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
- The “why” is the tight labor market – with unemployment at a 50 year low, many companies are having trouble getting and keeping workers
- So besides higher wages, they’re also trying to accommodate work schedules
- Some companies are allowing workers to set their own hours
- Also are increasing ability of people to work remotely – for example, to attend meetings via internet conferencing
- 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
- Big question – will these changes last if and when the economy slows
- 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.