Look beyond overdrafts to improve business cash flow

This is always the case, but for businesses of all sizes, cash flow is one of the most important success factors.

In an unprecedented year, this has never been truer, and while many companies have traditionally relied on overdrafts to spend less time, COVID-19 has changed goals in many ways.

It is understandable that the pandemic has affected the yields and profitability of some businesses, and with tighter credit in some cases overdrafts have been reduced or withdrawn. This can be challenging and it is important to remember that lenders have the right to withdraw this credit line at any time without notice.

After 44 years in the banking industry, most recently as NatWest’s director of communications for West Norfolk, I understand how global solutions can impact small regional companies. I’ve been through four major recessions during my career, and my experience is that trading outside of a recession is more difficult than trading through a recession.

I mean, while businesses can tighten their belts during tough times, the impact of delays on reduced cash flow can impact a business’s ability to function as orders increase.

I recently worked with a production customer who experienced this exact scenario. Even though the company continued to operate during the downturn, it was forced to invest in cash reserves to pay employees and suppliers and to keep things cool. When restrictions are lifted, the company inevitably sees an influx of orders, but with a 60 day payment term, it is now struggling to make up the difference until the money is returned to the bank.

During my banking days, I could probably offer these customers an overdraft or one-stop loan. Now that we are working with Complete Commercial Finance, we have access to even more options including invoicing, refinancing and special financing. Creditors. In reality, the business world cannot stand still and must be open to exploring other ways to create working capital in the current situation.

The government’s Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Program (CBILS) and Loan Program (BBLS) are providing support for many businesses this year. In late September, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan extended CBILS and BBLS loans from six to ten years and introduced a Pay As You Grow option to provide greater debt flexibility and an interest-only deferred option for six months. Repayment without affecting the creditworthiness of the company.

There are exciting steps out there, but it’s important to think long term. Last month we worked with a client who used BBL but used the funds to buy equipment during the summer. Due to late customer payments, the company suddenly had difficulty with cash flow and needed to borrow to cover monthly operating expenses. Although we were able to obtain business loans, these short-term borrowing costs were higher than the 2.5% late fee for BBL which would ultimately cost the company more.

We are in uncharted waters with COVID-19 and we are only beginning to understand how lenders consider CBILS and BBLS loans when assessing a company’s financial condition.

The examples above show how a short-term outlook can affect long-term outcomes. It has never been more important to seek professional advice and use the ear and deep understanding of trading finance experts like us to get the most out of it.

While unfortunately we live in uncertain times and know that you have taken all the measures to protect your company’s financial future, this is definitely the best way to tackle the challenges that many companies will face in the months to come.

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Day off: “I can’t afford to lose my job”

After working full time for the past 27 years, the layoffs were a shock.
He was first taken out, after which he was told that his last job at the garden center and restaurant was no longer available.
I am very worried. “I can’t lose my job. “”
Her determination to return to work meant spending as much time as possible applying for jobs and sending letters to employers.

Instead, he has to spend hours on the phone arranging a hold or “interruption” of payments on his Barclaycard credit card.
Paying £ 200 a month is his only debt, he said, but it took many disappointing calls to set up a gap in pay while he was looking for work.
“I was mad at them but they have been very good the last few days – they froze the account and made sure I was okay,” he said.

Coast Guard
With 85% of adults in the UK having at least one loan, paid holidays are an important protection for people whose finances have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
A sudden drop in income while at work or after a layoff has an immediate and unexpected impact on their ability to pay bills.
According to UK Finance, which represents banks and other lenders, around 2.5 million people have taken mortgage leave since the pandemic began. There are still about 162,000 mortgage deferrals.
On top of that there are two million deferred credit card payments and personal loans. There are still 97,300 credit card agreements and 64,400 for personal loans.
Covid: what is universal credit – and what other benefits are available?
How to save money working from home this winter
The city’s regulatory agency, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), expects large numbers of people to continue to need help.
His research shows that 12 million people in the UK are experiencing financial losses – meaning they are struggling to pay bills or pay back loans.
Approximately 31% of respondents saw a decrease in income after the pandemic outbreak, with households typically accounting for a quarter of income.
Those of black color and ethnic minorities were more likely to be affected, 37% receiving income.
People between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely to change jobs because of the pandemic.

