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Hi all,

Just wanted to canvas opinion from folks on here. This recession is a strange one in that I feel the signs are not as blatant as previous ones. Many people say "if you have a job then you're OK", but I disagree.

I think the problems in the economy are having a massive effect that may not be resulting is whole swathes of the population being made unemployed, but what it is doing is making some small business bust (never going to get reported in the news) and on the large organisation front (FTSE100) where I work, I think its causing them to go into meltdown creating all sorts of stress on its employees.

OK its ancedotal, but where I work we have a strategic directive of freeze / reduce headcount AND win new business. We've just won a massive new contract but we're really struggling to get enough resource. Things as stupid as having the budget but some senior person refusing the headcount increase and a refusal to employee contractors despite no resource. Another contributing factor is I suspect a huge political game is being played where we're hoping the customer can't deliver on their half of the bargain before we fail to deliver our half. People are working crazy hours, so many corners are being cut. You'll be pleased to know though that the Programme Governance office is fully staffed and hassels us few workers for reports in various formats several times a week so the likely looming failure will be documented in glorious technicolour. I've worked for this company for almost a decade and its always been a little nuts but this is off the scale bonkers. We're burning through people quickly with one having gone off with stress, another looking like leaving by the end of this week and a war of attrition with my colleagues to see who goes off next. I've seriously considered re-signing myself. Some of my friends (including a few in the public sector) report similar bonkers situations in the large organisations they work for creating addtiional amounts of stress and pressure on staff over and above just a few years back.

Granted being unemployed is a terrible situation, but I wonder how much damage is being done to some people (especially professional grade "workers"). So even if you're in a job, it may not be good news for you.

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My partner had to leave work 8 months ago as it was affecting her health as the workload got too much.

I know another person who had a mental break down as quote he felt like doing "six peoples jobs".

---

Its about mental preparation and survival tactics- I've had 6 years to prepare for it.

Sure, cut corners, but cover your own ass - sure as hell the company won't.

Edited by Money Spinner

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Just wanted to canvas opinion from folks on here. This recession is a strange one in that I feel the signs are not as blatant as previous ones. Many people say "if you have a job then you're OK", but I disagree.

The ones with jobs seem to be OK. Most are saying that after two bads years at work, things have picked up quite quickly, one has been taking on half the staff it made redundant two years ago. Friends that work at exporting companies are doing well.

I know two families that have recently gone bankrupt, yet still live in a £500k house. I know two small businesses that were going under, one actually did (restaurant) but I helped bail out the other one.

I've met a few people made unemployed in the last two years that just cannot get back into work.

VMR.

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Strange things are going on, lying, outright, cheating cutting corners, double counting to hit targets - all shenanigans are being used.

I think some companies will suddenly collapse when they find out everything wasn't as rosy as seen on the surface. Employees were doing anything to make themselves look OK to take themselves to the next review. Morals and ethics have gone out of the window.

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IMPO I think we will be seeing more and more self employed people set themselves up in business, not all out of choice...more Ltds and sole traders....The biggest cost for a company is the cost of its people not always their wage but more the add-ons such as pensions, sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay...also much work is seasonal or erratic, people are not always required on a permanent basis.

We will be seeing more redundancies and redeployment with contract workers, consultancy style work, part-timers etc....less job security for all. ;)

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Strange things are going on, lying, outright, cheating cutting corners, double counting to hit targets - all shenanigans are being used.

I think some companies will suddenly collapse when they find out everything wasn't as rosy as seen on the surface. Employees were doing anything to make themselves look OK to take themselves to the next review. Morals and ethics have gone out of the window.

A lot of the problem is due to management culture overrun and boomers using this to hang onto the reigns of power.  I also work for a large firm and have worked at several other in the past, and the trend in the last few years has been for layers of management to appear and then effectively sit on top of a revenue sources as though they are brining in the revenue or atop an operational empire as though they are doing the delivery. They then start trying to bring other things into the empire to make themselves look good - a bit like the sort of regulatory capture achieved by like the banks.  To be honest I expect this is a boomer thing, they have now got too old to do the real work, and are looking for a way to appear to be delivering whilst still getting paid well - the problem is that this is harming business and ultimately shareholders.

