News and advice on management and the business environment — November 2015

A new website matches semi-retired professionals with businesses looking for experienced part-timers. Plus, a new study shows that half of accounting and finance professionals eat lunch by themselves.


Most dine solo at midday meal

Dining solo 

Half of accounting and finance professionals typically eat lunch by themselves, an Accountemps survey finds, but nearly the same number (46%) would prefer to dine with a colleague. That’s a smart idea, says Bill Driscoll, district president at the staffing firm. “Sharing a meal with coworkers not only strengthens business relationships, but creates a more relaxed environment for collaboration and the exchange of ideas,” he says. More than a third (37%) of those polled would like to exercise on their lunch break but just 10% actually do. Respondents more frequently use the time to run errands (33%), check personal email (28%) and surf the Internet (24%).


Stress worse for women in male-dominated jobs

New research shows that being the token female in a mostly male profession can wreak havoc on a woman’s health. Indiana University Bloomington researchers analyzed the stress hormone patterns of women in jobs made up of 85% or more men. They found these women had less healthy patterns of cortisol compared with men in the same field, or women who worked in jobs with a more even gender split.


Your profession is the most profitable

Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services have the highest profit margins of all US private companies, according to an analysis of financial statements by data company Sageworks. The annual ranking of most profitable industries puts accounting at the top of the list for the 12 months ended August 2015, with average net profit margins of 19.6%, followed by lessors of real estate at 16% — more than double the private-company average.


Not the cream of the crop

Retirees, you might want to consider going back to work: the current crop of job candidates just ain’t cutting it. A Canadian Federation of Independent Business poll found that nearly three-quarters of small-business owners say the work ethic of new hires has deteriorated in recent years. The biggest issues are a lack of qualified applicants (88%) and too-high wage expectations (50%), while one-quarter say candidates didn’t even show up for scheduled interviews.