Showing 223 posts tagged work

If we want companies to revive a commitment to on-the-job-training, it’s worth asking what created our current nation of job hoppers. There are plenty of reasons, including the decline in union membership and the increased portability of benefits. The changing nature of work itself has also encouraged more frequent job changes. When jobs required unique, specific skills, training paid off; it was also harder for a worker to translate his experience into a new environment. Technology, in part, has made some skills far less specific. Take car manufacturing. According to the Center for Automotive Research, auto assembly now requires less mechanical ability and more technical skills—skills that are more standardized. Once, the skills you learned at General Motors were fairly specific to GM; now it’s easier to take them to Ford.

Is On-the-Job Training Still Worth It for Companies? - Businessweek

In the 1970s, more than half of teens ages 16 to 19 — and nearly two-thirds of boys in that age range — worked in the summer, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2014, less than a third did so. The drop has been even more dramatic for 16- and 17-year-olds: Just 20 percent of them worked this summer, down from about 45 percent in the 1970s.

Summer Jobs Are Slowly Disappearing | FiveThirtyEight

There won’t be much work for human beings. Self-driving cars will be commercially available by the end of this decade and will eventually displace human drivers—just as automobiles displaced the horse and buggy—and will eliminate the jobs of taxi, bus, and truck drivers. Drones will take the jobs of postmen and delivery people. The debates of the next decade will be about whether we should allow human beings to drive at all on public roads. The pesky humans crash into each other, suffer from road rage, rush headlong into traffic jams, and need to be monitored by traffic police. Yes, we won’t need traffic cops either. Robots are already replacing manufacturing workers. Industrial robots have advanced to the point at which they can do the same physical work as human beings. The operating cost of some robots is now less than the salary of an average Chinese worker. And, unlike human beings, robots don’t complain, join labor unions, or get distracted. They readily work 24 hours a day and require minimal maintenance. Robots will also take the jobs of farmers, pharmacists, and grocery clerks.

We’re heading into a jobless future, no matter what the government does - The Washington Post

Over the next several years, at least, new technologies are expected to drastically reshape the way professors teach, and when and where people on college campuses do their work. As lawmakers, parents, and students continue to question whether a college degree is worth it, and as higher education struggles to reinvent itself, professors are sure to face more scrutiny about their workloads. Those trends have set the stage for internal battles over administrators’ renewed attempts to measure faculty productivity. Dedicated office space on campus may not always be a given in the workplace of the future, even for some tenured and tenure-track professors. But more colleges are expected to create family-friendly workplaces, as the next generation of faculty members signals how much it values work-life balance. That is increasingly true for both male and female academics

The Uncertain Future of Academic Work - Academic Workplace 2014 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

If the company wants to abruptly, drastically change the nature of their work, it can do so at will, and its employees have zero recourse if their bottom line is slashed. That’s because they aren’t technically employees, but contractors, bereft of the same protections and benefits granted to full-time workers. Management is invisible. When Rabbits stormed the company discussion forum with complaints, it was shut down, while the company, like Uber, balks at the idea that it’s an employer of any Rabbits at all. TaskRabbit is a platform. TaskRabbit is a mediator. TaskRabbit is not a bad boss, because it was never a boss to begin with — it’s just operating an algorithm. The notion of unionization in the “sharing economy” is of course preposterous and unheard of — not even Facebook has organized — so who needs collective bargaining when you’ve got trust, and community, and other ukelele-and-Vimeo startup platitudes?

If TaskRabbit Is the Future of Employment, the Employed Are F*cked

The new study, which analyzed data from the Current Population Survey from 1976 to 2012, illustrates that the recession had a disproportionately large effect on routine jobs, and greatly sped up their loss. That is probably because even if a new technology is cheaper and more efficient than a human laborer, bosses are unlikely to fire employees and replace them with computers when times are good. The recession, however, gave them a motive. And the people who lost those jobs are generally unable to find new ones, said Henry E. Siu, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and an author of the study. Young people and those with only a high school diploma are much more likely to be unemployed and replaced by a machine, he said. And to the authors’ surprise, men are more vulnerable than women. “When you look at data, women who would otherwise be finding middle-paying routine jobs tend to be moving up the job ladder to these higher-paying brain jobs, whereas men are much more likely to just be moving from blue-collar jobs into not finding a job,” said Mr. Siu, who wrote the study with Guido Matias Cortes of the University of Manchester, Nir Jaimovich of Duke University and Christopher J. Nekarda of the Federal Reserve in Washington.

Technology, Aided by Recession, Is Polarizing the Work World - NYTimes.com

A new analysis from the San Francisco Fed finds entry-level earnings for new college grads — defined as working graduates age 21 to 25 — grew only by 6 percent from April 2007 to April 2014. In comparison, median weekly earnings for all workers grew two-and-a-half times as fast, at 15 percent. And while recent grads tend to fall behind after any recession, the gap since the Great Recession has been both wide and long-lasting.

Young college grads’ wage growth is falling farther and farther behind - Vox

Mail carrier is just one casualty of a tech-based job market that shares a unifying theme: paper. Newspaper reporters face a projected 13% decline in hiring in the coming years. Layoffs and furloughs in the industry are commonplace, the result of advertisers slashing their print budgets by nearly 30% since 2009, per a NewspaperDeathWatch.com report. “When I started in the business, I imagined paying my dues for a few years and moving up to better beats or an editor’s role,” says one former newspaper reporter in Southern California. Nate moved to public relations in 2011, the same year 152 newspapers cased operations around the nation. “But after almost 10 years I saw how few jobs there were and no opportunities to move up,” he says. Consumers are not simply eschewing reading the news, but rather are consuming their information online and not in print. Want to catch up on the latest news? Power on your smart phone or tablet and get the latest happenings from around the globe in one place. Want to read a book? Download any one of thousands of titles instantly. The logging industry is feeling the impact of the move from print to digital. Says Eric Johnson, publisher of Northern Logger, dramatically lower demand for paper means much less demand for wood pulp that lumberjacks help provide. The result is a 9% decline in logging industry employment.

Most Endangered Jobs of 2014 | CareerCast.com

The 40-hour workweek is mostly a thing of the past…

Taking some time off actually improves a worker’s productivity at work. A study from Ernst & Young found that every ten hours of vacation time taken by an employee boosted her year-end performance rating by 8 percent and lowered turnover. Former NASA scientists found that people who take vacations experience an 82 percent increase in job performance upon their return, with longer vacations making more of an impact than short ones.

You’re working too hard.

Why not avoid work altogether, or at least live knowing that presence is more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity?

(via explore-blog)

One of the rewards of more cooperation—and sometimes conflict—is that people are happier. In a clumsy, slow-moving organization, people become frustrated and disengaged because their work has no impact. Ironically, when you let conflict happen and sometimes encourage it, people get angry and fight with each other—and that makes them happier, because in the end they did difficult, important work that made a difference.

The surprising secret of happier, more productive organizations: conflict – Quartz