In my last job we had a real issue with some of our channel partners did not have the right level of skill to deliver a project, but were we allowed to bring in the right skills, simple answer "no" because it didn't line up with the channel strategy which is actually code for, "I am a useless and lazy channel director, and want my gravy train to remain in place and therefore I want this bit of revenue to flow into my P&L and not another P&L in the company"   

So right now my observation is that there is new business to be done and in fact it is building up like a damn, but it is being delayed somewhat by people who skills are now irrelevant and useless, but are engaged in a last ditch attempt to hold onto the reigns of power.

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snip,

You'll be pleased to know though that the Programme Governance office is fully staffed and hassels us few workers for reports in various formats several times a week so the likely looming failure will be documented in glorious technicolour.

These are the workers that need to be really worried; might explain their manic behaviour. When the recession really starts to bite, these twonks will get chopped out, as they are non-productive and a drain on resources.

One good thing about recessions, is that rafts of waste get removed - usually!

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more anecdotal stuff: i work in property renovation in london... i've been told on several occasions that planning control depts in local councils are so short staffed that they're just saying a flat 'no' to 50% of applications as they just can't handle the workload... but you take your pick whether that's evidence of staff reductions or growth in residential building projects...

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These are the workers that need to be really worried; might explain their manic behaviour. When the recession really starts to bite, these twonks will get chopped out, as they are non-productive and a drain on resources.

One good thing about recessions, is that rafts of waste get removed - usually!

If only that were to happen, but sadly, all these people are previous managers without a proper job, but with the ear of their Director. They will be the last to go.

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Seems to me the Op is working for a company in trouble.

My guess is that you dont know the real reason behind the decision making, and the real reason could be one of two possibilities.

1. Company has made decision to downsize. Powers that be have decided that the market cannot sustain the company at its present size and they are making daily working life as difficult as possible in order to increase staff attrition. Allow the company shrink to the size they think the market can cope with in the long term. This is cheaper than redundancy - the negative impact on morale is by design!

2. Company cashflow is fecked! This is the one i think is most likely in the current climate. If the bank have restriced the co's overdraft or if customers want longer payment terms then the business just might not have the ability to fund meeting the orders the sales team are dragging in. I can see the management behaving like fishermen throwing fish back in the water.(order too big, we cant fund this project until paymet / payment terms too long we cannot do this)

Edited by Caveat Mortgagor

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A lot of the problem is due to management culture overrun and boomers using this to hang onto the reigns of power.  I also work for a large firm and have worked at several other in the past, and the trend in the last few years has been for layers of management to appear and then effectively sit on top of a revenue sources as though they are brining in the revenue or atop an operational empire as though they are doing the delivery. They then start trying to bring other things into the empire to make themselves look good - a bit like the sort of regulatory capture achieved by like the banks.  To be honest I expect this is a boomer thing, they have now got too old to do the real work, and are looking for a way to appear to be delivering whilst still getting paid well - the problem is that this is harming business and ultimately shareholders.

I have seen similar behaviour in a previous compnay that wasn't doing very well. There was an enclave of about half a dozen 50something managers from around Europe that should have been be retired or made redundant but were kept despite all of their direct reports not longer working for the company.

Luckily my current company is doing well, has cashflow and everything, but unfortunately the current corporate owners put a headcount freeze on, resulting in valuable resource increases not being met ( despite solid monthly profits ). This has resulted in a meltdown similar to the OP described, but with the motivated people here it just means processes are not followed. The customers and business hasn't suffered and the corporate owners have finally given us free reign to hire. As such, I think we are on the way out of the woods, but some projects still have employees who are probably overutilised by 40-50%. Hopefully that won't impact our future growth...

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Hi all,

Just wanted to canvas opinion from folks on here. This recession is a strange one in that I feel the signs are not as blatant as previous ones. Many people say "if you have a job then you're OK", but I disagree.

I think the problems in the economy are having a massive effect that may not be resulting is whole swathes of the population being made unemployed, but what it is doing is making some small business bust (never going to get reported in the news) and on the large organisation front (FTSE100) where I work, I think its causing them to go into meltdown creating all sorts of stress on its employees.

