While everyone is late here and there, when folks are consistently late it creates an annoyance.
And while some like to say being late is part of their DNA, that is not the case.
David Brudö set up a mental well-being and self development app, Remente, which connects phones to playing a big part in people’s tardiness.
“The short answer is that, no, there is nothing in our DNA that makes us consistently late, but it is rather habitual,” he shared UNILAD.
David also cited a study of 2,000 adults in the UK, which discovered that a quarter of those surveyed admitted to making excuses for being late “regularly” but felt guilty after being about nine minutes late.
It was also found that 20 minutes is the threshold people could reach before becoming annoyed at someone’s tardiness.
He continued, saying:
“The fact that we are also constantly plugged into our work emails and available to take work-related calls can also cause us to run late to meet with friends or reschedule. The same study found that seven per cent of people will be late to a social event because they were being held up at work. That said, being punctual is a very important trait as always being late, both to social and work events, can lead to missed opportunities, cause a rise in stress, guilt and anxiety, and it might even damage your reputation. A recent study by jobs.ie found that 46 per cent of employees feel resentful toward their persistently late colleagues.”
While it is not surprising that people become consistently frustrated with their colleagues’ lack of punctuality but one expert says it comes down to the particular culture which determines how we view lateness.
Editor in diadactics at Babbel, Ted Mentele, shared with UNILAD:
“Running late is certainly not in our DNA, but different cultures do look at tardiness in a number of ways. For example, being one minute behind schedule in Japan is considered late and, true to the stereotype, Germans prefer it if you are 10 minutes early to a meeting. Conversely, in countries like Morocco and Saudi Arabia, running as much as 30 minutes late is still considered extremely timely. In multicultural cities, such as London, these differing attitudes all come together, meaning that in the same workplace some people could be 10 minutes early, and others might be almost an hour late. While timeliness and tardiness are not in our genetic make-up, each person’s definition of punctuality is certainly defined by cultural norms and behaviours typically seen in the country that they have grown up in.”
One psychologist has shared that for most people, it is not an intention to be late but actually a fear of being early that motivates their tardiness, which could stem from a person valuing their own time higher than others.
But writing in Well Doing, Phillipa Perry, shared the opposite could also be true, citing the lateness could actually be the result of someone believing their presence was so insignificant to others that if wouldn’t matter.