This is, after all, how labour gets richer

Workers are demanding “pop star” treatment and four-day weekends, the chief executive of property giant JLL has said.

Christian Ulbrich also warned that working from home is poisoning workplace relations because conflicts are much easier to resolve in person.

The real estate chief said: “What’s happening is the labour market is so competitive that employees are being treated like pop stars so they feel like they can do whatever they want.”

Capitalists competing with each other for access to the labour from which they can profit is what drives up worker compensation. Good system, innit?

27 thoughts on “This is, after all, how labour gets richer”

  1. I think it depends very much on type of business.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years these “pop stars” find that they’ve been replaced with an algorithm or an office in India.

    A real estate crash would probably do something similar.

  2. League football in Britain has a traditional 3 pm Saturday kick off from when Saturday was a day people did some paid work. Post WWII.

  3. Mark – I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years these “pop stars” find that they’ve been replaced with an algorithm or an office in India.

    This is what they were looking to do anyway, but offshoring to India costs multiples of the imagined savings due to incompetence, stupidity, fraudulent credentials, nepotism, appalling customer service and the natural hatred Hindoos share with their British counterparts of doing an honest day’s work.

    It does (temporarily) make it look as if the business has reduced its costs tho, which is all most C-suites care about.

  4. Re: offshoring / outsourcing. I was talking to a local authority who outsourced their IT to [Large Evil Company].

    [Large Evil Company] then dropshipped a container of its finest Pajeets from the Mumbai Institute of Plagiarism to swarm all over local authority’s tech infrastructure. Unfortunately Pajeet doesn’t know how to do anything related to his alleged profession without watching YouTube videos made by other incomprehensible Indians, and maybe not even then.

    So local authority is left with a waft of rancid curry farts and ridiculously incompetent, yet surly, techie-wallahs who don’t know how to image a laptop or speak intelligible English. Multiple embarrassing service issues and cybersecurity escapades have ensued.

    But, as the customer explained to me, it’s cheap! This is, btw, the thinking that has ruined Silicon Valley, and why your Microsoft experience and search engines get worse with every upgrade.

    Please to be doing the needful, sir. *Head wobble*

  5. The headline made it look like the Liebour Party were getting richer, which is unlikely considering their main policies of organizational self-harm. But it’s good to know workers still have some rights and leverage in these crazy times.

  6. I guess that we should take it as read that Ulbrich doesn’t like the idea of “working from home”

  7. Your contract of employment specifies you be in the workplace from Xam to Ypm. Failure to meet your contractual obligations will result in disciplinary procedures which may include dismissal.

    As a former MD of a company, I don’t understand ‘can’t get people back to the workplace, they want to work from home’.

    Weak/poor management.

  8. In a previous job, our UK-based first line support team got fired and replaced by Bangalore. It was an enormous saving, they said; we could hire 4x the number of people, so they could do 4x the amount of work, they said. When I asked in the Q&A session that if it was such a good idea, why they didn’t fire the CEO and replace him with 300 people in Bangalore, they moved swiftly onto the next question…

  9. think might also explain some of Boeing’s recent travails

    Didn’t they take the company away from the engineers and let the bean counters run riot? Saved a few quid but fucked the business and its ethos in short order.I

  10. John B

    Right there with you – another issue caused by lockdowns – effectively we have abrogated management of the entire global economy to health bureacrats. With the WHO treaty coming, then it looks like the complete collapse of Western economies (and indeed almost everywhere else) is pretty much guaranteed.

  11. @John B: A few reasons:
    1. Weak management wanting to look caring, compassionate and inclusive.

    2. Competition for staff due to lockdown disruptions, early retirement and demographics (there’s currently a growing hump at retirement age and a valley at entry age).

    3. The management are often the ones WFH. It’s remarkable how busy the office gets when the boss does come in…

  12. Mark – and Intel

    Jimmers – that’s usually how it goes. You can have a successful, innovative business led by engineers (people who understand products) or by sales (people who understand customer desires), but once the accountants (people who understand neither) take over it becomes an autistic spreadsheet game where they slowly crush the life out of the company with their navel-gazing, bean-fondling, petty bullshit.

    Google, Apple, and HP were great businesses when they were run by techies or salesmen. Now, not so much.

    This is why the asset vultures are currently circling British Telecom, a dysfunctional accountant-infested organisation that has been slowly pissing away a golden market position Standard Oil would literally have killed for.

