A coworker of mine, an intern like me, is always at least 30 minutes late. But not more than an hour usually. Today the CEO even noticed. But I didn't tell him that part.

Is it advisable to tell him that?


6 Answers 6


If the CEO/Senior Manager noted their absence in front of you, I would have found a way to tell them.

I agree that you don't know what agreement they have made with their manager regarding work hours. But there were several pieces of information in that incident that need to be conveyed:

  • The CEO stopped by and was looking for them. It may have been to give them a task, or to praise them, or to yell at them.
  • The CEO has noted that the last x times they came by in the morning during core hours it was clear they hadn't arrived for work.
  • They might want to track down why the CEO wanted to talk to them, they should talk to their manager to see what they should do.

This tells them to talk to their manager without you being in a position to judge them or lecture them. It is possible that their manager will know why the CEO stopped by. The manager might also contact the CEO or have the intern contact the CEO, depending on what they decide the next step should be.


Honestly: Mind your own business. Unless you have a vested interest in keeping this person around/helping them out, you're either a rat or nosy.

Consider even that it may be known to the person's manager, and they have a good reason. I have a workmate who is gone for an hour every friday for prayer - and for the longest time I thought he was taking lunches that were "too long". His boss knows and he has never failed to work an extra hour every friday to cover it, but I was gone so I never saw that part.

Leave the managing to your manager and do your job.

  • 2
    Good points, maybe a little harsh with language. Hey I also leave for Friday prayers(Muslim), it's usually about an hour so it's OK, but as long as I come early to work that day my hours add up. Jul 8, 2012 at 18:35

If you are close friends outside of work then I would address them as a friend. I would explain that being late all of the time can be viewed as laziness or even theft by employers.

If you are not friends outside work I would leave it be. Unless you have been assigned to monitor the comings and goings of the interns, it is not your responsibility to monitor them. As stated else where they may be an agreement with management about his work hours. Even if not mentioning your noticing it to him is liable to create more problems for you at work rather than helping. So unless he asks you directly if anyone has noticed I would not address it at all.

If this is a problem with your employer then your coworker will be advised that his tardiness is a problem. If not then making it an issue will not benefit either one of you.

  • 1
    +1, If the relationship is such that he can talk openly with the other intern, giving the guy some gentle indication that his lateness is being noticed will provide a useful reality check. Part of being an intern is learning about stuff like this from others-- whether it be the CEO, managers, co-workers, other interns or the cleaning crew.
    – Angelo
    Jul 9, 2012 at 11:55

As a peer, I would only mention it if there is a direct impact on you. If, for example, your co-worker's tardiness means you have to cover for him, it might be better to raise that with him directly rather than escalate that to your manager.

That the CEO noticed may make your team look bad, but I would say that is a problem for your manager, not you.


Talk to your manager in private about your concerns.

Bear in mind the following factors:

  • Do they work later than others?
  • What's their work output, regardless of hours?
  • Do they work remotely?
  • Do they have a family life with obligations?
  • 1
    +1: There may be legitimate reasons for someone to come in 30 minutes late every day. Also if the workplace has flexible hours then this is a non-issue, unless he is habitually late to meetings where he is needed or misses committed deadlines.
    – Spoike
    Jul 8, 2012 at 7:16

Most likely, you don't - because you're not in a position to advise ("coworker of mine, an intern like me").

Most reasonable course of action for this case would probably be for you to ask advice on that from your manager / senior / mentor. They will take appropriate actions, if needed.

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