RealTime IT News

Employees Lose Faith in Dot Coms

Dot coms may have more woes than cash burn to face, with more than half of Australia's workforce saying it has no faith in working with a dot-com company, according to a new survey by MBT.

MBT, a division of global recruitment agency TMP Worldwide, found that on top of the 52.5 per cent of survey respondent who have no faith working in a dot com, 32.7 per cent of workers believe that dot coms have had their day.

The survey indicated that males have less faith in the future of dot com businesses, with 57.1 per cent saying they would prefer to work in a "traditional" firm, compared with 48.1 per cent of females expressing this opinion.

"Even those who work in the information technology/computer job disciplines were rethinking their strategies," said MBT director Ian James of the survey findings. "The older people surveyed were, the more likely they were to think that dot coms were not a stable employment option, with over 56 per cent of those over 35 years saying they had no faith in dot coms."

James said the results from respondents aged 19 to 24 were slightly more encouraging, with 66.6 per cent of people in this age group reporting they would be confident about taking a role with a dot com company.

The results, while not offering much sunshine for dot coms, are perhaps not a great surprise particularly in light of the recent spate of dot com closures and downsizings that have continued from last year.

The most recent and high profile of these was Channel Ten/Village entertainment portal Scape, which fired 100 of its 111 staff earlier this week and went into voluntary administration.

This followed similar recent staff cuts by News Interactive, RushTV, K*Grind and dot coms such as Realestate.com.au last year. AltaVista and Engage have also announced global cuts. It is a trend that the combination of cash burn rates and the downward spiral of many global markets may propel.

The picture has not been much rosier lately across IT to companies that have made the push onto the Internet, with AOL Time Warner, Compaq, Vignette, Novell and Motorola among the organisations to have recently announced global staff cuts.

Interestingly, while the staff further down the organisational ladder are wary of being stung in a dot com, the MBT survey found that CEOs, directors, general managers and people at a similar level had by far the greatest confidence in the dot com sector, with 62.5 per cent believing they offer security.