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Being on time

Stephen Hale
Lots of clocks

Everyone at Lagom is always on time, and I’m glad. 

I know that if I dial into a meeting one minute after the scheduled start, I will be the last to arrive. 

In fact, I suspect that some Lagomers are in the habit of dialing in before the scheduled start of meetings, because (despite my own punctuality) I am almost never the first to arrive.

I think this is a good thing. We’re almost never waiting for each other. We make full use of the time we have. And if someone isn’t where they should be, we assume that there must be a good reason.

This hasn’t been the case everywhere I’ve worked. When I did a secondment to a policy communications team in a government department a few years ago, I was surprised to find an established culture of tardiness. I often found myself sitting in meeting rooms on my own, waiting for others to arrive. I started noting down times, and worked out that meetings started an average of 8 minutes after they were due to. 

It was part of the established, accepted culture. But to people new to the team (like me), and to the people working with us, it could feel rude, as well as inefficient. 

Remote working and video calls have probably changed most people’s relationship with their diaries. I suspect that most people are on time most of the time now, and that it is much less culturally acceptable to turn up late to a meeting.

But I’m glad that being on time was already so established as part of the Lagom culture. And I’m glad that we’ve committed to making ”the best use of everyone’s time” in the way we do our research, and that this is written into number 7 of our user research standards.

Because there’s no more lonely, unproductive feeling than being in a meeting on your own, waiting for others to turn up.


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