Lack of timeliness on the job (both from the employer and employee view) causes lapses in productivity, stress, and in some cases severance of employment.
From an employee point of view, the excuses I heard often were “my commute is too long”, “i got stuck in traffic”, “i woke up late”, etc… Learning how to manage your time better despite these issues is the solution. Even now, students who are late to class often reference these same problems. As I like to say, it never hurts to get somewhere too early.
From an employer point of view, catching the problems that cause lateness in the first place can prevent it from happening at all. If you have staff you know come from a long distance and through a difficult commute, you may want to look at options to be flexible with start and end times. In my own life now, I have office hours either until just around 4 or until 6pm, because if I leave anywhere in between, there is going to be a delay inevitably.
Finding the right balance between caving to demands and running a successful operation is important when considering how to prevent lateness caused by commute. However, if you are able to make this work, then you can focus more on the lateness that is occurring that is especially bad for business – the lateness of those who just show up late because they have been allowed to get away with it.
Having a strict attendance policy that is followed through the document, discipline and dismiss process will enable you to hold people accountable while addressing issues in a fair and just manner.