Rise in gas prices reduces employees' productivity

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Washington, May 6 : A study from the Florida State University's College of Business suggests an association between rising gas prices and a reduction in the productivity of employees.

"People concerned with the effects of gas prices were significantly less attentive on the job, less excited about going to work, less passionate and conscientious and more tense," said Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Management.

"These people also reported more 'blues' on the job. Employees were simply unable to detach themselves from the stress caused by escalating gas prices as they walked through the doors at work," he added.

Hochwarter surveyed over 800 full-time employees in the spring, when gas prices hovered at about 3.50 dollars per gallon.

The people surveyed were engaged in a wide range of occupations, primarily in the southeastern United States. All of them used their own vehicles to reach their workplaces, and, on average, drove about 15 miles each way.

Most survey respondents said that they were most concerned about gas prices.

One disgruntled factory worker even wrote: "I spend more time at work trying to figure out what I need to give up to keep gas in my tank than thinking about how to do my job."

While 45 per cent respondents said that the escalating gas prices had "caused them to fall behind financially", 39 per cent agreed with the statement "Gas prices have decreased my standard of living".

Nearly 33 per cent of the people surveyed said that they would quit their job for a comparable one nearer to home.

Hochwarter said that that gas prices were found to be number one discussion topic amongst the employees surveyed, ahead of family, sports and work.

He also said that the subjects' ages, gender, work tenures and occupations did not lead to too much of a variation in their responses.

"Several employees said they simply could not escape the media onslaught of bad news regarding the future of gas prices, and many reported their financial futures were looking bleaker and bleaker," Hochwarter said.

Based on his findings, the he came to the conclusion that the stress increases with the rise in gas prices.

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