Entries in Work (9)


'My Cat Had the Hiccups' and Other Late for Work Excuses

Ciaran Griffin/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With a new survey finding 27 percent of Americans showing up late for work once a month, it stands to reason they need to have an adequate supply of excuses at the ready. commissioned the survey, and found 31 percent of tardy workers blamed their lateness on traffic.  Eighteen percent of those who showed up late cited a lack of sleep, while 11 percent blamed the weather.  Public transportation delays and getting kids to school or daycare was cited by eight percent of late employees.  The survey of employees and business managers also revealed some over-the-top excuses.

Here are’s "Most Outrageous Excuses for Coming in Late”:

-- My cat had the hiccups.

-- I thought I won the lottery (but, alas, didn't).

-- I got distracted watching the Today show.

-- My roommate got mad at me and cut the cord to my phone charger, so it didn't charge and my alarm didn't go off.

-- You mean my commute time doesn't count toward my work hours?

-- A fox stole my car keys.

-- My leg got trapped between the subway car and the platform (This one turned out to be true).

-- I have no intention of getting to work before 9 a.m. (Start time was 8 a.m.)

-- Sorry, I'm late. I had a job interview with another firm.

-- I had to take a personal call from the state governor (This one also turned out to be true).

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive, and involved 7,000 employees and 3,000 employers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Note to Employers: Save the Holiday Party, Dish Out the Bonus

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Company soirees are low on the list of employee preferences for holiday perks, with cash, grocery gift cards and even gym memberships preferred.

An online survey from jobs and career community website and Harris Interactive showed the majority (72 percent) of 2,574 U.S. adults wanted a cash bonus. A number of items ranked above company shindigs -- with only 4 percent of those surveyed saying they preferred a holiday party with an open bar, which came in at no. 9 in a list of 12 options.

In an uncertain economy with looming layoffs in some industries like the financial sector, company parties can now be viewed as irresponsible or extravagant, according to Wall Street Journal’s career site, FINS.

However, white elephant gift exchanges and colleague-spousal introductions seem to be more popular than the two options that ranked below company parties: commuter subsidies (3 percent) and gold watch or other accessory (2 percent).

The Glassdoor survey results showed the following employee holiday preferences:

  1. 72% cash bonus
  2. 62% salary raise
  3. 32% paid time off that doesn’t count against vacation
  4. 23% grocery gift card
  5. 14% work from home for a year
  6. 11% company stock or shares
  7. 10% health care subsidy
  8. 8% gym membership
  9. 4% holiday party with an open bar
  10. 3% commuter subsidy
  11. 2% gold watch or other accessory
  12. 2% other

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bosses Don’t Listen, Study Finds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study seems to confirm what some disgruntled employees have long suspected: bosses don’t listen.

The study, in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, claims that the more power an individual has in the workplace, the less likely they are to take advice from others. And on top of not listening, these inflated decision-makers are often wrong in their decisions.

“There’s a tendency for power to make you confident, which is a good thing because we want our leaders to be confident, but there’s a dark side to that confidence,” said Elizabeth Morrison, one of the study’s authors and a professor of management and organizations at New York University.  ”You can be overconfident and less open to input from others.”

The researchers collected data from over 200 managers as well as their coworkers. In addition to the real-life bosses, experiments were conducted where students were assigned different levels of power and asked to make various decisions.

Those in higher positions of power had the tendency to make decisions on their own without seeking or taking input from others.

Morrison said that the researchers were surprised to find that people in higher positions of power felt an overall confidence that lead them to make decisions on their own both in areas where they were experts and in areas that were not part of their expertise, simply because they were powerful.

The researchers noted that the decision-maker and his or her underlings see things differently. Often times, the employees in positions of greater power had “internalized role expectations” that powerful people are supposed to be confident in their decisions and that taking advice from others is a sign of weakness.

However, employees working under these decision-makers believed that bosses who take advice and input are better leaders.

The managers who made the decisions on their own were found to be the least accurate. Their overconfidence and inflated sense of their own judgment often led them to the wrong decisions.

The experiments also found that women were more likely to take advice than men.

Morrison believes that the study has real-life implications for the workplace. “If you feel you have the answer, recognize that there may be a tendency to be off in that judgment and force yourself to listen to other people,” she said.

The study was titled “The Detrimental Effects of Power on Confidence, Advice Taking, and Accuracy” and conducted by Morrison, Kelly See, Naomi Rothman of Lehigh University and Jack Soll of Duke University. It will be published in November.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nearly One-in-Five Telecommuters Spend One Hour or Less on Work

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Working from home is great work if you can get it, especially in light of a new survey that reveals 17 percent of Americans who telecommute at least part of the time spend one hour or less per day on work.

The national survey found 40 percent of telecommuters work between four and seven hours per day, while 35 percent work eight or more hours.

The online jobs site also found:

-- 37 percent of telecommuters say they are more productive at the office, while 29 percent state they are more productive at home.  Thirty-four percent say they are equally productive at home and the office.

