According to a recent Internet poll, 48.6% of employees in Russia consider themselves "overworked" by their employers. Slightly less, 47.2% do not see themselves as “overworked”. The director of the polling company explains the small difference by the fact that some respondents may not recognize the true extent of their work, accepting it as "normal," while others, on the contrary, may credit themselves with non-existent achievements in attempt to be an "ideal" employee.
Globalization, new technologies and growing competition have, for many professions, led to 60-hour weeks, tight schedules, increased work loads, all leading to good salaries. Such “labor extremes” are typical for many Russians, as well as foreign companies.
It may seem that the 60-hour work-week should lead to increased labor efficiency. However, this is not so. Moreover, wage levels in Russia are growing much faster than labor efficiency. According to statistics by Russia's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), actual wages grew in the first quarter of 2007 at almost doubled the rate of labor efficiency. This is much higher than in the past: in January – March 2006 salaries grew 8.5% and labor efficiency – 6.1%. In 2007, the difference increased significantly: salaries grew by 15.5% and labor efficiency only by 7.8%.
Employers and recruiters are both pessimistic about situation, expecting this tendency to continue in the next two years, until the market is stabilized. Russia's shortage of qualified specialists is well-known, and demand is increasing every day. As long as the demand is growing, the situation will not change.
The feeling of being overworked also does not contribute to the growth of labor efficiency. In order to save yourself and your employees from this unpleasant feeling, experts suggest optimizing business processes and implementing time management. The feeling of being overworked often results from failure to plan one's work time and from poorly organized company processes. A lack of clear feedback from immediate superiors also presents a drag to both quality and quantity of work. The matter depends on the top-manager. As the saying goes, there are no bad employees, only poor managers.
What is happening with labor efficiency in the USA and Europe? During all of 2007 labor efficiency in the USA grew by 1.6%. However, salary expenses shot up by 3.1%, reaching the highest level for the past seven years. In Europe labor efficiency for some industries exceeds Russian rates by seven times.
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