Weekend reading: the office as a 21st century poorhouse

What caught my eye this week.

Are your staff still refusing to return to the office for daily time-saving stand-up meetings where you and your pet subordinate make everyone else wait through a 25-minute back-and-forth about who will make a sales call on Thursday?

Would your employees rather start their day with a coffee in the garden than an aneurysm in the rush hour?

Are wild animals nesting beneath the ivy-strewn office football table?

Well fear not! The energy crisis might be intervening in the nick of time to preserve your position in the hierarchy. Not to mention bailing out your landlord’s commercial property empire.

According to CNBC:

High heating bills and the prospect of working in a cold and uncomfortable house this winter might soon push more Brits to go back into the office.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed by price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, 14% (280) plan to spend more time working from the office to reduce home energy bills

This figure increases to almost a quarter (23%) when looking at 18-to-24 year olds.

Running out of money seems more compelling to me than specious stuff about team building and mentorship, which may well be missed in some instances, but hardly beats working in your shorts eating Pringles when you want to.

And some of the latest predictions for energy and general inflation (links below) are truly breathtaking.

We can justifiably say we were ahead of the mainstream in flagging a coming cost-of-living squeeze.

But £5,000-a-year energy bills for the average household? Nobody foresaw that. I imagine some cash-strapped 20-somethings will go back to the office just for the snacks at meetings.

(At least if it’s within walking distance and they don’t have to buy new clothes.)

For now the debate rages on, as per these latest contributions:

Why more people are working from home on Fridays – BBC
Where is everyone? London’s 3sq km of empty office space – Guardian
This is why no-one wants to be a middle manager anymore – Fast Company
(Virtually) here to stay – City Journal
Remote work is sticking – New York Fed
Why millennials don’t have hobbies – The Walrus

I remain fascinated about how this will shake out over the next couple of years.

Your money and your life

Long bank holiday weekends aren’t the blessed relief they once were – at least not for white collar workers no longer ubiquitously shackled to a commute that turns their 9-6 into the 7-7 – but do enjoy yours anyway.

Also, thanks to everyone who answered the call for FIRE-side story candidates.

We saw dozens put their hands up on the website, and so many over email that I haven’t begun to reply. But all were gratefully received.

The first Q&As will go out shortly. With luck one of you will be baring all before October!

From Monevator

Early retirees: what would make you go back to work? – Monevator

Pros and cons of being wealthy – Monevator

From the archive-ator: When to buy insurance – Monevator


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!1

Energy bills to soar as price cap officially hiked to £3,549 – Sky News

What is the energy price cap and how high will bills go? – BBC

UK inflation will breach 18% in early 2023, according to Citi bank – Guardian

London’s separate Crossrail sections will be joined up in November – BBC

Narrative always follows price in the market – A Wealth of Common Sense

Products and services

Find your personal inflation rate with this ONS calculator [Tool]Guardian

How to spot fake reviews on Amazon – Wired

NS&I launches new green savings bond with a rate of 3% – Moneyfacts

Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor

Motorway services ‘snack tax’ revealed – ThisIsMoney

New current account switching offers up to £175 in bonuses – Which

Open an account with InvestEngine via our affiliate link and get £25 when you invest at least £100 (new customers only, T&Cs apply) – InvestEngine

Frequent fliers reveal underrated places to visit instead of hot spots – BuzzFeed

How to save money on energy – ThisIsMoney

Energy-efficient homes for sale, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

Bo knows – Fortunes & Frictions

You should invest like a 50-year-old woman – White Coat Investor

Landlords face fresh dilemmas amid the economic storm [Search result]FT

Why bonds should still play a role in your portfolio – Morningstar

The perfectly imperfect investor – The Best Interest

Will you pay tax on your savings? – Be Clever With Your Cash

Why should we save? – One Frugal Girl [See also Swedish death cleaning]

The uphill battle women still face in high finance – Benn Eifert via Noahpinion

How do retirees actually spend their money? – Of Dollars and Data

Morgan Housel on The Psychology of Money [Podcast]NGPF

A relentless march forwards – Banker on FIRE

This wife will never share a bank account with her husband… – The Cut

…while this husband can’t imagine not sharing all with his wife – Humble Dollar

Forget what you know about stock market returns – Advisor Perspectives

Naughty corner: Active antics

The case for stockpicking à la Warren Buffett – Neckar

Small caps are trading at their steepest discount to large caps for decades… – Verdad

…but does the small-cap effect even exist? – The Evidence-based Investor

10 inflation-busting investment trusts – Interactive Investor

Why fundamentals matter [eventually]Canvas

Long volatility strategies versus tactical allocation – Factor Research

Crypt o’ crypto

Should pension funds speculate in crypocurrency? – Morningstar

The merge – AVC

Kindle book bargains

The Pay Off: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything by Gottfried Leibbrandt and Natasha De Terán – £1.89 on Kindle

Why We Get The Wrong Politicians by Isabel Hardman – £1.19 on Kindle

Anthro-Vision: How Anthropology Can Explain Business and Life by Gillian Tett – £0.99 on Kindle

Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by Jacob Goldstein – £1.19 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Small electric cars are £9,000 more expensive than a year ago – ThisIsMoney

Black bear den requirements conflict with [witless] old-growth logging – Hakai

Renewable power and the American West – Los Angeles Times

Want safer streets? Cover them in art – Reasons To Be Cheerful

Off our beat

Using DALL·E 2 to generate a software logo [A few weeks old]Jacob Martin

Your first brush with coronavirus could affect how boosters work [Search result]Washington Post

The lifestyle habits that slow down aging, from a 100-year old neurologist – EatThis

“I avoid them where possible”: the children’s authors who don’t like kids – Guardian

Why Prime Minister Truss would have a particularly weak mandate – Guardian

Forty-one quick tips for health, happiness, and wealth – A Teachable Moment

McLovin It: an oral history of SuperbadVanity Fair

And finally…

“To build wealth it didn’t matter when you bought U.S. stocks, just that you bought them and kept buying them. It didn’t matter if valuations were high or low. It didn’t matter if you were in a bull market or a bear market. All that mattered was that you kept buying.”
– Nick Maggiulli, Just Keep Buying

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The post Weekend reading: the office as a 21st century poorhouse appeared first on Monevator.

What caught my eye this week. Are your staff still refusing to return to the office for daily time-saving stand-up meetings where you and your pet subordinate make everyone else wait through a 25-minute back-and-forth about who will make a sales call on Thursday? Would your employees rather start their day with a coffee in
The post Weekend reading: the office as a 21st century poorhouse appeared first on Monevator.

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