Work smarter not harder. Do more with less. Increase your output. Become more productive.
You've heard all this before, right? What it all means is that layoffs are coming, and the survivors are going to have to take on a hell of a lot more work, with no increase in support, resources or compensation. As cuts come, the survivors fight to survive, and succeeding means that a new benchmark is set. If you can survive without the help you used to have, it's easier to defer hiring for a while.
Now, in a perfect world, post-layoff life would be accompanied by an increase in salary. Hey, as long as you're not making as much as the laid off folks whose work you've taken on, you're still saving the company money, right? Yeah ... about that. The goal is for companies to spend as little as possible, which means keeping compensation as low as possible.
Because of this market dynamic, productivity(i.e., output per hour of work) shot up rapidly -- at its fastest pace in six years. Companies really can do more with less, it seems, and we're more than willing to take part in this game. Productivity is up 9.5% from Q3 2008 to Q3 2009 according to the Department of Labor. Economists expected a 6.4% increase -- a prediction left somewhere in the rearview mirror. Q3 also topped the Q2 productivity jump of 6.9%.
Productivity hasn't grown this quickly since the third quarter of 2003, when it was up 9.7%. And, we could get even more productive. Unemployment could reach 10.5% before the much anticipated recovery comes around, and survivors, eager not to become statistics, will take on the extra load and find a way to make it work.