OK its ancedotal, but where I work we have a strategic directive of freeze / reduce headcount AND win new business. We've just won a massive new contract but we're really struggling to get enough resource. Things as stupid as having the budget but some senior person refusing the headcount increase and a refusal to employee contractors despite no resource. Another contributing factor is I suspect a huge political game is being played where we're hoping the customer can't deliver on their half of the bargain before we fail to deliver our half. People are working crazy hours, so many corners are being cut. You'll be pleased to know though that the Programme Governance office is fully staffed and hassels us few workers for reports in various formats several times a week so the likely looming failure will be documented in glorious technicolour. I've worked for this company for almost a decade and its always been a little nuts but this is off the scale bonkers. We're burning through people quickly with one having gone off with stress, another looking like leaving by the end of this week and a war of attrition with my colleagues to see who goes off next. I've seriously considered re-signing myself. Some of my friends (including a few in the public sector) report similar bonkers situations in the large organisations they work for creating addtiional amounts of stress and pressure on staff over and above just a few years back.

Granted being unemployed is a terrible situation, but I wonder how much damage is being done to some people (especially professional grade "workers"). So even if you're in a job, it may not be good news for you.

Good post - Something I am always banging on about. Perhaps the recession has made it worse.

Companies over promising to clients, covering up problems - There seems to be total culture of denial, pretense, and silence.

Management brush problems under the carpet, won't stand up to clients or make decisions- Often issues can't be resolved by their staff because they don't have the authority to make decisions but the management still expect or just hope their staff will sort out problems for them. I have seen it so many times people at the bottom can't complete their jobs properly because of indecision, or just their superiors hiding. It seems all the management are playing the same game, so sticking you neck and being decisive only creates trouble and attention.

I work with people who have been raising issues to management for months, which have been ignored - they don't have the authority to resolve the problems, but still have to face clients who complain time after time on problems. They are faced with trying to resolve problems that management ignore themselves, or just let the issues pile up, but then they look bad in front of clients.

and on top of that people working all hours, constant stress, they seem worried all the time about saying the wrong thing, or getting in trouble with management or a client.

My boss was recently chopped, so people are worrying who will be next for the chop - therefore you can see why people just keep their mouth shut at work - often at the end of the day for fairly average salaries.

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My partner had to leave work 8 months ago as it was affecting her health as the workload got too much.

I know another person who had a mental break down as quote he felt like doing "six peoples jobs".

Sure, cut corners, but cover your own ass - sure as hell the company won't.

Been there done that, companies simply wanted to save money even as far back as 3-4 years ago. Thus they made it intolerable so people left. They ended up piling the work onto me...... it was funny because I moved to another firm and kept my work rate up and people told me to slow down.

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You'll be pleased to know though that the Programme Governance office is fully staffed and hassels us few workers for reports in various formats several times a week so the likely looming failure will be documented in glorious technicolour.

These are the workers that need to be really worried; might explain their manic behaviour. When the recession really starts to bite, these twonks will get chopped out, as they are non-productive and a drain on resources.

One good thing about recessions, is that rafts of waste get removed - usually!

If only that were to happen, but sadly, all these people are previous managers without a proper job, but with the ear of their Director. They will be the last to go.

Got it in one. Whilst it is quite shocking, not going to change anytime soon. So better to be part of it enjoying the silly money - than looking in getting more and more pissed off.

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Interesting anecdotals in this thread but worthless without some more info - private or public sector, what sector within the sector - i.e. council, central government, IT, engineering, retail, NHS,, etc.

Could some of you just post where these things are going on. You don't have to give specific names but a bit more specific info would be welcome.

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Interesting anecdotals in this thread but worthless without some more info - private or public sector, what sector within the sector - i.e. council, central government, IT, engineering, retail, NHS,, etc.

Could some of you just post where these things are going on. You don't have to give specific names but a bit more specific info would be welcome.

Huge UK Financial place. Hiring/hired a massive number of, quite frankly, vastly overpaid contractors. No end in sight.

This goes for nearly all, if not all, of the big boys. If you are in the right area you have never had it so good.

Bit of a joke really.

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Interesting anecdotals in this thread but worthless without some more info - private or public sector, what sector within the sector - i.e. council, central government, IT, engineering, retail, NHS,, etc.

Could some of you just post where these things are going on. You don't have to give specific names but a bit more specific info would be welcome.

Private... curiously I was parachuted into the company after they let go a lot of the older higher paid staff. The other staff look at me with fear because I can do their jobs incredibly quickly and they think they will get the chop. Co has about 4.7mil turn over so its pretty small.

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Good post - Something I am always banging on about. Perhaps the recession has made it worse.

Companies over promising to clients, covering up problems - There seems to be total culture of denial, pretense, and silence.