-- Telecommuters rank household chores as the biggest distraction, followed by TV, pets, running errands, the Internet and children.

-- 41 percent of female telecommuters work in their pajamas, compared to 22 percent of males.

The national survey was conducted between May 19 and June 8, 2011, and involved nearly 5,300 employees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Finding a Job Is Full Time Work, Report Finds

File photo. Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- These days, losing a job can often mean a long stint without employment. The median period of unemployment is at a historic high -- 39.7 weeks, according to the May report. That's the highest it has ever been in the history of the survey.

A new research report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics dug into this trend to offer new details on how long it takes to make the transition from unemployed to employed and found that 11 percent of job seekers took a year or longer to land a new job.

Data included in the report shows that between 2000 – 2008 about half of all unemployed people found a job within five weeks. Last year, a little more than a third of jobseekers were able to land a new position in that amount of time.

[See the full report at the U.S. Labor Bureau's website.]

The report shows that if you've been unemployed for less than five weeks, you have a 30 percent chance of finding work in the next month. For those who have been out of work for almost seven months, the chance of finding a job in the next four weeks drops to just 10 percent.

The average respondent who gave up on finding a new job did so after about 20 weeks of job hunting in 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Could You Be Making More at Your Job?

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Are you making as much money as you should be at your job?

According to jobs experts, women are a lot less likely than men to ask for a raise.

"[Women] think if they're doing a great job a boss is just going to say, 'Hey, you're doing a great job.  Would you like a raise?'  That never happens.  You really do have to ask," says Nicole Williams, an employment expert.

And don't underestimate what you're worth.

"If you do have valuable skills you definitely want to be articulating what your value is to the company and ask for that raise," Williams says.

If you're interested in what others are making in your position, you can compare wages and salaries at or

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Laid Off Workers Finding Employment, Survey Says

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- In yet another sign that the U.S. jobs market is improving, more laid off workers are finding new positions, according to a new survey released on Tuesday.

After surveying over 900 full-time workers who were laid off in the past year, found that 59 percent of them -- three in five workers -- were able to find new positions.  The latest figure is an improvement from 2010, when 55 percent of laid off workers were able to find a new job.

The employment firm said opportunities are opening up in all industries and that more people are finding work at the same pay as their old jobs.

But despite recent improvements, long-term unemployment is still very high, and the jobless rate is way above normal levels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Promotions for Women Able to Self-Monitor Masculinity, Feminity

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FAIRFAX, Va.) -- Women who exhibit "masculine" traits at work can be hurt by what researchers for years have called "the backlash effect." Research has shown women who have stereotypically masculine characteristics, like dominance and self-confidence, are sometimes sanctioned for behaving in ways that are incongruent with the feminine stereotype of supportiveness and submissiveness.

But according to a recent study, women who self-monitor their so-called masculine behavior use it to their advantage and get more work promotions than both men and other women.

"Masculine women who are able to turn on and turn off these masculine traits were more likely able to succeed above female counterparts and male counterparts," said Olivia O'Neill, assistant professor of management at George Mason University. The British Psychological Society has just published research by O'Neill and her co-author, Charles O'Reilly, a professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

The two professors followed 132 business school graduates, 43 percent of whom were women. The professors first assessed the participants from 1986-1987, the first year of their two-year business school program. Then they assessed the participants again seven to eight years after graduation.

O'Neill said "masculine" women who were good at self-monitoring, or able to accurately assess social situations and project appropriate responses, received more promotions than others.

In fact, the results showed that "masculine" women who were high self-monitors received three times as many promotions as women who were low self-monitors. And assertive women who were high at self monitoring also received one and a half times as many promotions as "feminine" women, irrespective of whether those women were high or low self-monitors.

O'Neill said she tried to see if other factors contributed to the higher number of promotions, but none was as significant.

"We know everything about these people, like birth order and attachment style to their mothers," said O'Neill. "There are a lot of possible explanations that do not seem to be leading to this."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cybershopping Yourself Out of a Job?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Office workers went online Monday en masse, using their employers' time to shop for everything from fruitcakes to holiday vacations, but what many such buyers fail to realize is that they may also be buying themselves a one-way ticket to the unemployment line.

Cyber Monday spending was projected to top $950 million, with 60 percent of customers shopping from work. A survey released last week estimated 70 million Americans will shop from work at some point during this holiday season.

As much as Cyber Monday is a boon to retailers, it's a headache to employers who expect workers to work.

Most employers prohibit using office time and office computers for any sort of personal use, including shopping. Employees expressly agree to those terms when they sign employment contracts.

Yet according to a recent survey by, 29 percent of workers say they have shopped online during past holidays, and 27 percent said that this year they intended to spend an hour or more; 13 percent said two hours or more.

All that shopping doesn't go unnoticed. Forty-seven percent of employers monitor employees' online activity, while 21 percent have fired employees for general Internet misuse, and five percent specifically for holiday shopping.

"Even if employers allow online shopping, employees should use good judgment and not abuse the privilege," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Excessive shopping is a red flag that could put someone's job at risk."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio