MORE THAN two thirds of UK employers (69 per cent) never or occasionally accept employee requests to work from home. This is despite the fact that, of the employers who offer home-working, only 8 per cent believe home-workers are less productive than their office-bound colleagues, while 30 per cent say they are more productive. Top reasons given by organisations surveyed for working from home are to:
Meet employee demand 54%
Retain workforce/widen the talent pool 55%
Increase organisational flexibility 68%
A quarter of employers say that home-working will increase in their organisation in the next year.
The best-paid job? It's not what you think
ENGINEERING managers in their late 30s are the nation’s best-paid workers, recent research has revealed. The managers are earning average annual salaries of $136,700, which is more than general managers and financial dealers. The survey found that others earning big money include anaesthetists, surgeons, MPs and dentists. By contrast, florists are doing it tough on an average wage of $493 a week, as are pharmacy sales assistants ($518), fast-food cooks ($520) and livestock farmers ($523)
Source: ABS data
Employers help employees fill the tank
Employers are offering additional benefits,such as telecommuting and flexible schedules,to help offset rising petrol prices. According to a recent survey, employers are opting for benefits instead of increased pay – with only 2 per cent of employers offering a cost of living raise prompted by gas prices. The most common tactic (42 per cent) was to raise the mileage reimbursement to the IRS maximum. Source: SHRM
Ideal times for mergers and acquisitions
AN ECONOMIC slowdown might be the best times for corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Based on an analysis of more than 400,000 deals from 1981 through 2008, with a special focus on more than 5100 divestitures, a recent report gives a compelling reason for pursuing M&A activity when the economy is weak; saying downturn deals have a higher chance of creating shareholder value and delivering greater returns.
Source: The Boston Consulting Group
Recruitment difficulties continue
EIGHTY-SIX PER CENT of UK organisations are experiencing recruitment difficulties with the majority placing the blame on a national skills deficit. This is despite the slowdown in economic growth. More than 70 per cent of surveyed employers gave “lack of necessary candidate skills” as their main reason for recruitment difficulties and 42 per cent highlighted candidates' lack of experience.
Work relationships mean more to employees than pay
RELATIONSHIPS WITH colleagues and type of work are more important than pay in retaining staff. According to a poll of 1000 UK employees, 57 per cent stayed with their current employer because of an interest in their job – while only 44 per cent remained because of their salary. Apparently the UK’s happiest worker would be a female beauty therapist in her 60s working in the North East. The unhappiest is a man in his 40s working as a builder in Northern Ireland.
Source: City & Guilds
Payroll – a hot potato
THE RESPONSIBILITY of payroll has become a game of hot potato, with a quarter of finance professionals preferring it was a function of HR, and almost just as many HR managers believing it should remain in finance. According to a recent survey, half the time payroll is under finance (49 per cent), which is more than HR (40 per cent). Nearly two-thirds of employers keep the payroll function in-house, with security concerns (80 per cent), apathy (84 per cent) and a desire to keep control of data (86 per cent) as the main reasons. Finance professionals are more likely to outsource due to the cost savings, with nearly nine in 10 agreeing this was a factor,compared with only 66 per cent of HR professionals.
Employer rewarding healthy behaviour
The number of employers offering workers financial incentives to better manage their health is expected to jump sharply next year. A survey of 453 large employers found that half currently use incentives to encourage their workers to participate in health improvement activities, such as smoking cessation or weight management programs. By 2009,however, that number is expected to leap to 74 per cent. Some incentives used are:
Source: Watson Wyatt
One in three staff set to leave their jobs in 2008
SEVENTEEN PER CENT of UK staff intend to leave their current jobs at the earliest opportunity, while a further 12 per cent expect to move within a year. The main causes are dissatisfaction with employers and a lack of manager engagement, with 69 per cent of dissatisfied employees and 64 per cent of staff with disengaged managers ready to leave within the year.
Source: GfK NOP
IT jobs first to go in off-shoring exodus
SOME 850,000 services jobs are likely to be moved offshore in the next 20 years, including about 80,000 IT and 35,000 accounting roles. According to a recent survey the job losses are expected in:
Low skilled 8%
Intermediate skilled positions 31%
Professional and managerial 60%
Also at risk were accountants, with 34,300 jobs expected to go, general clerks (31,900), accounting clerks (28,000), keyboard operators (26,500), sales and marketing managers (25,900), project and program administrators (25,200), and secretaries and personal assistants (24,500).
Source: National Institute of Economic and Industry Research