Businesses request extra help across the country

Many businesses are experiencing a shortage of staff and applicants due to various factors, such as COVID-19 and the start of the school-year. This has had an effect on the work environment and increased the general workload for the employees. Not only is understaffment an issue nationally, but it can be observed in the local community. It seems that every store has a “we’re hiring” sign outside the window and is running on the work of only a few employees. This shortage is putting pressure on the employees, many of whom are just high school students working in restaurants and stores.

“When I worked at Chili’s, we were so short staffed that I had to bus tables, be a hostess, help servers bring their food to tables, as well as clean bathrooms. This was not in the job description when I applied, and I think many other people are finding this to happen in the food service industry,” said former employee Marnie Glass. This issue seems to be occurring more frequently than ever because of the lack of people in this specific workforce. Locally, businesses in the food service industry are suffering the most with not having enough staff to run as smoothly as possible.

“I work in fast food, and one of our goals is to have food out the door within a certain time, which is called a service time, and we aren’t able to meet our service times. People have to do two or more positions at once, which is stressful and can cause mistakes. There are times where we are so short-staffed we can’t focus on closing the restaurant until the actual closing time, which means we don’t get home until later at night,”`said Culver’s employee Abby Black-Mishaan.

It is unfair to expect such a small group of people to successfully run a type of business that is known to be extremely fast-paced and chaotic at times. Although the employees are expected to do a lot of work, there are a variety of reasons as to why businesses are losing employees.

“I believe school is the number one reason as to why employees are leaving. College started, and a lot of high school students have after-school activities,” said Light the Lamp employee Gus Calhoun. Although unemployment rates have been on an increase for some time, they have grown since the summer, and it can be seen in the community. The beginning of the school year for all ages has definitely taken a toll on many businesses recently. Another reason that led to the shortage of workers was COVID-19.

“There are less people applying for jobs because of the pandemic. Not only is it becoming easier than ever to get jobs that are remote, but most people consider working in high traffic workspaces unsafe now,” Glass said.

Many people did not want to risk their health by being in contact with so many people during the rise of the virus in March of 2020, which catalyzed the unemployment increase in the United States. It seems that, generally, outside forces have been impacting the work environment for many businesses. Despite some of the factors contributing to low amounts of employees being out of control, this is not an efficient way to run any business. It is causing a lot of stress and pressure for the current employees.

“This environment is not sustainable. I have known quite a few people who have quit at my place of employment to go to other places that pay more, have more workers, and are better run. Also, workers are so overworked it is putting stress on other parts of their lives,” Black-Mishaan said.

Black-Mishaan revealed that her manager is now working double the amount of hours that they used to be required to work. This does not create a healthy work experience, and without thriving staff, the place of work loses productivity.

“I encourage my peers to start working right now. I had two of my friends apply to my place of work and get in,” Calhoun said. Since there are such low rates of employment, there is an extremely high demand for workers right now. This means that getting a job is significantly easier than ever before, and now is the prime time to apply. It may seem daunting because of how stressful the environment can be, but if more people start to work at businesses in need of staffing the most, then it will allow the previous employees to minimize the workload they were facing.