17:11 20 May 2009
Lateness costs British businesses 1.8 billion every year, a new report has revealed.
The average worker turns up for work three minutes late at least twice a week. But over a year, each employee is 4.6 hours late - which equates to a collective 135,240,000 late hours for the 29.4million people working in the UK.
The average wage now 13.90 per hour, meaning that workers waste a total of almost 2 billion every year.
The poll of 3,000 employees, conducted by OnePoll.com also revealed 51% of Brits blame bad traffic for their bad time keeping.
A further 19% regularly sleep through their alarm, or fall back asleep after pressing the snooze button.
12% of people polled blame a late night out for their slow motion the following day, whilst one in 20 people miss the bus or train.
Other excuses include a bad drop off at school or nursery with the children, a hangover, and chatting to friends on the way to work.
A spokesman for OnePoll said: ''Most bosses wouldn't bat an eyelid at employees being three minutes late every now and again; it would seem almost petty to mention it.
''But when you look at the bigger picture and the amount of money businesses are losing collectively due to sloppy time-keeping it suddenly becomes a big deal.''
After turning up to work late, the average employer won't actually start work for a further 14 minutes.
Four out of 10 Brits make eating breakfast their first priority once at work, after leaving home on an empty stomach.
A quarter of workers go straight to the kettle to make a tea or coffee, whilst 21% say the first thing they do when they get into the office is have a good old natter with work colleagues.
One in 10 employers immediately log onto the internet to do a bit of window shopping, and 25% check their personal emails.
A OnePoll spokesman added: ''Three minutes late for work can be excused, but having such a relaxed attitude when finally making it into the office can't.
''In the current economic climate you would think people would be doing everything they could to make sure their jobs were safe, but there is definitely a 'take it for granted' attitude.
''I'm sure most businesses wouldn't take kindly to learn the staff are more interested in consuming breakfast and coffee than knuckling down to work.''
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