Workforce Watch List: Office habits

According to data in the March 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics release, Americans spend an average of 34.5 hours per week in the workplace. A majority work more than 40 hours, which is a considerable amount of time spent on the job.

Let’s face it, along with the hard work we produce day in and day out, we bring with us our habits, social tendencies and well, “baggage.” But what types of office habits are prevalent in the typical American workplace? Are they affecting job performance? Are coworkers taking notice of our “baggage?”

In February, Adecco conducted a telephone survey of 507 working Americans aged 18 and over about their workplace habits — among other topics — which revealed some interesting data. Let’s break down some of the findings.

Late for an important date

Of the 507 people surveyed, 22% of them admitted to occasionally being late for work — usually 2-3 times per month. Gender differences in this work habit topic became apparent. Of all women surveyed, 26% confessed to sometimes being late while only 18% of men admitted the same.

Generationally, Millennials were shown to be the worst offenders of rolling in late – with 32% of them acknowledging their punctuality problem. In addition, 22% of Generation X and Baby Boomers — who both scored exactly the same — reported that they sometimes arrived to work past their scheduled start time.

So why are all of these people running late? It’s not that surprising.

35% attributed their tardiness to traffic and transportation issues, while 23% claim they hit the snooze button one too many times and overslept. Getting the kids off to school and other family responsibilities accounted for 22% of the data. Rounding out the late arrivers club were those who took too long getting dressed (7%) and those who just did not like their job enough to show up on time (5%).

Have some whine with that cheese

When it comes to bugging your coworkers, there are some practices you might want to avoid. According to the survey, 37% of working Americans are most annoyed by their coworkers who complain about their workload.  Messy desks and common spaces were also a major annoyance, garnering 30% of vote.

[Check out this Wall Street Journal Article regarding office clutter where another Adecco survey was cited.]

Other colleague pet peeves that were revealed were excessively loud coworkers (26%), and calling out sick (21%). Interestingly enough, men (43%) are more likely to be annoyed than women (33%) by coworkers who complain about work.

Order in the court!

One insight that was uncovered in the survey was the practice of judging coworkers on their habits, tendencies and perceived work ethic. Whether it is fueled by a competitive job environment, company culture, workplace envy or just regular human nature, judging a fellow employee is commonplace in the American professional landscape.

Adecco found that 28% of working Americans admit that they have judged a co-worker for coming in later or leaving work earlier than they do, while 68% of those surveyed said that they do not.

Millennials are the ones who are likely judging you the most.  38% percent from that age group admitted to judging a colleague for coming in late or leaving early, while 31% of Generation X and 22% of Baby Boomers admitted to doing the same.

Don’t trust anyone (with food)

The last office habit survey result might make you lose your lunch. (Pun fully intended!) 1 in 5 working Americans say that they have had their food taken out of the office fridge, while only 4% of those surveyed admitted to stealing a colleague’s lunch.

While we’re very certain of the data taken from this survey, this stat just doesn’t add up.  Is it possible some who were surveyed weren’t entirely truthful when it came to taking a coworker’s lunch?

Maybe some of you surveyed just need a good example, so I’ll start. To my coworker Julie, I’m sorry I took one of your string cheese sticks while you were on vacation. You may have one of my pop tarts in return.

What do you think about the data presented in this blog? Let us know your thoughts! Post a comment, Facebook us or Tweet us. Make sure to use the hashtag #watchlist.

Adecco is equipped to staff your team with workers that will meet and enhance the culture you’re nurturing with your team.  Whether you’re a large company or a small business, we have the resources and expertise you need to achieve success. Get started by contacting us today!

STEM & vocational skills gaps: The importance of early education

techwomanThe availability of workers with expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or what we commonly refer to as STEM skills, is in decline. The demand, on the other hand, is increasing rapidly. In fact, according to this Business Insider article, a little over 9 million baby-boomers have retired over the past six years, and one-fifth of baby-boomers will retire in the coming years, making this quite an alarming trend.

