Secretarial: Sex and the sickie: the truth

WHEN IT comes to secretaries' gripes, research shows that the practice of linking their grades to those of their managers comes ever higher on the list. Employers claim it acknowledges the fact that they work as a team, and that reward for achievements should be given to both parties. But linking can be a problem for both secretaries and managers if an excellent secretary has a poor boss or vice versa. If it becomes a problem for you, follow these four steps: first, talk to your manager. You could have under-estimated his or her desire to succeed. A career- minded, ambitious secretary could provide the motivation he or she needs. If this fails, however, approach personnel. Ask whether you should aim to work with a different manager or whether there are other ways to progress. Thirdly, it's worth finding out if other secretaries feel the same way. There's always strength in numbers. Finally, consider your own performance levels. It's all too easy to blame others for our own shortcomings.

u

DUREX'S ANNUAL sex survey consistently shows that people from Yorkshire are by far the most sexually active in the UK. It may be no coincidence that the CBI's new Focus On Absence survey reveals that workers in that part of the country take by far the most days off sick each year. Women are the worst offenders, according to a separate report by the Office for National Statistics. It found that females are off sick for 4 per cent of their working lives up to the age of 40 - which is double the figure for men. More than 200 million days were lost last year through sickness - an average of 8.4 days per employee.

u

IF YOU ventured abroad for your summer holiday this year, it can't have escaped your notice just how bad the British are at using other languages. Whether it's in a taverna in Greece or a temple in India, we are notorious for our cringe-worthy tendency to simply expect all foreigners to converse in English. In the world of business - which is increasingly being referred to as a "global village" - this is particularly dangerous. No wonder, then, that secretarial staff with language skills are now more in demand than ever before, according to recruitment agencies. Those who speak other tongues can now expect an extra 8 to12 per cent in their pay-packets. Reports reveal that the industries most likely to reward language skills among secretaries are finance and banking, fashion and cosmetics, and management consultancy - and that German is the language most in demand.

u

MOST OF us are all too aware of the threat of violence on the streets, but we are rarely warned about the increasing risk of brutality in the workplace. According to the Health and Safety Executive, there has been a significant increase in the number of violent attacks by colleagues and clients at work. Even schools and libraries are higher-risk environments than ever before, and receptionists report a growing number of incidents. Staff from housing departments have even had the odd kitchen sink or toilet hurled at them. One was held hostage by two 65-year-olds. Although the British Crime Survey does not have a specific category for workplace violence, it does note "acquaintance violence", which accounts for about half of all attacks on men and one third of all attacks on women. A staggering 23 per cent of these involve a customer or client, and around 20 per cent occur at work.

u

IT'S NO secret that employers are becoming increasingly strict about office staff surfing the Net at work. Many block access to pornographic and sports websites. But corporate censorship is, according to the magazine Personnel Today, now being extended to the Dilbert web page in some companies. For those who aren't familiar with Dilbert, he is the cynical office boy with the most satirical views on the modern world of work. One example of his columns is Most Contradictory Statements Made By Your Boss, of which two are "No overtime. Can you work Friday night?" and "We've installed a totally anonymous system to let you voice your concerns. First you have to log on..." If you can get past the Internet police, check it out at www.dilbert.com.

Kate Hilpern

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star