    A fatwa on scribes. A pox on the Clever Boys. Lions with bloodied calculators in their mouths, etc.

  13. Google!

    Isn’t it mostly now run by wokies, HR, trans and other diversity crapheads – selling/pampering to, err, people’s desires?

  14. Isn’t it mostly now run by wokies, HR, trans and other diversity crapheads

    They certainly no longer employ any decent programmers.

    I get the impression from the nosediving quality of Google’s products that all the good programmers left around 4-5 years ago, and their replacements were headhunted from Microsoft.

  15. “(there’s currently a growing hump at retirement age and a valley at entry age).”

    Coming next September! To A School Near You!

    This year’s secondary school entry cohort is a population bulge. This year’s newly-qualified-teachers cohort is a population trough. (Buys popcorn)

  16. and their replacements were headhunted from Microsoft.

    .. by HR, trans and other diversity crapheads? 🙂

  17. There’s certainly something….. special….. about the programmers at Google when they think that grey lines on a grey background is how you draw a map.

  18. @John B – “I don’t understand ‘can’t get people back to the workplace, they want to work from home’.”

    It’s quite simple. Having worked from home for many months and proven that it is successful, some employees feel that it is worth a lot to them to be able to continue to do so and will quit if forced to go back to the office as they know that they can find employment elsewhere which allows working from home. And note that the ones most likely to quit are those who are the best emplyees as those are the ones who would find it easiest to get another job.

    When it comes to contracts of employment, you can put whatever you like in there, but if you then cannot get staff on those terms you must revise them.

  19. Bloke in Wales said:
    “I get the impression from the nosediving quality of Google’s products that all the good programmers left around 4-5 years ago, and their replacements were headhunted from Microsoft.”

    If one could find out where they went, it would make a nice investment article for one of Tim’s other jobs.

  20. People like being better off shocker.
    WFH means travel, childcare are cheaper or cost nothing. Pet care, visit from tradesmen, appointments are more easily slotted in. Being told that the quality of your work is a bit schit is avoided. Quantity of work isn’t an issue as that’s more easily monitored.

    Leads to gaming : last week a Director was in the office, announced in advance that she was coming, most of us came in and company car park full to within 2 spaces (of 80). Of course today it was just 9 or so misfits that came in. We don’t want the Director imposing rotas to enforce being in the office, want to keep it flexible. She’s a brainy Director though, won’t be fooled.

  21. @ Steve, Jimmers

    In my experience (and I’m sure just about any engineer who has worked in any decent sized organization), there is a peculiar antipathy towards engineers, scientist, technicians. A belief – a projection I’m sure – that they are basically children. Oh good at what they do, but left to themselves! I’ve been on the receiving end more times than I can count, and what does makes it peculiar is that I never sense any real hostility.

    That was then, at 62 I won’t be doing this much longer.

    But take a dose of woke, the younger breed of “entitled” managers and a gang of pajeets. I am so glad I likely won’t be around to see the full flowering!!

  22. Charles,

    “It’s quite simple. Having worked from home for many months and proven that it is successful, some employees feel that it is worth a lot to them to be able to continue to do so and will quit if forced to go back to the office as they know that they can find employment elsewhere which allows working from home. And note that the ones most likely to quit are those who are the best emplyees as those are the ones who would find it easiest to get another job.”

    The other side of it is that many companies, especially the smaller ones have seen the value of remote work because they realised they can hire people from a much wider area. These people never cared that much about the presenteeism and good manners of work. They cared and measured people on delivery. Remote work suits their culture.

    So, it’s not just that the companies are all reluctantly accepting it, the dinosaurs who want people in the office every day are facing competition from companies who really don’t care where you work.

  23. BoM4. I’d argue that the quality of the staff is also important.

    I doubt if I’d have been much use at home, but a niece of mine is a very capable young lady. She has no trouble.

  24. “John B
    May 27, 2022 at 11:06 am
    Your contract of employment specifies you be in the workplace from Xam to Ypm. Failure to meet your contractual obligations will result in disciplinary procedures which may include dismissal.

    As a former MD of a company, I don’t understand ‘can’t get people back to the workplace, they want to work from home’.

    Weak/poor management”

    So you fire the guy and next week he’s working for your competitor, from home, and with a 2.5 percent rise.

    And then he tells his friend at the old office about a vacancy he knows about at the new company . . .

    ‘Weak Management’s is management that doesn’t know how strong their hand is in comparison.

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