The Economic Perspective: “The New Workplace”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at the new workplace. Mike, one of the long-standing issues with work is its inflexibility.  Traditionally for most jobs, workers had to be on the job at set days and times.  Now I understand these rules may be changing.  What’s happening and why?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. The “why” is the tight labor market – with unemployment at a 50 year low, many companies are having trouble getting and keeping workers
  2. So besides higher wages, they’re also trying to accommodate work schedules
  3. Some companies are allowing workers to set their own hours
  4. Also are increasing ability of people to work remotely – for example, to attend meetings via internet conferencing
  5. Even with service jobs – like restaurants – some companies are permitting workers to collaborate on schedules – workers take each other’s shifts during emergencies – and companies are even adding vacation days
  6. Big question – will these changes last if and when the economy slows
  7. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.