Friday, January 6, 2023

[NJFAC] WSJ: Your Coworkers Are Less Ambitious; Bosses Adjust

Your Coworkers Are Less Ambitious; Bosses Adjust to the New Order For a growing number of professionals, the days of unpaid overtime and working through weekends are in the past. Firms add people to finish projects, close for holidays and take other steps. and Dec. 31, 2022

Where have all the go-getters gone? 
At law firm Nixon Peabody LLP, associates have started saying no to working weekends, prompting partners to ask more people to help complete time-sensitive work. TGS Insurance in Texas has struggled to fill promotions, and bosses often have to coax staffers to apply. And Maine-based marketing company Pulp+Wire plans to shut down for two weeks next year now that staffers are taking more vacation than they used to.

"The passion that we used to see in work is lower now, and you find it in fewer people—at least in the last two years," says Sumithra Jagannath, president of ZED Digital, which makes digital ticket scanners. The company, based in Columbus, Ohio, recently moved about 20 remote engineering and marketing roles to Canada and India, where she said it's easier to find talent who will go above and beyond.

Since the onset of the pandemic, several employees have asked for more pay when managers asked that they do more work, she says. "It was not like that before Covid at all," she adds.

Many white-collar workers say the events of the past three years have reordered their priorities and showed them what they were missing when they were spending so much time at the office. Now that normalcy is returning, even some of the workers who used to be always on and always striving say they find themselves eyeing the clock as the day winds down, saying no to overtime work or even taking pay cuts for better work-life balance.

The reduced ambition can leave companies needing more people to do the same amount of work, something that ultimately could be a drag on American economic productivity. And bosses are openly considering the ramifications. Comments by Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernie Marcus that "nobody works, nobody gives a damn," with possible implications for the future of capitalism, in the Financial Times spread quickly this week. A spokeswoman for the retailer said: "Bernie Marcus retired from The Home Depot more than 20 years ago and does not speak on behalf of the company."....

In a November survey of more than 3,000 workers and managers by software firm Qualtrics, 36% said their overall career ambitions had waned over the past three years, compared with 22% who said their ambition had increased. Nearly 40% said work had become less important to them in the past three years, while 25% said it had grown more important, according to researchers at Qualtrics, which provides software to businesses to evaluate customer and employee experiences.

Even in hard-charging fields like law and finance, where all-nighters aren't uncommon, some professionals are objecting to the grind. A group of first-year analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. complained to bank leaders last year that they were working an average of 95 hours a week and that job stress had harmed their physical and mental health. Goldman, in response, said it would hire additional bankers and more strictly enforce boundaries around working hours. In an American Bar Association survey of nearly 2,000 members this year, 44% of young lawyers said they would leave their jobs for a greater ability to work remotely elsewhere.....

June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network

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