Is there a person in your office who seems unable to get to meetings on time? And are you forced to sit around waiting?

It’s actually a pretty common phenomenon. Every office seems to have a couple people who are chronically late for meetings. It can be frustrating for the people who are on time – especially if it causes the meeting to run late. When meetings run long, it can have a damaging effect on other peoples’ schedules (and mood).

And chronic tardiness can be catching! If you arrive at a meeting on time and see that not everyone is there, it’s tempting to leave again to go get coffee or make a quick phone call. And if one or two people in the office are always late, you might start to think, “Well, there’s no reason for me to be on time. I know that the meeting will start late.” And so the problem grows!

So what’s to be done? Well according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it depends on the reason why these people are chronically-late:

  • They have bad time-management skills – Start the meeting on time and don’t fill the late people in on what they missed when they arrive. I know this sounds a little harsh, but hopefully they’ll get the message and arrive on time in the future.
  • They enjoy making a dramatic entrance – Tell the people that their tardiness is making them look bad, and damaging morale.
  • They are overworked/overbooked – Help these people out! Make sure that you allow at least 15 minutes between meetings.


Shellenbarger, S. (2015, July 7). Don’t be the office schedule-wrecker. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from