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Workplace Tug of War – Workers Want More Work

Our most recent workforce survey reveals that, not surprisingly, many people’s work habits and attitudes have changed as a result of the turbulent economy.

Some of the key findings:

  • 45% of workers surveyed say that they are more willing to take any available shifts in order to protect their earnings.
  • 30% of respondents stated that they are more likely to go to work in this economy regardless of their physical or emotional state, scheduling conflicts, or the weather.
  • 49% of respondents have considered taking on a second job in recent months because of financial reasons while 27% said that they are actively applying for or have already secured a second job.
  • 19% of hourly workers say that because of the economy their managers are reducing the amount of overtime they can work.
  • 33 % of respondents say their companies have downsized during the past year because of the economy, and 28% of respondents say that their workload has increased, putting added pressure on employees who remain on the job.

I  interviewed author and former McDonald’s executive  Paul Facella in this blog a while back.  In a recent article in the Boston Globe, when asked whether there’s such a thing as a job that’s “beneath” an unemployed worker in this market, he says bluntly: “I don’t think there is. There’s no question in my mind that tolerance for that kind of switching down is much greater than it was one or two years ago. Most employers looking at resumes a couple of years from now are going to be respectful that people needed to do it to survive.”

That sentiment no doubt also applies to those we surveyed looking for supplemental employment.  How are the statistics above playing out for you and your friends and family?

The Domino’s Effect – Presenteeism Among Food Handlers

While Domino’s has been in the news this week due to the unfortunate video hijinks of a couple of their workers in North Carolina, the issue of sick food handlers is one of serious and ongoing concern according to our board member, David Creelman who submitted the following food for thought:

Here is a big issue for organizations who have large numbers of workers who handle food (e.g. hospitality industry, food processing etc.)  A ground breaking study by Toronto Public Health found that “between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of food-borne illnesses in restaurants can be traced to sick food handlers who transfer bacteria to diners through the food they prepare.”  About 6% of Toronto’s citizens get sick every year due to sick food handlers — that’s a big public health issue.

This is clearly an HR issue since the main reason sick food handlers come to work is that they feel they can’t afford to take a day off sick.

No doubt this study will lead governments at all levels to get worried about companies who let sick food handlers come to work; so HR leaders had better be prepared to deal with the issue pro-actively.

The story on this study appeared in the Toronto Star

Just to add a bit of colour to this story, if you are the sort of person who routinely eats in the world’s top 10 restaurants you will no doubt be aware that the Fat Duck in London recently had to shut down when many diners became ill.  One suspected cause for the outbreak of illness was that customers picked up a bug from sick staff.

Picture This

This is from Wordle, a website that creates visual maps of blogs, websites, or other text you provide.  This is a map of the Workforce Institute website.