The Daily Rundown

The Small Business Daily Rundown: Are You a Cyberloaf?

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

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Let’s jump right into the fray. Today, we’ll look at how the aging workforce impacts small businesses, how the new AB-5 legislation in California has affected women-owned businesses, and an argument for why you should let your employees surf the web while on the clock.

Aging workforce presents benefits and challenges for SBOs

Recent research from the Insured Retirement Institute sheds an interesting light on the nature of America’s aging workforce. Today, roughly 26% of the workforce is 55 or older and the number of American workers 65 or older increased by 60% from the early 2000s until 2016. While many people are working because they don’t have sufficient retirement savings, workers cited improved health and fitness, along with a desire to continue participating in society, contribute to prolonged careers. Regardless, hiring and retaining older employees can provide many benefits to small businesses.

The Number: 10,000. The AARP estimates that around 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach retirement age between 2011 and 2029, but that only 5,900 of them are retiring per day. 

The Quote: “Older workers bring a level of expertise, tenure, and proven skills that are valuable to smart companies. That, combined with the labor force not meeting demand due to the very, very low unemployment rate makes senior and all great candidates valuable.”

California’s AB-5 law making life tough for some female SBOs

Female small business owners and self-employed women are among those speaking out against California’s new worker classification law. The new law classifies most workers as employees, granting exceptions to a narrow range of occupations. Proponents of the law argue that true independent proprietors will be able to continue unaffected, but the complex nature of the law has caused some employers to decide not to do business with California-based contractors.

The Number: $20 million. California’s budget for 2020 included $20 million to enforce the new worker classification law. 

The Quote: “In a shrinking media landscape where hiring executives are still mostly white and male, AB-5 places additional restrictions and burdens on women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community by forcing many of us to seek staff jobs.”

‘Cyberloafing’ may not be all bad for business, research says

Thinking about enacting a strict “No Internet” policy for your employees? Consider this: employee “cyberloafing” might not be all bad. While some estimates place the value of lost productivity somewhere around $85 billion per year, a little cybersurfing can actually be beneficial for business. Research indicates that allowing employees to use the internet at work can have a positive impact on employee engagement and job satisfaction.

The Number: 10%. On average, U.S. workers spend up to 10% of their workday surfing the internet, emailing friends, or online shopping. 

The Quote: That is, mistreated workers who spent more time surfing the web and checking emails reported higher job satisfaction and were less likely to want to quit than similar participants who didn’t cyberloaf as much.”

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