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More Employees Say They'll Work Harder, Longer for Less

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[qi:010] It was only a matter of time until the economic downturn started chipping away at the confidence U.S. employees harbored towards their job safety earlier this year. As employers have continued to make cutbacks over the last six months, more Americans say they’re willing to bite the bullet and make job concessions if it increases their job safety, Glassdoor, a Sausalito, Calif.-based startup, found in a recent survey.

Six months ago, more than half of U.S. employees couldn’t fathom taking a pay cut, but now 42 percent are willing receive a lower paycheck if it increases the likelihood that they’ll keep their jobs. Employees are also willing to do more than just take a pay decrease — nearly three-quarters are willing to take on more responsibilities at work and 64 percent would work longer hours to increase their job security. That rise could be contributed to the fact that one-third of employees believe it’s unlikely they will find a job within six months if they were laid off, a view that remained unchanged from earlier this year. Plus, there’s a lot more job competition than before since unemployment hit a 26 year-high in June.

It’s no surprise that salary expectations have come down sharply from six months ago as bonus cuts are becoming more common. Fifty percent of employees believe they won’t get a pay raise in the next twelve months, up ten percent from this past December. This isn’t much of a surprise as slightly more than twenty percent reported their employers cut bonus amounts in the last six months.

A sliver of optimism remains: only one-in-four American employees fear they will be laid off in the next six months, down two percent from December 2008. Employees who work at companies that have recently gone through layoffs are more fearful, however, as 39 percent say they’re concerned about being laid off in the same period. Even though more employees are willing to work harder with less pay just to keep their jobs, many still think they’re less likely to be on the chopping block than their colleagues — 41 percent think their employers will lay off their other colleagues rather than themselves. What do they say — bad things happen to other people.

10 Responses to “More Employees Say They'll Work Harder, Longer for Less”

  1. just tired

    My employer made several cutbacks in the last 9 months. I didn’t get a raise, incentive bonus or anything. Now I have to buy my own coffee. Despite this the company had a very good 4th quarter in 2008, and a modest profit in the latest quarter. I also get to hear company execs eat their catered lunches while I’m missing my lunch break attending the meeting via telephone.

    Seems like the same old, same old to me.

    Yes, I’d take on more job responsibilities as long as they are challenging and not something outside my field.

  2. Mixed Up Much

    “Six months ago, more than half of U.S. employees couldn’t fathom taking a pay cut, but now 42 percent are willing receive a lower paycheck if it increases the likelihood that they’ll keep their jobs.”

    I’ll say it another way: “Those statements are nearly identical. Six months ago, less than half of employees were willing to receive a pay cut. Six months on, less than half of employees are willing to receive a pay cut.”

    The only possible difference could be the neutrals, or not answers. Anyway you are all mugs if you will let them own your soul. Work for yourselves. Let me tell you I’ve seen plenty of people work themselves to death for nothing worth it, just a little bit of money, trying to keep up with the jonses, including one of my parents. Screw the house, give it back to the bank, take a part time job doing something you enjoy. Live in a smaller home or even a trailer and spend more quality time with your kids, taking them to the great outdoors, interacting with intelligent, wise and charismatic children of other parents. Grow your own food.

    Or you can keep working in that office doing a job that doesn’t matter for a company that creates objects which serve little useful purpose and are thrown away like so much garbage every couple of years, dreaming of the huge mansion and three BMWs you’re never going to have.

    I’d have rather seen my parents more to be honest. And they never made it anyway. Even if they had made it, I’d still rather have seen them more.

  3. Maurice

    I for one am not willing to work more hours. I resigned my tech based evangelist role rather than go to 10+ hour days and some weekends.

    As I tweeted to David Pogue’s book: “You only get one chance to see your children grow up”, and I do not intend to miss my daughter as she grows.

    There are always other opportunities.