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.

Related Case Studies

RAF Instagram engagement user research

We recently completed a longitudinal piece of research with the RAF looking at engagement with the RAF’s Instagram followers.

Discovery on a National Work Experience Service for Health Education England

We were appointed by Health Education England (HEE) to conduct discovery research to inform the development of a national digital…

More from the Author

Stephen Hale


Stephen Hale 28/06/2022

7 things I’ve learned about social care by doing research in social care

We do a lot of research about adult social care…

Stephen Hale 04/01/2022

Job advert: Digital user researcher [January 2022]

We are looking for a digital user researcher to join…

Stephen Hale 17/03/2021

Right, any questions?

I was on a video call with 341 people the…