Nearly 1-in-5 employees fear losing their jobs in the next six months, despite the perception most have that their employers' prospects will brighten during the same period, a recent Glassdoor survey of more than 2,000 adults found.
What's with the disconnect? How can the workforce simultaneously be optimistic and pessimistic? Digging deeper into the data, it becomes clear how even if your glass is half full, all it takes is one misstep to make it spill out.
More is less (is more)
Employees reported a wide range of organizational flux, from reduced staff and wages to increased perks and benefits. More than a third of respondents said their company had made changes to the number of staff, or changes within staff structure through promotions, demotions, or lateral changes. Department shuffles and reorganizations resulting in downsizing were also included in this category.
Of the employees who reported negative changes, 51 percent reported a change in their salary or other financial compensation, 22 percent reported that they had a pay cut, and 17 percent said their companies had a hiring freeze.
Yet nearly half thought their company's prospects would be brighter in the coming months, with younger workers more optimistic, and men more optimistic than women about both the company's prospects, and pay and cost-of-living increases.
But it's not all about the money for some; more than half of those polled reported new, nonfinancial perks such as casual days, flex time or work-from-home policies.
Where do you see yourself in six months?
Not here, according to 19 percent of those polled, who thought they might be fired in the next six months. And 27 percent thought a co-worker might be fired.
Employees worried about being laid off are also worried about their prospects of finding a new job matching their current pay and experience levels.
Nearly 39 percent of employees thought they might have trouble landing commensurate work, with younger employees 18 to 34 more optimistic (48 percent thought they would find another job in the next six months).
Those who were unemployed at the time of the poll were naturally less positive: less than a third expected to find work matching their experience and previous compensation, down 6 percentage points from last year.