The paid vacation proved to be a savior for Garrett, whose finances would be “screwed up” without him. A month before the castle, she and her fiancé bought their “home for life.”
“Our household income fell by 85% overnight, and without our mortgage payments and using our marriage savings, we would not be able to pay our bills or our meals. Everything was very tight,” he said.
Coronavirus is holding back plans to get married next year. Now they are pregnant too.
“We managed to pay off our installments after three months of vacation. It’s good that we’re fine, we’re still busy and we still have a house. But our life has changed, ”he said.
“The house we bought needed work, we didn’t have a functioning bathroom. It was tiring and tiring, but we were able to survive.”
Not everyone gets the same life line as him.

More than 30% of those surveyed by Turn2Us, a charity that helps people experiencing financial hardship, said they were unaware of the salary disruption. A similar section says that late payment of rent or mortgage is not available to them.
For those left with little room to breathe the bill, the holidays will change from late October.
The current holiday – usually three months – lasts until its expiration date. All new holiday payments agreed from the end of October may be subject to additional conditions.
It is important that the late repayment of the loan is recorded in the borrower’s loan records.
This could affect their ability to borrow money in the future – not only for large loans such as a mortgage, but also for loan agreements such as cell phone contracts.
What help is there?
Creditors and utilities emphasize that support continues to be available while regulators have established rules and guidelines to ensure people are treated fairly. They include:
Mortgages: Businesses need to reach those who are still struggling to pay and offer to help meet their needs. This can be a short term paid vacation or a long term payment plan. You need to identify the vulnerable and help them find free, independent debt counseling. Withdrawal hearings could resume in early November, but not for those detained. Regulators say this is a last resort
Loans and Short Term Loans: As with mortgages, lenders need to be flexible in ensuring they support people who are having problems and identify those at risk. Those who have been included in the payment plan should not see their debt grow out of control. Therefore, interest, fees, and charges should be reduced if necessary
Rent: As during a blockade, tenants who are struggling to pay their rent will need to talk to their landlord to come up with a payment plan. However, the eviction cases will be retried in court (with some caveats) and people should not be asked to leave at Christmas. Bailiffs are not allowed to enter the houses in the Level 2 and 3 areas
Energy costs: Prepaid metered users who are unable to charge will find it helpful, most likely because they are self-isolating and unable to reach stores. A “realistic and sustainable repayment plan” is offered to any gas and electricity customer who has difficulty paying. So far, the agreement has been voluntary with the supplier, but will be required by law from December 15.
Insurance: Customers who have paid for vacations or are experiencing financial problems can reassess policy risks for cheaper or longer payment periods or reduced or cancellation of fees if they contact their insurance company instead of their insurance company
Car Financing: Lenders are urged to offer assistance in relation to the coronavirus situation. Depending on your circumstances, it is possible that you will negotiate a lower payment or that you will be charged less interest. If there are no realistic repayment options, the lender can return the car
Council Tax: The Council has a Hardship Fund designed to reduce payments for those who find it difficult to pay.
Citizens Advice is concerned that new, stricter restrictions in parts of the UK, including different systems in the UK, will leave people vulnerable.
“When I worry about a perfect storm where people who are already struggling to survive financially will really suffer,”
During the holidays, your small room can breathe financially and spiritually.
“My father tries to support me, but his health is fragile, so I’m worried about him,” she said.
Like many families, their physical and financial health can be a problem for a while.

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Car insurance prices fell for the third consecutive quarter

Car insurance prices in the UK fell for the third straight quarter. Drivers now pay an average of £ 50 less than early 2020.

