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Understanding Your Workers’ Special Challenges

When companies are able to gain an accurate understanding of their employees’ special needs and concerns, they can often boost both worker productivity and morale. Likewise, it’s important for employers to always bear in mind the special challenges that confront many workers who toil in special regions of the country. Everyone benefits when employees can maintain an optimal balance between their personal and professional lives.  

For example, there are some cities in the United States (five in particular) where the income inequality between the poor and the wealthy is especially pronounced. Employers in those cities must try doubly hard to pay all of their workers a living wage so that the poorer workers can at least purchases life’s most basic necessities. The five cities where income inequality between the rich and poor is most extreme are:  New Orleans, Louisiana; Gainesville, Florida; Jacksonville, Mississippi; Atlanta, Georgia; and Miami, Florida.

All employers in those cities should make extra efforts to offer special workplace childcare programs and other similar amenities to help the poorer workers minimize their added burdens.                           

Here are some other key facts about American workers that their employers should bear in mind to retain their best and brightest and to create a more pleasant work environment.

Important Data About Many American Workers                                  

  • Debt loads being carried by recent school graduates. According to a September 2014 issue of Time, many of today’s young workers are starting to work carrying twice the student loan debt that their parents did just 20 years ago. For this reason, many public and private employers (as well as some branches of the military), are increasing their offers to directly help students repay their loans if they receive good performance reviews and remain on the job for a set amount of time;
  • Creating better work settings. Although about 60% of American workers must now perform their duties in cubicles, roughly 90% of them would prefer a private office or a better way of dividing office space;
  • Commuting times. No one wants to walk in the door of their office already exhausted from the stress of their morning commute, regardless of whether they were the person driving. Unfortunately, about 600,000 Americans currently must cope with a 90-minute commute to work each day. Whenever possible, working from home really should be allowed to minimize this major employee complaint – there are many high-tech ways to accurately measure worker output throughout the day;
  • Paid time off. It’s always wise to treat your employees well, even when there’s not any current legislation forcing you to do so. For example, in America, workers average only about 16 days of paid time off each year, compared to the 35 offered to employees working in Portugal and Austria. We can do better, if we choose to do so;
  • No paid holiday time and no paid vacation time. Approximately one-fourth or 25% of America’s workers do not receive any type of annual paid time off. This is a tragic injustice to the poor who carry a disproportionate share of burdens in our society;
  • America has a rather low median wage. When you factor in the immense amount of money being paid to a great many of their bosses, it’s truly sad to see that America’s median annual income is now just about $27,500 a year. No one can create any savings when not provided with a respectable wage;
  • More recognition must be given to the time it takes to answer work-related emails. The average American workers spend about 13 hours each week responding to job emails. At present, 81% of workers say they need to check their employee emails on the weekends;
  • Best, low-cost idea for making your job force happy. The top perk more employees would appreciate more than nearly other (except perhaps, higher wages) would be to be allowed to leave work at noon every Friday;
  • Time off when new children are born into a worker’s immediate family. Although the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is helping many more of this country’s to get time off to help with a new born than was possible before that law was passed, a vast number of people still work for employers who aren’t legally required to provide any time off at all. In contrast, most European countries offer up to six months of time off when a child is born. When you implicitly force new mothers to return to work too soon, you will almost certainly compromise that employee’s productivity – and well being.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia