The Roundup: Bonus Compensation Falls
A recent survey of workers by TrueCareers, Reston, Va., finds that more than half (58 percent) of the respondents did not receive a bonus from their employer in 2001. The online career service, part of Sallie Mae, says the majority of no-bonus workers blamed weak corporate performance. Of the 1,433 respondents who did not earn a bonus, 44 percent had anticipated receiving one, according to the survey.
Good news for employers who did not shell out the bonus money: 62 percent of respondents said that a less-than-expected bonus would not lead them to look for another job.
"These results indicate that the recession and the lingering effects of Sept. 11 have not only been a factor in unemployment rates, but also now in the way employees are compensated," says Michael A. Caggiano, CEO of TrueCareers. What's not clear is whether this is a short-term or long-term compensation trend. The survey also finds that stock options are the least preferred form of bonus compensation (seven percent), with most respondents (70 percent) looking instead for bonuses in cash, either on a per-project or annual basis.
Building Automation Systems Embrace IT
After largely shunning Internet and information technologies for much of the past decade, more companies are turning to so-called building automation systems (BAS) to help lower operating costs. According to ARC Advisory group, Dedham, Mass., the cost of BAS installations are falling and opening up avenues for suppliers to provide the technology to automate building controls, such as climate systems.
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An ARC survey finds that lowering energy costs and conserving energy are the top reasons for implementing BAS systems. For instance, ARC senior analyst David Clayton says more manufacturing companies looking to control energy costs are using Internet-enabled building automation and energy management software. These allow building operators to "access and control their energy-intensive building devices and systems in real-time via a standard Web browser." These networked systems let firms "extract critical energy data from existing systems and analyze that information to make intelligent procurement decisions" and can cut energy costs by 20 percent.
It also allows for remote monitoring and control of climate control and other building systems, yielding a hidden benefit. Increasing employee comfort is considered a major cost benefit and leads to added productivity. ARC estimates that in a 10,000-square-foot building, lost productivity due to occupant discomfort can exceed $50,000 per year.
Olympic Traffic Spikes on Disputes
Traffic to Olympic-related sites had its ups and down during the Winter Games, but one thing seems certain: nothing sends Olympic fans to the Web more than a good controversy.
NBC's sponsorship and Web tie-ins appeared to have paid off for the network televising the games in the United States. Its NBCOlympics.com site drew more than 500,000 visitors on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, the first two days of the Games, according to comScore.
Both the sites of the United States Olympic Committee (usoc.org) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC, at Olympic.org) experienced poor performance and periods of unavailability on Feb. 21, following Apolo Ohno's disqualification from the 1500m short track skating finals. The IOC site had problems followed the figure skating scandal involving the Russians and Canadians on the evening of Feb. 11.
Data compiled by webHancer Corp. found that three of the top four Olympics sites peaked on Feb. 12, the day after the pairs skating finals that ended in controversy. SaltLake2002.com's volume increased by 37 percent, while NBCOlympics.com increased by 70 percent.
-- Editor"s note: This item by the staff of internet.com's CyberAtlas.