IN THIS MONTH’S NEWSLETTER:
The Feed – Is a bad job harming your mental health?
The Top 5 – Strategies to reduce cyberslacking in your workplace
News In Brief – Announcements from Copier Careers®, HP, Samsung, Foxconn and Sharp.
Sound Off – Our readers respond to last month’s poll
Poll-of-the-Month – How much time do you spend using the internet for non-work reasons?
Is a bad job harming your mental health?
It’s common knowledge that being employed is better for your mental health than being unemployed…or is it? According to a recent study by the Centre for Mental Health Research at Australian National University, this old truism may not actually be true. It all depends on the quality of the job.
The study tracked the mental health of people who found jobs after a period of unemployment. While getting a high-quality job after being unemployed did boost mental health, getting a poor quality job actually caused mental health to decrease. As reported by the Daily Beast, “people with jobs characterized by high demand, low control over decision making, high job insecurity, and an imbalance between expended effort and reward actually experienced poorer mental health than those who were jobless.”
Over the past several years, Copier Careers has noted a trend — particularly among service managers and technicians — of people working longer hours for lower compensation. Numerous office equipment dealerships have put off hiring and required their staff to take on greater workloads in an attempt to weather the recession. Now that the recession is over, the best dealerships are hiring again to relieve stress, reduce workloads, and lessen uncertainty for their employees. In other words, good jobs are being created every day in this industry…and while a bad job may be worse than being unemployed, a good job is the greatest thing of all. So make sure to check out our current job listings — we’ve got hundreds of good jobs from all around the country just waiting to be filled by the right candidate.
THE TOP 5… Strategies to reduce cyberslacking in your workplace
Tips from the trenches to keep your copier career on track
Cyberslacking — using the internet for personal reasons during business hours — has become an enormous problem for business over the past several years. A study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that fantasy football alone costs employers billions of dollars each year in lost productivity; we can only imagine how many hours are lost to Facebook, YouTube, and online shopping and gaming. While some researchers believe cyberslacking may have a net positive impact for employers, most companies would prefer to reduce personal internet use by their employees — an objective which is becoming more difficult to meet now that web-connected smartphones and tablets have become essential business tools. The truth is that there is really no good solution to the problem, but there are ways to minimize it. Here are a few of them:
- Monitor employee internet use. Many companies today monitor employee internet use, and several studies have found this to be an effective tactic in reducing cyberslacking — employees who know they’re being monitored are generally more conservative in their internet use than employees who are not monitored. The downside is that monitoring internet use can create a climate of mistrust or cause resentment among employees who feel they’re being micromanaged or spied upon.
- Restrict bandwidth. According to POPP Communications, “Excessive bandwidth allows employees to stream videos and radio; illegally download music, movies, and software; surf social networking sites; and participate in online shopping and gaming without detection.” Restricting bandwidth makes it more difficult for employees to engage in entertainment activities. Check with your communications provider to see if they offer bandwidth restriction or bandwidth monitoring tools.
- Restrict access to problem websites. Many employers restrict access to certain websites they deem problematic — for example, it is common for companies to restrict access to the personal social networking site Facebook while allowing access to the professional networking website LinkedIn. If your company does restrict access to specific websites, the list of restricted sites should be reviewed frequently to ensure no useful websites are being blocked.
- Communicate. Though it’s tough for some older managers to believe, many employees — especially younger workers who have grown up using the internet — are not aware that their personal internet use could be damaging the company’s bottom line. Having specific, enforceable internet use policies in place can go a long way toward keeping internet use professional.
- Consult current staff. In developing new internet use policies, it’s important to avoid top-down decision making; rather, employees at all levels of the organization should be involved in crafting new guidelines. Building consensus in this manner can take longer and may involve more compromise on the management side, but it will also give you a clearer picture of your company’s current problems and needs and will help to maintain a culture of trust and transparency.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Danwood founder Colin Daniels suspended due to accounting irregularities. Danwood, one of the country’s largest independent office equipment dealers, has suspended four of its senior managers, including founder and chairman Colin Daniels. The other suspended managers are Richard Coles, Peter Hopton, and David Jones. According to CEO Stephen Francis, the suspensions occurred following the discovery of accounting irregularities after his appointment last fall. “I arrived with a brief to establish on behalf of the investor the highest possible standards of governance and ethics,” said Francis. “As part of that, I encouraged whistle blowing, which led to a number of people coming forward.” Danwood, headquartered in Lincoln, employs approximately 1,800 people in 45 sites across the country.
