Work Hour Tardiness

Dear HR Community

I’m starting to have a tardiness issue in my company.

We follow staggered working hours wherein employees can come to the office anytime from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM and then leave accordingly after rendering 8 hours of work (minus lunch break).

Most employees follow this but there are always the violators.

I see 2 types of employees who are violating this now:

  1. Those who come in earlier than we have set and leave earlier as well — i.e., come in at 8:00 AM and leave at 5:00 PM.
  2. Those who do not complete the required 8 hours of work — i.e. come in at 9:30 AM and leave at 6:00 PM.

I don’t have much concerns for group 1 as they have served the 8 hours of work.

In fact, I am thinking of implementing more flexible staggered working hours (start anytime from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM); but I’m more worried about implementing sanctions for group 2 as most of those in this support emergency work or have meetings with counterparts at night as well.

How do you deal with this situation?

We are a manufacturer of IT products.

Thank you in advance for your views and comments.


Should the company implement more flexible staggered working hours?

Yes: 75.00%

No: 5.00%

Perhaps: 15.00%

Not Sure: 5.00%


You need to prioritize. Are fulfillment of the 8 hours more important or ensuring deliverables are met regardless of hours worked? You mentioned some people have late-night cross-regional calls. Do these hours factor into your 8 hours a day and if exceeded, how do you compensate them for the additional if you’re insisting on the 8 hours? From personal experience, when we implement mandatory hours a day, productivity falls because employees feel the company is calculating and they reciprocate by doing just the 8 hours and no further. – Diona

This is Yang. You may consider 7:30 to 9:30 or whatever flexible working time that suits your business operations. As for group 2 staff, you may consider any work beyond 8 hours per day, The Company has to pay OT for the eligible employees as per MOM guidelines. As for employees not eligible for OT, the company may provide time off or compensatory leave to consume within the period of time defined by the company.

Try not to be too rigid and start by having an all-hands meeting on work schedules, so you can discuss the importance of customer service and team meetings availability. A facilitated discussion here can help you develop a consensus approach that everyone will adopt and support. – Tom

IT Companies Staff usually keep odd hours, and can’t be too “picky” as long as they do their things and fulfill the KPIs given. Otherwise, staff will feel that you are picking on them. Especially with Millenial Gen Staff? need some more flexibility…some will abuse, and put them in their space…the rest will appreciate Robin

Hi Chris, As you said group 2 most are supports emergency work or has meetings with counterparts at night… this group work task is the responsibility, and cannot just be fixed following 8hrs working hours.. – Fyn

Staggering hours from 7.30 am to 9.30 am is a good suggestion to allow employees the flexibility to juggle work and personal life. Employers can add a condition that the staggered hours are subject to the nature of the employee’s work and the manager’s approval. So, in essence, if an employee’s job requires him to work longer hours in the evening because of overseas clients, etc. he may not qualify to start work at 7.30 a.m. and must seek prior approval from his manager before doing so. – CLA

Additional Comments

Dealing with tardiness issues in your company can be challenging, especially when you have different groups of employees with varying work patterns. It’s important to strike a balance between maintaining discipline and accommodating the needs of your employees. Here are some steps you can take to address the situation:

Review Company Policies:
Start by reviewing your company’s existing policies on working hours, attendance, and punctuality. Ensure that these policies are clear and well-communicated to all employees. If needed, update the policies to reflect any changes or new guidelines you plan to implement.

Flexible Working Hours:
Consider implementing a more flexible working hour policy as you mentioned for group 1. Allowing employees to start anytime between 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM can help accommodate different schedules and preferences. Make sure to communicate this change clearly to all employees.

Set Clear Expectations:
Clearly communicate your expectations regarding working hours and the completion of an 8-hour workday. Emphasize the importance of fulfilling work requirements and meeting deadlines. Ensure employees understand that arriving late and leaving early without completing their work is not acceptable.

Monitoring and Reporting:
Implement a system for tracking employee hours. This could be done through time-tracking software or manual reporting. Encourage employees to report their working hours accurately and promptly. This can help identify patterns of tardiness.

Performance Reviews:
During performance reviews, discuss punctuality and adherence to working hours with employees. Recognize and reward those who consistently meet their work requirements and contribute positively to the team.

Provide Support:
For employees in group 2 who may have legitimate reasons for arriving late or leaving early, offer support and flexibility when possible. This could include allowing them to make up the missed hours or providing alternative work arrangements, such as remote work or adjusted schedules.

Address Violations:
For employees in group 2 who repeatedly fail to meet their work requirements without valid reasons, you may need to take corrective actions. This could involve issuing warnings, implementing probationary periods, or, as a last resort, initiating the termination process. Ensure that your actions are in line with your company’s HR policies and local labor laws.

Open Communication:
Maintain open lines of communication with your employees. Encourage them to discuss any challenges they face in meeting their work requirements. Be receptive to feedback and be willing to make reasonable accommodations when necessary.

Training and Development:
Offer training and development opportunities to help employees improve time management and productivity skills. This can be particularly beneficial for those struggling to complete their work within the allotted hours.

Lead by Example:
As a leader, set a positive example by consistently adhering to the company’s policies and working hours. Your behavior can influence the workplace culture and the commitment of your employees.

Remember that addressing tardiness issues requires a balanced approach that takes into account the unique needs and circumstances of your employees. By setting clear expectations, offering flexibility where appropriate, and addressing violations fairly, you can work towards resolving the issue and promoting a more productive and harmonious work environment.

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