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Published on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Quick Hits - May 16, 2018

Workers value community in the workplace: About half (47%) of part- or full-time employees value a community atmosphere in the place where they work, according to a new survey by Clutch, a B2B research, ratings, and reviews company. The number increases to 55% for millennial workers aged 18-34. These findings suggest that workspaces, including traditional offices, coworking spaces, coffee shops, and other public work areas, benefit from finding ways to bring their employees together.  While Generation X and baby boomers also value community, they don't prioritize it at the same level as their younger coworkers. This is likely because millennials are the first generation to grow up with the internet, says Laurel Cummings, a makerspace researcher and member of Building Momentum, a science and engineering consulting company.  Cummings says that the internet is a connective tool that allows people to create projects of previously unimaginable scale and reach.  The top quality that employees want in their physical surroundings is a pleasant, comfortable workspace. More than 3 out of 5 office workers (61 percent) want their workspaces to look and feel good. When workers have access to space they find agreeable and cozy, they're able to concentrate better and think more positively about the work they do. Source: CCH 5/10/18

More employees using vacation time: The State of American Vacation 2018 survey shows improvement in America’s work culture.   In analyzing how vacation time was spent, the data shows an unmistakably strong correlation between travel and happiness that forces the question, does the function of the time or the time itself have a greater impact?  The 52% who left vacation on the table accumulated 705 million unused days last year, up from 662 million days the year before.  Though this increase may seem counterintuitive to Americans using more vacation time, it is a function of employees earning more time. The average employee reported earning 23.2 paid time off days, an increase of more than half a day (.6 days) over the previous year.  Of these days, Americans forfeited 212 million days, which is equivalent to $62.2 billion in lost benefits. That means employees effectively donated an individual average of $561 in work time to their employer in 2017. The more than 700 million days that go unused represent a $255 billion opportunity that the American economy is not capturing. Had Americans used that vacation time, the activity could have generated 1.9 million jobs.  Source: Project: Time Off

Another case confirms no overtime is not an ADA accommodation: In a recent 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case, the 8th Circuit affirmed summary judgement in a former UPS Inc. worker's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim that the company unfairly denied him a less strenuous job after he suffered an injury. His doctor’s note limited him to eight-hour shifts.  However, the job the employee wanted was a feeder job that would have required him to work up to nine and a half hours at a time. The court said it would not have been reasonable for UPS to limit he employee to eight hours of work because accommodating him in that job would delay delivery of packages or force other drivers to take over his route after eight hours.  Source:  Law360 5/14/18, Faidley v. United Parcel Service, No. 16-1073 (8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 10, 2018)

Automation will increase jobs, not reduce them per Manpower Survey: Technology is rapidly transforming organizations and companies will need more people in the near-term to meet the demand stimulated by automation, not less, according to ManpowerGroup. The new report — Robots Need Not Apply: Human Solutions in the Skills Revolution — surveyed 2,000 U.S. employers and found that 91% will maintain or increase headcount in the next two to three years as industries shift to more advanced, automated processes. The report provides a real-time view of the impact of automation on headcount, the functions most affected and the soft skills that are both of greatest value and hardest to find.  HR should focus on programs that can train or retrain employees on the skills needed for future success.  Source: Manpower

Glassdoor acquired by Japanese company: Glassdoor, the website known for hosting employer reviews and job postings, has agreed to be acquired by Recruit Holdings Co. for $1.2 billion.   Recruit Holdings, based in Japan, will add Glassdoor to a portfolio that includes job sites Indeed and Simply Hired. Glassdoor said it would operate "as a distinct and separate part of [Recruit's] growing HR technology segment."  Glassdoor also will continue to operate under its own brand, CEO Robert Hohman said in a company blog post announcing the deal, which is expected to close this summer.  Glassdoor's particular place in the industry should prove a weighty addition for Recruit, especially given the firm's reputation as a go-to place for honest reviews of company culture, job satisfaction and candidate experience. And statistically, those reviews matter: 76% of job seekers research employers before applying for an opening, and 84% of passive job seekers would think about leaving their current employer if another with an outstanding rating made a job offer, according to a 2017 study.  Source: HR Dive 5/9/18

IRS restores family HSA contribution to $6,900:  Responding to concerns about administrative headaches for plan sponsors and administrators, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reversed its previous decision to lower the maximum family health savings account (HSA) contribution from $6,900 to $6,850.   “For 2018, taxpayers may treat $6,900 as the annual limitation on the deduction for an individual with family coverage” under a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), the IRS stated in Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2018-27, issued April 26th.  Source:  IRS

There is a job opportunity for every unemployed American: There’s a job vacancy waiting to be filled for every unemployed American -- almost.  The labor market has come within a hair of reaching that milestone for the first time in records going back to 2000. Job openings surged to a record 6.55 million in March, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. That compares with the 6.585 million unemployed workers in March -- just 35,000 more than the number of available positions. At this rate, vacancies could surpass the 6.35 million unemployed as of April.  The increase in job openings doesn’t necessarily mean a boon for anyone who’s unemployed, given hurdles such as the lack of relevant skills that employers frequently cite. In addition, workers may be reluctant to relocate to where the jobs are, or to accept a position with lower pay or in a different field, for example.  Source:  Bloomberg 5/8/18

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