When you can text or email a colleague and let her know you’re running late, it’s easy to push back meetings. This ability to quickly communicate is helpful when you’re unavoidably detained, but overusing it has costs. One study found that staff lateness costs the UK economy £9 billion per year.
There’s something to be said for old-fashioned punctuality. Sixty years ago, it was important to keep commitments because there was less opportunity to reschedule on the fly. But even in this era of always-on technologies, being on time is important. It keeps you focused. It conveys to others that you’re reliable. And it shows respect for the people who don’t have to waste their time waiting on you.
Adapted from “Old-School Business Practices Worth Bringing Back,” by John Coleman.