BizFeed: Root Canal or Ask For Raise? You Think Answer Would be Obvious

Plus: The rise of the "Workcation"; and who's under the most financial stress.

Luis Louro/Shutterstock

Luis Louro/Shutterstock

People Too Timid to Ask for Raises

The News: Asking for a raise can be a tricky thing. “Hi sir. Do you have a minute? Mind if I close the door?” It’s awkward from the outset, something a new Robert Half study points out in painful detail. Some highlights:

  • Nearly 90 percent of workers in the United States feel they deserve a raise, only 54 percent plan to ask for one in 2015.
  • Around one in three (32 percent) would rather clean their house than ask for a raise.
  • 13 percent of workers would rather look for a new job.
  • Seven percent would rather get a root canal. (A root canal!)

Why It Matters: A careerist at heart, I’ve realized one thing: Ask and you shall receive. If you want a raise, go to your boss and ask for it. Even if you’re turned down, it’s a whole lot better than sitting at your desk stewing about it silently. Plus, you’re likely to have a nice, honest talk about your career and where you’re headed. And be prepared. Know the prevailing salary for your position and skill level, and bring fresh ideas for how you’d better tackle the position. It just might get you a heftier check. (And it sure beats a root canal.)

2. The Rise of the “Workcation”

The News: The Wall Street Journal is reporting a rise in a new trend: “The workcation.” That’s where the employee voluntarily logs in remotely while on a personal trip. They get to go away without taking vacation time, but get all the benefits that a change in scenery can provide.

“These are working vacations by design, —different than having a relaxing getaway interrupted by calls from the boss or co-workers,” the WSJ said.

Why It Matters: I’m a bit torn here. One the one hand, I really like the flexibility. If I can escape to the Jersey Shore for a few days, but still get my work done, I think I should be able to do that. But it could be a slippery slope. Employers are already asking much more from workers than before the recession, and many people voluntarily work on actual vacations. If people don’t take proper time off, there’s a serious chance for burnout.

3. Who’s Under the Most Financial Stress?

The News: A new study by Financial Finesse Reports, finds that — surprise, surprise — lots of people are under serious financial stress. The most prominent group is single mothers. In fact, 55 percent of women ages 30 to 55, with household incomes of $60,000 or less, with minor children report “high” or “overwhelming” levels of financial stress. That’s 40 percent higher than similar-aged male parents in the same income group.

Why It Matters: Not only is the pay gap for women a real thing, it can be devastating. Women are paid just 76 cents for every dollar a man makes, and they’re typically tasked with being the primary care taker at home. That comes with a relatively short maternity leave compared to the rest of the world. For single women, the stress is that much more pronounced.