Survey: Recession Compels More Workers to Punch In on Time

CareerBuilder releases the results of a new survey of more than 2,400 employers and 3,900 employees that indicates more workers are getting to work on time because of the recession.

Does the fear of losing your job have anything to do with you getting to work on time more these days?

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, there is a direct correlation between the beginning of the recession and workers getting to work on time. The CareerBuilder survey showed that 15 percent of workers said they arrive late to work once a week or more, down from 16 percent in 2009 and 20 percent in 2008.

The CareerBuilder survey was conducted nationally among 2,482 U.S. employers and 3,910 U.S. employees between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2010. The survey was conducted across a variety of disciplines, including IT.

Workers shared a variety of reasons for being tardy, with the top excuse being traffic-related (30 percent), followed by lack of sleep (19 percent), CareerBuilder said. Nine percent blamed the bad weather for their tardiness, while eight percent indicated a delay in getting their kids to daycare or school. Other common reasons included public transportation, wardrobe issues or dealing with pets.

"Whether it is a result of fear associated with the economy or just a shift in attitude, workers over the last few years are doing a better job of managing their schedules and getting into the office at the designated time," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in a statement. "While workers will sometimes be late due to circumstances out of their control, they need to be aware of their companies' tardiness policies. Regardless of the reason, workers who are running late should always be honest with their managers."

While some employers are more lenient with worker tardiness, others have stricter policies. One-third (32 percent) of employers said they have terminated an employee for being late.

CareerBuilder cited several examples of excuses workers used to explain their lateness. Among the more interesting excuses cited in the survey was an employee claimed there was a delay with public transportation and produced a note signed by "The Bus Driver."