear that my job was no longer compatible with family life I left and became a blogger!

    I have a schedule written down and still “turn up” on time, so to speak. Although I seem to be procrastinating a bit this morning. I am *usually* very disciplined!

  • Crummy Mummy

    I went freelance when I became a mum so have never been employed & tied to set hours…that said I always find it so hard to get everything done within nursery & school hours #twinklytuesday

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