It's a daily race against time

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 July, 2010, 12:00am

Baat Gwaa had dinner with a friend last night to hear her vent work frustrations. Maggie is stressed at work, and is especially annoyed with her company's unbending policy over punctuality.

She said a colleague was caught clocking in for another co-worker recently. The human resources people are now considering fingerprinting as an alternative.

'OK, we know that friends help friends out by clocking in for each other. That's wrong. But if the company's tardy policy is a three-minute grace period, you will understand why we do it,' Maggie says.

Baat Gwaa agrees the practice is unethical, but the three-minute rule could mean you risk your life rushing across the road to catch a bus or hurt yourself while running into an MTR train, or lose your job.

Running late is a common work issue, but chronically late employees can cost the company in productivity, drag down the business and morale, according to human resources professionals.

A human resources friend explains: 'An employee who is late 10 minutes a day will, by the end of the year, have taken the equivalent of a week's paid holiday. Is that fair to others who are punctual?'