With Thanksgiving literally around the corner time-wise as we write this blog post, we wanted to report on some interesting news bits and opinions courtesy of the ASA – American Staffing Association. We’re covering these items now because once Thanksgiving hits your family’s meal table, no one will be reading due to turkey-induced food comas!
The ASA reports via its intelligence source, The Conference Board, that the American economy is expected to expand into 2017. As their reporting explains it, “Although its six-month growth rate has moderated, the index still suggests that the economy will continue expanding into early 2017. The interest rate spread and average weekly hours were the main drivers of October’s improvement, helping to offset some of the weaknesses in claims for unemployment insurance and new orders.”
This is encouraging news for everyone from retail outlets to manufacturers in-need of additional temporary employees, as an expanding economy only expands with the help of good labor and a strong workforce. You can read the entire news release from the Conference Board on this positive economic prediction here.
Some new research from one of ASA’s corporate partners – the job and career site MONSTER – reveals that the interesting and perhaps unprecedented scenario of four different generations of employees all working at the same time and sometimes in the same office lays bare differences in work attitudes based on age and cultural development. The four generation in question are of course Boomers (aged 51-70), Gen X (aged 35-50), Gen Y (aged 20-34), and Gen Z (aged 15-20). According to the reporting by ASA, “Nearly 60% of Gen Z and 55% of Gen Y are in favor of jobs that offer telecommuting, compared with 53% across generations. Members of Gen X are most attracted to jobs with flexible work hours: 18% compared with 11% across generations. A quarter of workers in all generations plan to take no vacation time in the upcoming year, and 40% of Gen Y report working during their last vacation. . . Email is the communication medium of choice for 84% of Boomers and 88% of Gen X, while 51% of Gen Y and 66% of Gen Z believe texting is a useful means of workplace communication. About 75% of Gen Z value laptops and smartphones in their workplace, whereas 74% of Boomers and Gen X prefer desktop computers.” So much for the venerated office meeting, eh? Read MONSTER’s full press release on their research findings here.
Another trenchant and understandably controversial subject raising its head currently is the need for HR pros and supervisors to somehow monitor employee work behavior outside of the workplace due to telecommuting and many other tech-derived innovations. While this at-first sounds very Big Brother-esque, the monitoring strategy makes sense in several scenarios. As ASA reports, “Changing technologies and work habits make it difficult for employers to determine whether an employee is engaged in work or personal business at any given moment, as employees can access employer computer networks from home both during and outside of regular working hours, email one another at all hours and from any location, use employer-owned computers both in and outside of the workplace for shopping and social media, and bring their private electronic devices to work to conduct private business and connect to company networks. Employers now have the ability to install mobile device management software on company-owned and employee-owned visit online casino julietta smartphones to monitor and record such things as Internet browsing activity, real-time physical locations of smartphones, social media activity performed on smartphones, email and text message communications, and photographs and videos.”
The reporting goes on to explain both the justification for such monitoring and the caveat required for all employees. “It makes sense for employers to electronically monitor employee conduct to prevent the unlawful transfer of trade secrets and protected intellectual property, investigate and prevent the unlawful discriminatory harassment of fellow employees, stop or limit non-work-related Internet activity during work time, and prevent the dissemination of customer or patient information, among other things. However, employers must respect employees’ constitutional, common law, statutory, and sometimes contractual rights to limit monitoring. You can read the entire article from Lexology here for the bigger picture.
These are certainly evolving and tumultuous times in the work world. Flex-Team Inc. is here for our valued employer partners as well as our trusted employees. Reach out to us today with your questions and concerns and get the conversation started on your workplace issues. We’re striving to be your HR extension.
Happy Thanksgiving also!