Andersen 'dot.comp' survey unveils what really matters to today's Internet workforce


Global professional services firm Andersen has this week unveiled the key findings from its Internet workforce remuneration and benefits survey 'dot.


Conducted online, the survey found that the number one human resources (HR) issue facing Internet businesses continues to be skills shortages, with 54% of companies ranking this as one of their top three issues.

Training and development, and reward, ranked two and three respectively with participants commenting that they were focusing more on building their current team than recruiting.

A further finding revealed that over two thirds of participants have some form of share option plan in place.

With the fall in share prices over the past few months many of these options are now underwater and this is becoming a major issue. Employers are increasingly going to need to develop new and innovative reward strategies.

Sue Wilson, who heads up Andersen's Human Capital Practice in Cambridge, comments: 'Solutions to the problem of underwater options have been a recent subject of lively debate in the US where accounting issues make re-pricing problematic. However, the accounting and corporate governance issues in the UK are different to the US and creative solutions are needed.'

Annual incentive plans proved very popular with 72% of companies operating them. More long term incentive plans, share option plans in particular, have traditionally been seen as the glue that has held together the whole business model. 67% of companies surveyed had some form of share option plan in place, with this figure rising to 74% in independent businesses.

Overall, 40% of survey participants operate a discretionary share option plan, 35% an Inland Revenue approved share option plan, and 6% a cash phantom share option plan.

So, if long hours, intense pressure of work, low cash remuneration and little job security are accepted as the flip side of the employment equation, what exactly is the upside? According to the 'dot.comp' survey the answer lies in the following perks and benefits:

  • Duvet days (where employers takes an unplanned day off a few times a year) is a policy operated by 78% of companies covering 82% of jobs.

  • Close behind is working from home, also operated by 78% of companies and covering 78% of jobs.

  • Relationship building benefits featured quite prominently with company outings totalling 43%, bring your dog to work 18%, free employee lunches 15%, and company social events 12%.

  • Casual dress, a policy traditionally associated with the sector, was only found in 9% of companies.

  • Although 60% of companies offer paid paternity leave, and 25% offer paid maternity leave in excess of the statutory minimum, only 4% were found to provide crche facilities.

  • Traditional benefits such as pensions and company cars also appeared, with 69% of companies offering some form of pension plan, 30% offering a car, and 47% a car allowance.

    The Andersen Human Capital 'dot.comp' survey ran from 26 February to 12 April 2001. Participation was free and took place online via the Andersen website.

    Over 150 organisations registered with 68 companies providing information on 21 positions.

    For details on how to obtain a full copy of the survey, which is available to all non-participants at a cost of 600, contact Janet Maskelyne at Andersen, Cambridge, on or visit


    Further information: Janet Maskelyne, Arthur Andersen, Betjeman House, 104 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1LH.

    Tel: 01223 353906.

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