The jobs exist, but often they cannot be filled because of a lack of STEM or other vocational skills in the emerging workforce. These skills gaps can have very harmful effects on the job market and global economy. All is not lost though, and the future seems rather optimistic.

How can we help fill those gaps and get the next generation of workers involved and interested in STEM-related careers?
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Multi-generational employee motivation

The modern workforce now includes employees spanning four distinct generations. This may not seem significant, but the differences between these generations go beyond age—each has its own knowledge, strengths and weaknesses. Managers must know how to work with each to maintain a successful business.

Managing employees across various generations is difficult, but if you understand a little bit about each generation you will understand what motivates each to maximize their output and leads to a fulfilling opportunity for everyone.



As members of the World War II generation, Traditionalists are conventional, frugal and they command respect. Although most are now retired, they are still a part of the modern workforce. As a manager, you should reinforce their need for structure by formally acknowledging their successes and help younger employees follow the written chain of command when interacting with them. A little bit of officially recognized feedback will go a long way with these employees.
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Staffing a Tech-Savvy Team for Tax Season

When it comes to tax season, compliance and technology are two of the hottest buzz words. Government mandates such as the Hiring temp labor during tax season can save you moneyDodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 have shortened the financial reporting timelines while increasing scrutiny of reports. Originally 60 days long, reporting timelines have been cut down to just 45 days – which means more stress on your tax professionals and more room for errors.

Now more than ever, companies are investing in experienced tax experts and efficient, user-friendly technology to stay compliant with growing regulations. But that’s just the beginning. Companies are no longer relying on their IT departments to install these technologies – they want tech-savvy tax experts who can offer insight into what’s happening on both sides of the tax desk.
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Workforce Watch List: Supply Chain and Logistics

supply chain and logistics staffing needsThe field of supply chain and logistics is exploding at a rapid pace.

45% of companies view their supply chain management as a strategic asset and, of that group, 70% see higher, better performance in their business. More and more organizations are quickly realizing the value of implementing robust teams to focus on the transportation and storage of their goods. Not only can a top supply chain team make an organization run more efficiently, it can also provide significant bottom-line savings.

Three major themes in the world of supply chain logistics are cost reduction, technology, and opportunity for growth–and they all go hand-in-hand. While cost reduction is a major supply chain trend so is maximizing the profitability of the supply chain which includes implementing new technology (RFID tracking systems, process automation tools, etc.) and better efficiency across the board. Other cost-saving methods include reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Many organizations are kicking these efforts off by hiring logisticians to audit their business to see where pain points and weaknesses exist and removing those barriers to save money.
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Workforce Watch List: Human Capital Trends in 2014

human capital trendsIt’s an interesting time to work in the human capital industry. Many factors are affecting how companies can attract, retain, and nurture talent, including things like aging baby boomers, social media, and government legislation. Read on to learn what human capital trends will dominate the industry in 2014.

Baby Boomers and Millennials

As Baby Boomers begin their exodus from the workforce, the next largest group (even larger than the baby boomers) is Millennials and, if organizations want to succeed, that means that they need to develop ways to entice the younger generation to work–and stay–at their company.

Part of attracting the Millennial group means addressing their concerns. If you’re in a hiring manager, human resources, or talent acquisition role, be prepared to talk about job growth opportunities, benefits (ie, with rising cost of education, does your organization offer tuition reimbursement?) and unemployment, to name a few. With 92% of companies using social media for recruiting, hiring managers will need to reach out to this group proactively. And, of course, as Baby Boomers leave a gap in the market for Millennials to fill, healthcare, and legal compliance issues will continue to be driving forces for change in human resources departments across the country.

How will social media affect the human capital landscape?

Did you know that over 14.4 million people found their current job through social media? Organizations incorporating digital strategies and social media into the way they recruit and retain talent will see much more success than those that don’t. Apart from the fact that recruiting via social lends itself to brand awareness and increased clout with a younger demographic, it gives recruiters and human resources professionals a leg up as well. A simple keyword search about a potential candidate can tell you all need to know and then some. Social media is also enabling hiring managers to proactively reach out to candidates who may not necessarily be looking for opportunities.
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