Management brush problems under the carpet, won't stand up to clients or make decisions- Often issues can't be resolved by their staff because they don't have the authority to make decisions but the management still expect or just hope their staff will sort out problems for them. I have seen it so many times people at the bottom can't complete their jobs properly because of indecision, or just their superiors hiding. It seems all the management are playing the same game, so sticking you neck and being decisive only creates trouble and attention.

I work with people who have been raising issues to management for months, which have been ignored - they don't have the authority to resolve the problems, but still have to face clients who complain time after time on problems. They are faced with trying to resolve problems that management ignore themselves, or just let the issues pile up, but then they look bad in front of clients.

and on top of that people working all hours, constant stress, they seem worried all the time about saying the wrong thing, or getting in trouble with management or a client.

My boss was recently chopped, so people are worrying who will be next for the chop - therefore you can see why people just keep their mouth shut at work - often at the end of the day for fairly average salaries.

I concur. Great post. In fact, no one dare move or make any decision that could highlight themselves as being a round peg in a square hole.

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Private... curiously I was parachuted into the company after they let go a lot of the older higher paid staff. The other staff look at me with fear because I can do their jobs incredibly quickly and they think they will get the chop. Co has about 4.7mil turn over so its pretty small.

Hmm, maybe.

Or maybe they look at you with frustration because they do a belt & braces job slowly but surely with no mistakes or unintended consequences and costs down the line.

It could be that their view is that if they will be forced to work fast and cut corners then they'd rather tell your boss to stick the job where the sun don't shine.

Or, if you really have developed a better workflow then you should be mentoring your colleagues and bringing the performance levels up across the piece.

Making yourself look good at the expense of others at a time of uncertainty is not a good plan (as well as unkind) - people will be watching and waiting for the chance to drop you on your arsé, or stick the boot in if a manager asks about your work. I would and have done several times in the past.

You will certainly not be coming across as a team player behaving like this.

Or maybe I'm being harsh and you might have worded your post better.

Re OP what make's me laugh is the attitude of bosses to salaries and contract rates now - even if budget is approved they will suck their teeth at paying £250/day to an IT contractor with years of relevant experience. FFS that rate was being paid to contractors in during the deregulation of the late 80s in the City. In fact some of the teeth suckers were proabably those self same contractors.

Permies express jealousy at contract rates only because their salaries and benefits have been so badly damaged by 'jam tomorrow', 'lucky to have a job these days' managers quietly pocketing ever bigger bonuses while the profits and dividends steadily rise.

Just look at some of the spectacular profits declared just in the last few weeks by large corporates while they whittle away at the pension rights of people on £15/20/25k and impose arbitrary contract rate cuts.

Its sick.

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Or, if you really have developed a better workflow then you should be mentoring your colleagues and bringing the performance levels up across the piece.

Nope I don't want to shine or make others look bad, I merely go work to work and thus pass the time quickly and go home. But let me put it this way, some of the people are using spreadsheets....paper ones with pens and calculators. While I use excel and lots of formulas I copy and paste from a premade set of formulas which I generated myself during a quiet afternoon.

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I'm seeing small companies going bust on my customers even when credit have been extended above the norm from the std 30days to 90-120days and where credit is normally 90days thats going to 180days+ for many small businesses.

Christ on a bike.

How can a business plan based on these income lead times?

Surely a financier would just laugh if they were asked for a loan based on having very little cash right now but 'its OK, Reg, Bill and Julia are going to pay the £50,000 they collectively owe the company next June'.

WTF is going on?

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Christ on a bike.

How can a business plan based on these income lead times?

Surely a financier would just laugh if they were asked for a loan based on having very little cash right now but 'its OK, Reg, Bill and Julia are going to pay the £50,000 they collectively owe the company next June'.

WTF is going on?

The accounting firm in the same building (we share) the credit controller has been non stop chasing bills they seem to have 60 days payment terms. Oddly enough some of them are sat twiddling their thumbs as companies and individuals delay their accounts for as long as possible to delay the bills which come with them.

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Nope I don't want to shine or make others look bad, I merely go work to work and thus pass the time quickly and go home. But let me put it this way, some of the people are using spreadsheets....paper ones with pens and calculators. While I use excel and lots of formulas I copy and paste from a premade set of formulas which I generated myself during a quiet afternoon.

I know sometimes people can be too stubborn or are actually incapable of change*, but have you tried showing them how they could work more effectively?

*“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” Robert Heinlein

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  • 149 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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