Konica Minolta to Acquire FedEx Kinko’s Korea. Konica Minolta has signed an agreement to acquire FedEx Kinko’s Korea, the largest copy and print service provider in Korea. One of the primary growth strategies in the Konica Minolta Medium Term Business Plan is to reinforce the production print business. While delivering customer-focused services for commercial printing, the company aims to strengthen its business for document-related services, especially in Asia. Following completion of the acquisition, FedEx Kinko’s Korea’s company name will become Kinko’s Korea Ltd. Its stores and online services will continue to live under the Kinko’s brand.
Canon Top Among Japanese Companies in U.S. Patent Rankings for Eighth Consecutive Year. Canon has ranked first among Japanese companies and third overall for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2012, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services in January. The company was issued 3,174 U.S. patents in 2012, up from 2,813 U.S. patents in 2011.
OKI Data Americas Announces Expanded Line of Transfer Media for Use with pro920WT and 711WT Digital Color Printers. OKI Data Americas has announced the availability of a new and broader range of transfer media offerings approved for use with the OKI pro920WT and 711WT digital color printers—the GO FlipIt 2.0 line and the GO UNO line. All media is available through Graphics One, an authorized reseller and national distribution partner for both OKI printers. “The expanded range of media now available for use with the OKI pro920WT and 711WT enhances the unique transfer printing capabilities of both products and underscores OKI Data’s commitment to printing innovation,” said Rich Egert, General Manager of the Strategic Technology Provider Business Group for OKI Data Americas. “We are confident that this market segment will continue to embrace the pro920WT and 711WT as OKI Data expands its presence serving the specialty printing and imaging space.”
Xerox Reports Fourth Quarter Earnings. Xerox has announced fourth-quarter 2012 results that include adjusted earnings per share of 30 cents. As planned, the company’s fourth-quarter earnings include 5 cents of restructuring. Adjusted EPS excludes 4 cents related to amortization of intangibles, resulting in GAAP EPS of 26 cents. In the fourth quarter, total revenue of $5.9 billion was down 1 percent or flat in constant currency. Revenue from the company’s services business was up 7 percent and represented 52 percent of total revenue. Revenue from the company’s document technology business, which represents 42 percent of revenue, was down 8 percent as economic and market conditions continued to put pressure on sales of document systems, supplies, and related services. “Strong growth in services and the consistent profitability of our document technology business generated significant operating cash flow and contributed to fourth-quarter earnings that met our expectations,” said Ursula Burns, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer.
SOUND OFF: Our readers speak
In January, we asked for your thoughts on the best length for an initial interview with a job applicant. The results were mixed among the 1943 votes, but the majority of people believed shorter were better, with 79 percent of respondents voting for lengths of less than 30 minutes. Here are the full results:
- 15 minutes (46%, 896 Votes)
- 25 minutes (33%, 634 Votes)
- 35 minutes (13%, 247 Votes)
- 45 minutes (5%, 101 Votes)
- 1 hour or more (3%, 65 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,943 (December 25, 2012 @ 12:00 am - January 25, 2013 @ 12:00 am)
Here’s what you had to say on the topic:
“One hour for sure. It takes that long to size someone up.”
“Look them in the eye. Done deal.”
“15 minutes. It’s just a screening to see if it’s worth moving forward.”
“I just need to see their sales reports or OEM certs.”
“No more than half an hour, then you move to a real interview at another time.”
“In that first interview, you just want to get a good feel for the person. See where his or her head is at.”
“Just a handshake. It’s all B.S. after that.”
“There is not a time length you can put on an interview. It all depends on the responses the candidate gives during the interview process.”
“You can tell in the first five minutes if the candidate is worthy of a second round interview. The rest is just filler.”
“Just show me the numbers.”
“You should be able to know by the handshake and the tone of voice the candidate uses.”
THE COPIER CAREERS® NEWSLETTER POLL OF THE MONTH
- More than 1 hour per day (74%, 1,463 Votes)
- 30-60 minutes per day (11%, 222 Votes)
- 15-30 minutes per day (8%, 150 Votes)
- Less than 15 minutes per day (5%, 103 Votes)
- None (1%, 27 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,965 (January 25, 2013 @ 10:49 pm - February 25, 2013 @ 10:49 pm)