Posts tagged with: unpaid overtime

Letting work slip through the cracks

I’m sure there are no official statistics on this, but I wonder how many of us are getting a bit sloppy at work these days?

It’s not intentional. And it’s not laziness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Employees are taking on more work at their jobs. They have to: A growing number of companies are operating with skeleton staffs thanks to all the layoffs and firings caused by the recession.

At my job, where I’m the editor of a trade magazine, I’ve lost my one staff writer. I now put the magazine together on my own. Earlier this month, my bosses gave me one more magazine to help edit, increasing my workload again.

I’m happy to have my job. I just wish there wasn’t so much of it to deal with.

Because I am taking on this extra work, I’ve noticed I’ve gotten a bit sloppy. I missed a freelance deadline today. I forgot to send back some interview questions for another Web site earlier this week. And this morning, I begged off a writing assignment I had taken on. I just didn’t have time to do a good job on it.

That’s terribly unprofessional, of course. But for my addled brain, there was no other solution.

What about you? Are you overworked these days? Are you letting the little things — or maybe some big things — slip through the cracks?

Are workers giving up on the perks?

If you’re fortunate enough to still have a job, you want to do everything in your power to hold onto it. I understand that.

But what are you willing to give up?

How about any hope of a raise? What about the chance to work from home one or more days a week? What about extra pay for taking on extra jobs or duties?

Turns out, a growing number of workers are willing to give up all of these perks to hold onto their jobs.

It’s unfortunate that people are willing to give up so much. But it’s certainly understandable. The nation’s unemployment rate has soared to 8.5 percent. And in many states, the jobless rate is even higher.

Still … I wonder about the long-term impact this willingness of workers to simply give up on their work-life benefits and perks. Once the recession ends — and it will, despite the steady stream of gloomy news and economic reports, end some day — I worry that employers, grown used to employees willing to do more for less, will forget that they once paid their workers to take on extra jobs, or rewarded them for working longer hours.

Have we workers created a new norm at our offices, a norm where we’re expected to work long hours and commit ourselves wholly to our jobs without expecting any perks from our employers?