Morningitis gives workers the blues

by 13 Dec 2006

‘Morningitis’ is a real workplace risk, according to a study of 750,000 workers’compensation claims. The study found that every weekday morning was more hazardous than the afternoon, but the effect was most pronounced on Monday and gradually tapered off during the week. Conducted by Monash University’s Eric Wigglesworth, the study found ‘Monday morning excess’ could be put down to those workers who suffered a weekend sprain, strain or other injury not requiring immediate medical attention and who staggered in on Monday to claim an injury at work.

No rest for the Aussie worker

Nearly three out of four Australian full-time workers are being called into the office during their days off and holidays, and are suffering as a result of shrinking-holiday syndrome, according to recent research. It found that conditions such as the encroachment of work into personal life, the stress of not being able to take care of work issues remotely and the physical act of travelling into the office during days off and holidays all took their toll on life outside work. “Australian businesses are risking their reputations as employers-of-choice by ignoring the problem of shrinking-holiday syndrome,” said HR Shiever, managing director for Citrix Online’s Asia Pacific operations, which commissioned the research.

Leadership for the myspace generation

Younger employees will only fully engage with organisations that tap into their own personal goals and aspirations, according to a new book. Written by Emmanuel Gobillot, a director of Hay Group, The Connected Leader notes that leaders are looking at their companies through the lens of the organisational chart. “This makes them blind to the real organisation. The most successful leaders focus on relationships, not structures. The job of the leader is to connect with employees and customers, and to bring the world of the real and the formal organisation together,” Gobillot said. Power is rooted in personal credibility, not formal authority, he said, noting that leaders must earn their places through trust, meaning and dialogue.

Older workers back in favour with CEOs

Not so long ago, being an out-of-work mature age Australian was a major problem in terms of returning to the workforce, such was the perception that younger workers were a better option. However, research has found that older Australians are back in favour due to a major skills shortage across many industries. A survey of 334 Australian chief executives found that 98 per cent would hire a mature age person if they had the appropriate skills. The CEO Institute study also found that three-quarters of medium to large businesses were facing a skills shortage in their workforces, and the two most difficult areas in which to find staff were professionals (42 per cent of businesses) and tradesmen (36 per cent).

Supers OTE legislation could increase business costs

A change to superannuation legislation that will come into effect in 2008 appears to have slipped under the radar of many businesses, despite the fact that it could increase their superannuation contribution costs by up to 10 per cent, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The legislation rules that from 1 July 2008, employers must use ordinary time earnings (OTE) as the earnings base for calculating the 9-per cent Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution. The new requirements will result in a need for many employers to review their remuneration policies, amend their payroll systems and increase their superannuation contributions, according to Peter Promnitz, CEO of Mercer in Australia.

Bosses cut down on Christmas cheer

It’s the silly season and most employees are looking forward to donning stilettos, buying Kris Kringles and singing jingle bells at the office bash, but a recent survey has found that only 79 per cent of Australian bosses will host Christmas parties for their staff. This is down on five years ago, when a similar survey revealed that more than 87 per cent of bosses celebrated Christmas with a staff party. The survey, conducted by Talent2, found that 50 per cent of workers who attend staff Christmas parties have fun, and 37 per cent believe it provides excellent opportunities for networking and for consolidating close relationships with workmates and the boss. The Christmas season provides employers with plentiful opportunities to accelerate their climb up the corporate ladder, according to John Banks, director of Talent2, but the survey found 27 per cent of staff would not attend the Christmas staff party.