Monday, September 1, 2003

Daily Grind

Workplace studies abound

You can count on Labor Day for a bevy of studies and reports about the workplace and how:

• Lousy conditions are these days for a whole bunch of people.

• Many are minting money because they picked a hot career. For instance, risk analysts and actuaries - thanks to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks - play critical roles for many companies.

They can expect to earn about $122,000 annually, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

• The adage Don't lose any sleep; stay on the payroll is not reality for millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Greater Cincinnatians.

One of three workers reported missing out on sleep because of problems at work, according to a new survey of 250 people from At-A-Glance, the nation's leading manufacturer of office organizing materials based in Sydney, N.Y.

The survey is accurate to plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

And many have not been able to stay on the payroll, either.

At the Job Search Focus Group, which meets every Monday at 9 a.m. at the Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, 1345 Grace Ave., anywhere from 13 to 23 new members show up each week. They are either newly unemployed or are people who've been unemployed awhile and have been referred to the group.

"Corporations pay $5,000 to $12,000 for outplacement service, and they end up sending folks to JSFG. We don't know if it's new; we have only been asking the question since early this year: How did you learn about us?" Nick Ursini, a spokesman for the group, said.

"We're seeing that folks are lured into upfront-fee job searches. And then they learn all they get is a readily available list or a self-help booklet.

"While people don't like to talk about being taken, we hear about how folks put $1,500 into a company and gotten little or nothing for it. And they end up at our Monday morning meeting."

To learn more about the Job Search Focus Group, call 871-0320 or go to

Corporate village

A new model for the corporate workplace will become the norm over the next two decades, Charles Handy predicts in the fall issue of Strategy+Business magazine. The current ownership model for companies is "no longer sustainable," Handy says.

"A company ought to be a community, a community that you belong to like a village," he says. "Nobody owns a village. Shareholders will become financiers, and they will get rewarded, according to the risk they assume, but they're not to be called owners.

"Workers won't be workers, they'll be citizens, and they will have rights. Those rights will include a share in the profits that they have created."

Wet blankets

Finally, which generation is least likely to be happy about the direction of their company? People 25 to 44 years old are "wet blankets," says ISR, a Chicago research firm that surveyed 27,800 people. Folks 35 to 44 years old are most worried about the future, the study found.


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