An multinational study by OfficeMetrics has revealed that UK office workers are coming into work earlier as the recession consolidates in grip. In fact, in most countries covered by the survey are seeing their workers becoming more punctual, though France and the US are exceptions.
OfficeMetrics analysed the start times of 80,000 employees of organizations using the company’s software, comparing start times in November 2008 with those in March 2009 in seven countries – Australia, US, Germany, Ireland, Japan, UK, and France.
Whereas UK workers were clocking in at an average time of around 9:12am in November 2008, the start time for March 2009 was 8:56 – some 15 minutes earlier. Germany showed a similar shift – 8:35 in March compared to 8:51 in November. Conversely French (14 minutes) and US (one minute) workers were actually coming in later in March than in November.
Jon Mulligan, OfficeMetrics’ managing director, put the general trend towards earlier starting times down to fear of redundancy (and thus a desire to show dedication) as well as heavier work loads: “People fear for their job security and want to show they are dedicated to their company in the current economic environment… There are [also] a lot of people getting made redundant so there’s just more work to do for some people.”
In a separate study recently, the British Chambers of Commerce found that half of UK firms are considering laying off employees over the next six months with more intending wage freezes (58%) and even pay cuts (12%).
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