Being late is fine with employers, thanks to smart technology

SEATTLE and LONDON – June 25, 2012 – The majority of global employers don’t mind when employees show up late for work, according to new research by Mozy®, the world’s most trusted provider of data protection and availability for consumers and businesses. Mobile technology, including smartphone apps and cloud services, now means that employers are surprisingly supportive of a flexible workforce – more than most employees realize. For survey information visit

The findings emerged in a study of 1,000 U.S., British, German, French and Irish employees and employers, which found 73% of bosses have a relaxed attitude to time keeping, since they trust their staff is working long before they actually get to the office. However, this may surprise most workers as more than half of employees are under the impression that their executives definitely will mind if they are late.

“Workers around the world are making the most of the technology available to them to create more flexibility in their day for work and family,” said Russ Stockdale, General Manager of Mozy, which conducted the study. “Hard work isn’t going unnoticed and mobile technology is having more of an impact on employer attitudes than people think.”


The average employer is willing to turn a blind eye to employees being up to 32 minutes late and let staff members spend a quarter of the week working from home. Employers in the U.S. take the most relaxed view, tolerating their staff arriving up to 37 minutes late in the day, while British bosses are the strictest, expecting workers to be at their desks no later than 24 minutes into the working day.

Mobile tools

The death knell of the nine-to-five worker has been rung by mobile technology, with 75% of employers giving employees the tools to get their jobs done wherever they are. In the U.S., 20% of employers make it possible for their workers to be able to access their work on the go (email, network drives and applications, front and back-office cloud services) – providing employees with the most freedom. However, only 11% of British employers were open to providing employees full remote access to their work.

Email in bed

The study confirms the long-held suspicion that the urge to check emails first thing in the morning is overwhelming for some: by 7 a.m., one in five employees worldwide have already checked their email. Some nations, however, prefer a gentler start to the day. Compared to a third of all British employees who log in by 6:30 a.m., just 18% of U.S. and 13% of French employees are firing up their email at the same hour.

Give and take

While the majority of employers don’t mind that workers start their days later, in return they expect flexibility from their employees to work outside of normal business hours, even as they wind down for the night. The fluid approach to working hours means that many employers are now comfortable with calling employees after hours, with 80% saying they think it’s acceptable to call staff in the evening. However, 32% of U.S. employers still don’t feel comfortable calling employees after hours, despite the working hour flexibility they provide. The research shows that 15% of U.S. bosses are comfortable calling employees up to 9 p.m. in the evening. As for other countries, French bosses are the most considerate – 43% of them draw the line at not calling after 7 p.m.; 16% of UK employers, on the other hand, think it is acceptable to call workers between 10 p.m. and midnight!

The real nine-to-five

The fact that employers underestimate the amount of work that employees are doing away from their desks further substantiates the shift towards a more mobile workforce. As a whole, employers believe employees spend an average of 55 minutes a day working away from the office, when in fact, the average employee has already clocked up to 46 minutes before they even arrive at the office.

What does the new nine-to-five look like? The global results show that the average person starts checking their work email at 7:42 a.m., gets into the office at 8:18 a.m., leaves the office at 5:48 p.m. and stops working fully at 7:19 p.m., meaning employees are “in work mode” for nearly 12 hours a day.

“We can see from the research findings that work has largely changed from ‘a place that you go’ to ‘a thing that you do,’” continues Stockdale. “With only 20% of US employees saying they can access all of their work tools remotely, there are still many employees who have not experienced this change. Cloud services that allow workers to remotely access their data wherever and whenever they want will allow them flexibility in their work processes and enable them to experience other work-life benefits.”

Taking a relaxed attitude

Executives are taking a laid-back approach to more than just punctuality, as personal tasks creep into the office day. Forty eight percent of bosses in the U.S. don’t mind when employees take longer lunches, and are OK with staff getting together to enjoy office banter and to take regular breaks. On average across the countries surveyed, 37% allow employees to take longer lunch breaks.

Thirteen percent of employers even claim they are fine with employees carrying out personal tasks like online banking, food shopping and paying bills while at their desks – with 22% of U.S. bosses being most relaxed, and the British being the least approving with only an 8% acceptance rate.

On the flip side, over half of employees think nothing of leaving work early for a doctor’s appointment, with nearly one in five (18%) eating breakfast at the desk, or taking time out to research vacations or shopping (21%).

Top personal tasks creeping onto the office to-do list:

1. Leaving work early for the doctor or dentist
2. Personal phone calls
3. Regular coffee and tea breaks
4. Chatting with colleagues
5. Sending personal emails
6. Taking a long lunch to get a few things done
7. Online banking
8. Leaving work early for a child’s performance at school
9. Paying a few bills
10. Having breakfast at work

For a complete list of activities and more findings from the study, visit

About Mozy

Mozy by EMC is the world's most trusted provider of cloud backup and access, with more than 6 million customers, including more than 100,000 businesses, backing up 90 petabytes of information to its multiple data centers around the globe. Wholly owned by EMC Corporation since 2007, Mozy is an essential component in the EMC backup and recovery solutions portfolio. More information can be found at