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How to Write a Memo to an Employee to Adhere to Office Timing

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Modeling effective work habits is the best way to get employees to follow them. Some offices have more relaxed policies about working hours. Other places of employment require all staff to punch a time clock and have a progressive discipline system in place for lateness. You can write a memo, directing an employee to adhere to proper timing. The memo does not have to be punitive and instead can offer rewards for good behavior. A properly worded memo can persuade the employee to be punctual.

Use office letterhead and type to whom the memo originates from, the recipient and the date in the memo's header.

Begin the memo with a review of all office hours at the workplace, including regular shifts, as well as lunch and break times and paid leave time for work-related travel or other authorized leave.

Distinguish clearly between policy and practice and when, if ever, it is acceptable to bend the rules.

Take a direct, but non-confrontational approach in the memo. Indicate areas where the employee is doing well, before reminding them of the importance of keeping track of time.

Identify specific dates and times when the employee did not adhere to office timing, either by coming in late, leaving early or missing a project deadline.

Note in the memo if the employee has already received a verbal warning for violating time and leave regulations.

Show the employee how their behavior affects the entire workplace, for example, how being tardy translates into a loss of productivity every month and ultimately a loss of annual profits.

Suggest to the employee how they would better be able to position themselves for a promotion or bonus by adhering to office timing, and warn them of the repercussions if the behavior does not change.

Close the memo by inviting the employee to respond in writing or in a face-to-face meeting.


Keep the memo confidential as you would all personnel files.

  • Keep the memo confidential as you would all personnel files.

After receiving her journalism degree from Long Island University, Andrea Della Monica worked for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area. As a winner of George Polk award, Della Monica has been interested in advancing press freedoms. In recent years, she has successfully pursued public relations work for major community activist organizations and special interest publications.

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