BioPharm International's 5th Annual Empolyment Survey - How did biopharmaceutical professionals fare during a year of hiring freezes, high anxiety, and increased workload? Our survey finds out. - BioP

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BioPharm International's 5th Annual Empolyment Survey
How did biopharmaceutical professionals fare during a year of hiring freezes, high anxiety, and increased workload? Our survey finds out.


BioPharm International


HIGH ANXIETY AND WORKLOAD


Figure 2. Within the past year, has your workload increased or decreased?
For those who survived the economic crisis and M&As, the resulting environment has created the challenges of increased workload and high stress levels, according to the survey. As shown in Figure 2, a majority of respondents (67%) said their workload has increased within the past year. "Business increase without staff increase," was the topmost possible cause for the increased workload, followed by "staffing cuts" and "merger and acquisition."


Figure 3. Within the past year, has your stress level at work increased?
Similarly, more than half of our respondents (58%) said their stress level has increased in the last year (Figure 3). Some of the reasons cited for this include "business uncertainty," "management uncertainty," "inter-departmental conflicts," "negative workplace attitudes," "more stringent procedures," and "lack of training and continuing education."

For small companies, this stress is added by diminished financial support. "Venture investors, often the umbilical cord of food/fuel for the industry, long provided the lifeblood for young biotechnology companies, but the model is more challenged today," writes Steven G. Burrill, the CEO of Burrill and Company, in his column, Biotech Writes its New Playbook, in this issue. "In addition, because biotech companies are competing in an investment-constrained environment, they often only have sufficient funds to complete one phase of a project successfully before building the capabilities required to move their project through the next phase," writes Burrill.

"We have always been asked to do more with the same number of resources," says Rob Gronke, a principal investigator at Biogen Idec. "In terms of stress, it depends on how you can handle change. Those who can't are stressed out more than others," he adds.


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