Punctuality and Coordination Failures in the Remote Workplace

35 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2020 Last revised: 28 Mar 2023

Date Written: June 1, 2020


Videoconferencing has recently become ubiquitous due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has been growing in importance for decades. Despite this growth, we have limited understanding of the costs associated with adopting this technology. In this paper I leverage a novel dataset tracking 1.7 million individuals attending 1.2 million videoconference meetings over 6 months to evaluate individual punctuality in the remote workplace. I find that participants spend a significant amount of time waiting for others to arrive. An average meeting causes 6 minutes of per participant waiting time and even small meetings (≤ 5 participants) waste 14 minutes of total participant time. I investigate the predictors of these coordination failures and find that punctuality is best (and waiting time is minimized) for smaller, shorter meetings scheduled on the hour and half hour. I find some evidence for the development of norms that lead to relatively lower coordination failures than the distributions of arrival times might suggest and discuss the implications of these findings to a time of many new users of this technology.

Keywords: videoconferencing, remote work, organizational behavior

JEL Classification: D22, L24, M50, O33

Suggested Citation

Caspi, Aviv, Punctuality and Coordination Failures in the Remote Workplace (June 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3659642 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3659642

Aviv Caspi (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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