21 Nov 2022

FTX collapse - First Impressions count

It is amazing how many - often sophisticated and highly intelligent - market professionals disregarded the warning signs. When meeting new people the old saying 'First impressions count' is more often than not correct. In the case of the Wunderkind Bankman-Fried my alarm bells went off the first moment I saw his photo in the media. Naturally one should not judge by outside appearance only, but at least one should take this always into consideration.
FTX collapse

20 Nov 2022

The incentive for Americans to work is being undercut

Some 85 per cent of 20,000 managers surveyed by Microsoft worldwide said the shift to hybrid work made it challenging to have confidence that employees are productive. Which may be one reason workers find it attractive.

(Irwin Stelzer, TheSundayTimes, 20 November 2022)

14 Feb 2022

Pressure to reduce Office Space

Given the increasing prevalence of working from home - be it part-time or full-time - will finally lead to a reassessment of the use of property assets by many employers. Why pay for lavish offices - often featuring huge empty spaces in the reception area that is just for show or to polish the image of the occupying business? Even if staff works only one day a week from home that could easily lead to a reduction of required floor space by 20 percent.

13 Jan 2022

Working from Home - Misleading Survey

A good example of an opinion survey that may have unintended consequences is provided here: "A survey by the recruiter Morgan McKinley found that 71pc of British white-­collar workers would contemplate quitting their roles if not offered the flexibility they desire, in a sign that remote working is here to stay even when the pandemic subsides." (Daily Telegraph, PayWall)

It is only understandable that if someone is asked: Would you CONSIDER quitting your job that they might well tick the Yes Box. But if you ask: Would you also consider quitting if then you would be unemployed or forced to take a job that pays much less? the reply might not be so positive.

So headlines and surveys that are not more carefully constructed create a false narrative and a bias in favor of home working. While certain jobs may well be suited for WFH the jury is out whether or not that model is applicable for many roles. And the silent majority who cannot work from home - police, hospital staff to name but a few - are not going to be pleased about being forced to work in a much less congenial environment, to put it mildly.