Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup = Lower Productivity

“The World Cup is causing human resource managers a headache as late nights and anxiety over match outcomes take their toll on employee productivity.”

The World Cup has to be the most watched sports event in the whole world. It does not only capture footfall fans but people from all walks of life like me who get crazy about football once every four years only. OK, I may be exaggerating but it’s true, people do caught up with the hype or fever. News about the world cup is everywhere. Your office colleagues talk about them. Now with the Facebook and Twitter community, the wall posts and tweets about this event are everywhere. How can you possibly avoid the excitement surrounding the world cup?

If you are a hard-core fan, you’ll be spending time watching three matches a day. That’s at least 4.5 hours! Not only that, the 2:30am live match in Malaysia can be a real “inconvenience” because it’s going to affect your work the next day. And who and what suffer the most? The employers and your work productivity! Complaints such as high absenteeism, MCs, lack of concentration due to lack of sleep, potential work place accidents and the like contribute to one outcome: lower productivity! Of course, the employers cannot issue a memo to stop employees from following the games. You can’t install CCTVs in their houses, can you?

Worst still, betting. Though there may be celebrations if the whole company is siding a winning team but if the employees divided among themselves and pit against one another, unwarranted exchanges, anxiety and conflicts may be the result. Again, what does this leads to? Lower productivity!

So, is world cup good for business? Perhaps not. But as for most employers that are as crazy about world cup as anyone else, who cares? It only happens once in four years. Everyone including bosses are making adjustments and planning their appointments around their favorite team matches schedules.

I will be the first to admit I did just that. I was supposed to have an appointment at 6pm last evening. But I realized I may miss the 7:30 pm match between Argentina and South Korea. I quickly checked if I can move the appointment to 4pm instead. Asked why I have to reschedule, without sounding like a world cup freak, I briefly mentioned, “I’m just not available after 6:30pm.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Unemployment - How Scary Can It Be?

I just read in FinChannel.Com that the situation on the job market in Europe remains the greatest concern. Compared with the previous year, the degree of concern has even risen slightly.

Greece is already in a crisis. Spain seems to be the next in line. Not surprising considering its unemployment rate at 18%. I was in Turkey last week and apparently they have the second highest unemployment rate in Europe, at 14%. In short, it is a bad time in Euro Area. I wonder how the unemployed cope.

How scary can unemployment be? I talked about it with my Malaysian friends. I had blogged about it. But honestly, I do not truly appreciate the magnitude of its effect because I had never experienced it myself. Whew, lucky me? Or shall I say, lucky Malaysians?

Latest unemployment rate - 2010

The recent global financial crisis did not hit Malaysia as much as it does to Europe and US. However, many had caution bad times ahead. How will we tackle the situation? How will I face it - I mean, no job for six months, one year or even more? Will I fall apart? Will I be crying every night?

Our job forms such an important aspect of our life. It is not just a matter of livelihood but it entirely defines our identity whether we like it or not. A job loss equates to a loss in identity. As simple as that.

Job Loss = Temporary Identity Loss

Of course, a job loss would change our lifestyle. We certainly need to cut spending and probably do some downgrading exercise. But the impact of losing a job and the inability to find one soon will land us in a state of hopelessness and that’s what the government and society at large fear most. A group of hopeless people can turn violent and hence, contribute to social ills. It doesn't take a genius to know high unemployment will always leads to higher crime rate.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the unemployment rate in Malaysia will remain status quo, if not lower.

No, I don't wish to have the experience of being out of work to blog about it.