By The Editor
There’s nothing that generates more discussion at the end of a year than a ‘best of’ list, so as 2011 winds down, take a look back at the top 10 most read stories on the VECCI Blog this year.
10. The tenth most-read story on the VECCI Blog this year concerned the (thankfully brief) popularity of ‘planking’. The internet craze saw people ‘plank’ in many unusual places, including the workplace, which got eight employees fired for health and safety breaches, prompting us to ask – should it be a sackable offence?
9. Following the example of some American restaurants which decided to ban children from their premises, we asked if Australian businesses should have the right to ban children, and the overwhelming response suggested there could be a large audience for a ‘no kids allowed market’.
8. National unemployment remains at low levels compared to other Western economies, but Australia does have issues with the number of long-term unemployed people who can’t get back into the workforce, prompting us to ask the question: how do we get our long-term unemployed back into work?
7. Many people take their computer home from work nowadays, and one Canberra public servant found out the hard way about the consequences of conducting their personal business on their work laptop, as he was sacked for viewing pornographic images online. The Federal Court upheld the sacking, confirming that the use of company IT facilities can extend to private use at home.
6. The carbon tax dominated political discourse in 2011, with the Federal Government successfully introducing the tax from July 2012. After its announcement in July, we criticised the tax for its neglect of 500,000 Victorian small businesses, which will receive next to no compensation for higher energy costs. You had your say on the topic in our reader poll, which found more than 80 per cent of respondents were opposed to the tax.
5. There was a huge response from blog readers to our story on a NSW public servant, who was disciplined after giving a colleague an ‘inappropriate’ birthday gift, after a third party complained. Many believed the punishment was over the top given the recipient did not make any complaint at all.
4. Physical retail stores had to come up with new and innovative ways to compete with online competitors this year, with the high Australian dollar making online a much cheaper and more attractive option for many. There was much debate on the blog about some retailers’ decisions to charge shoppers for trying on clothes in store to discourage people from ‘trying in store and buying online’ and whether it was an appropriate measure or not.
3. People had strong opinions on our view that the Baillieu Government’s decision to overturn a ban on Easter Sunday trading was a positive, allowing retail businesses to decide for themselves if they should open or not. Our view was indirectly reinforced by the Productivity Commission, which later in the year called for the complete deregulation of trading hours to assist retailers.
2. Many employers could obviously relate to our second most read story for the year, which revealed the most hilarious CV mistakes and gaffes – our reader comments are just as entertaining as the article itself.
1. The most read story of 2011 was a survey that showed job dissatisfaction was hitting high new levels, as workers who stayed put during the global financial crisis looked to move on. We summarised the results and looked at the potential causes.
Who knows what 2012 will bring, but we’re sure there’ll be many more controversial topics and issues to talk about, discuss and debate on the VECCI Blog. A big thanks to the more than 92,000 visitors who came to the blog this year – we look forward to doing it all again next year.