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Loose change

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 22, 2002

EXTRA HOURS: Working longer hours? You're not alone. In a survey of 1,400 workers by CareerBuilder.com, more than a third say their personal workloads have increased in the past six months. Thirty-nine percent of those who arrive at work early say they also stay late, and 30 percent of those who show up on time stay late.

PAID TO GO AWAY: Lucrative severance packages are common for CEOs who are shown the door, a study shows. Lee Hecht Harrison, a New Jersey career services company, examined CEO employment agreements at 100 Fortune 500 companies. Thirty-six percent offer departing CEOs up to three years' salary, while 26 percent pay two years' salary. Only 1 percent would provide less than 12 months' severance pay.

SMELL OF SUCCESS: Body odor and personal hygiene play an important role in hiring and career advancement. Forty percent of 400 human resources managers surveyed say their companies have formal hygiene policies that address body odor. Thirty-one percent say they have heard of a case or have reprimanded an employee because of body odor, and 83 percent concede such conversations are "hard" or "incredibly uncomfortable."

CELL PHONE PROLIFERATION: Look for even more cell phones to be in use by 2006. The Yankee Group of Boston says wireless phone users nationwide will increase to 52 percent by 2006, and mobile phones will be used more than land lines for personal calls. Cell phones now account for almost 30 percent of personal-calling minutes, Yankee Group says.

UNKNOWN PHONES: But many cell phone users don't take the time to learn about all the features on phones. A survey of 803 people by Maritz Poll found 47 percent of adults fall into that category. And the older the cell phone user, the less likely he is to know how to use all the phone's features.

-- Compiled by Cathy Keim from Times wires.

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