ALMOST ONE third of Australian employees admit to suffering seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to a recent survey of 1792 employees 29 per cent of workers find they are badly affected by the shorter days and lack of exposure to daylight. But it is women who suffer more than men, with 31 per cent expressing difficulties in coping through the depths of winter. Location also plays a big part in how much people are affected, with respondents reporting to suffer from SAD varying drastically from state to state:
Northern Territory 13%
The study also revealed that 62 per cent of respondents said they can’t get motivated and work more slowly than usual in the winter and a huge 66 per cent said the thing they hated most was leaving and returning home in the dark.
Outsourcing favoured by European companies
OUTSOURCING IS favoured as a business tool across European organisations, according to a new survey of more than 600 decision makers in European companies. Seventy per cent of respondents already outsource at least one function of their business, with 20 per cent set to increase their level of outsourcing in the next two years, as they increasingly view it as a means to gaining a competitive edge.
Source: Ernst & Young
Outsourcing damages economy and services
TWO IN three Australians believe that outsourcing work functions overseas damages the Australian economy. However according to a survey of more than 2000 employees, one in three Australian companies outsource work functions overseas. The quality of work conducted offshore is also questioned, with almost half of respondents (45 per cent) saying it is far inferior to that produced by Australians and a further third undecided. The most common function outsourced by Australian companies is:
Laidback super savers to pay in retirement
SEVENTY-TWO PER CENT of Australians expect their superannuation balance to be higher on their next statement, indicating that Australians severely under-estimate the link between share market movements, their superannuation returns and retirement income. According to a recent survey, Australians have not made the link between share market performance and their superannuation savings and most have not done sufficient planning for retirement. This will be costly leading up to and during retirement, potentially forcing them to work for much longer than they may have planned or forcing them back to work in later years.
Australians working longer not smarter?
AUSTRALIANS ARE working overtime but not necessarily out of choice and not necessarily with overtime pay included. According to a survey, 91 per cent of respondents employed spent an extra nine and a half hours a week working on average. Only 14 per cent of the respondents said working overtime enabled them to make more money. Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents said the primary reason they choose to work overtime is because they have no choice – they simply needed to finish the work. The survey also revealed that respondents recorded very little variation in hours worked across the different income brackets.
Accounting and finance jobs in greater demand
DEMAND IN Australia for highly skilled accounting and finance professionals has intensified as companies seek to cut costs in the current slowing economy. According to a recent survey, 54 per cent of Australian companies report difficulty in attracting the right mix of talent and experience against a global score of 56 per cent. Retention concerns have also risen significantly in the last year. The survey shows that 62 per cent of Australian companies are concerned about losing their top performing accounting and finance talent to other job opportunities.
Source: Robert Half
Decrease in job ads
THE NUMBER of new jobs advertised nationally fell moderately in July by 0.5 per cent. On an annual basis, these new job ads are four per cent higher compared with the same month last year. Western Australian jobseekers enjoyed the greatest increase in new job ads posted, up 1.5 per cent in July.
Based on this month’s data, Australian jobseekers may have witnessed increased competition for the jobs they applied for while businesses may be finding it easier to recruit appropriate staff.
Haste sabotages job search efforts
ONE IN three people may sabotage their job search efforts by acting with haste after a job loss. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of more than 1000 survey respondents recognised that people who are displaced from their jobs should initially take time off to re-evaluate and develop a plan. Thirty-four percent indicated they would immediately jump into a job search –potentially sabotaging the very goal they set out to achieve by being unprepared and reactive.
Source: Right Management
Pay raises steady for 2009
ONE IN three US employers do not have contingency plans for further economic slowdown and are planning to keep pay raises steady next year. Of the companies that do have at least one formal contingency planning activity in place, the most common included:
Hiring freeze 39%
Other contingency plans included smaller pay raises (27 per cent) and salaries freezes (13 per cent).
Source: Watson Wyatt