Workplace attendance

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Many companies have an attendance policy in place, outlining the rules for working hours, attendance and for allocating human resources.

A manager’s job is to roster an appropriate number of people to do a shift. When one employee has unexpected leave, the other members of the team can be impacted. Poor attendance by a single employee may affect the morale of the entire company and can lead to a decrease in team productivity.

What is good workplace attendance

  • Be reliable: Do not take regular unplanned leave.
  • Arrive on time: Make sure you arrive at work and be work-ready by the scheduled shift start time.
  • Leave on time: Make sure you leave work at the scheduled shift end time (unless asked to do overtime).
  • Stay focused on work: Do not talk excessively or look at your phone during work hours.
  • Stay present: Remain at work during working hours (excluding breaks).
  • Be mindful: Take breaks that don’t exceed an expected length.
  • Be professional: Do not sleep at work, gossip or talk excessively, or play games on your phone.

NOTE: Having leave for doctors’ appointments or when you are sick is not bad attendance. However it is good practice to give your Manager as much notice of the leave as possible.

What is poor workplace attendance

  • Regularly arriving at work late or leaving early.
  • Not working extra to make up the time for arriving late.
  • Working fewer hours than you are rostered.
  • Having longer breaks or more frequent breaks than scheduled.
  • Spending work time on personal activities.
  • Running late all the time.
  • Working less effectively than usual because you were up late gaming and then unable to focus at work.
  • Taking a lot of unplanned leave, for example, leave that has not been pre-arranged with your manager.

Running late or leaving early

  • If you are running late for work it is good business practice to let your manager know that you are running late, and what time you will arrive.
  • It is best to ask your manager how they would like to be advised of lateness. Usually a phone call or text message is sufficient.
  • If you finish your allocated work 15 minutes before your scheduled finish time it would be appropriate to ask your manager if there was another task to do before you leave. You should never leave work early without first asking if it was okay.

End of Module Questions

  • Do you know the process for advising your manager if you are running late for work?
  • If you have finished all your work tasks 15 minutes before your scheduled time to leave, do you think it would be appropriate to leave work without telling your manager?
  • What are some strategies you could use to ensure you arrive at work on time?

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