This is from Confused.com’s latest auto insurance price index, which shows that the average cost of comprehensive auto insurance is now £ 765 after dropping £ 5 in the last quarter.

Figures based on pricing data comprising nearly six million customer offers per quarter also show that prices have fallen 2% over the past year.

And they could fall even further after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced last month that they would prohibit insurance companies from increasing premiums for policyholders who are in what is known as “price increases.”

Louise O’Shea, CEO of Confused.com, said, “These have been turbulent months for the auto insurance world and will likely continue for some time as insurance companies try to adapt to the constant and dramatic changes in driver behavior. Not to mention how they handle it. much-needed changes to the FCA that were announced last month.

“FCA has proposals to make the switch easier by simplifying the automatic renewal cancellation process so we can see how people are using this as they become more price conscious.”

The index, co-produced by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), shows that drivers crossing the Scottish border benefited from the biggest quarterly price drops and their premiums fell 5% on average to £ 554.

Inland London was the only region in the UK to break the downward trend in prices in the last quarter as the cost of comprehensive auto insurance rose 3%.

Drivers aged 17 and over benefit from the largest price reductions compared to other age groups. They saw a 7% cut in quarterly prices and reduced their annual premium to £ 1911.

Meanwhile, 33 year old policyholders experienced the largest price increase of 2%, increasing their annual premium to £ 705.

“One of the biggest challenges for insurers and intermediaries is managing the transition to new global prices in the face of current market pressure on competition and therefore deciding how and when to make price changes,” Graham said. Wright, UK Head of P&C Personal Line Pricing at WTW.

“This definitely remains one of the most challenging moments in insurance pricing.”

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Young men and workers are more likely to avoid saving for retirement during the Covid-19 pandemic

A quarter of savers stopped or cut their pensions during the Covid-19 crisis and are considering doing so, new research shows.

Men and younger workers are more likely than women and older workers to avoid saving on pensions to make ends meet in response to the turmoil in work and personal finances caused by the pandemic, the study showed.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s findings echo a separate study that found that many people cut or cut their posts because they needed money for basic, cut or taken away.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 adults in September, around 14% of people have cut their posts and 11% have cut their posts completely, while 8% could do so in the future.

This trend can have a serious impact on people’s retirement prospects because they own smaller vessels. However, automatic registration is associated with failed protection.

Employers must re-enroll employees who leave the company every three years unless they wish to remain.

However, employers do this on a schedule, usually on a permanent basis, starting with the introduction of automatic registration the first time, not when the employee has left the company.

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says younger people can stop contributing sooner as their retirement age seems farther away, making it easy to cut costs.

However, it does show that the money you bet on in your teens is the hardest for you – because the combined growth raises the pot more over a longer period of time – resulting in higher than expected prices. .

Coles adds that if you cut or stop paying your pension, the effect increases because you lose tax breaks from the government and receive money from your employer.

But he admits that if you are currently earning less, have cut back on luxuries and spent spending to minimize the cost of basic necessities, and are still in trouble, you may have to cut your retirement contributions.

“The good news is that the way automatic recording works has to keep payment breaks temporarily so as not to become a big gap,” Coles said.

“If you give up your retirement at work, you’ll automatically be rehired within three years. Even if you can’t start paying yourself, you’re more than likely going to do the right thing inadvertently.”

Coles, meanwhile, said that some would see their retirement backdrop of declining in value due to the sharp downturn in the market at the start of the Covid-19 crisis, but some were ahead of the start of the year depending on where they invested.

“Most pensions aren’t just invested in stocks.” Most will have balance sheets of various assets, so overall pension funds haven’t come down that far and have made a significant recovery, “he said.

“According to Moneyfacts, the average pension fund at the end of June fell only 4.4% since the beginning of the year.

“It’s good to check where your retirement is invested and how it is performing, not just to see how it is performing, but to make sure it reflects your goals.

“If you have a retirement at work and you’re not sure how to do it, talk to your HR department and ask them to send you the details.”

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How to Use Capital Investment in the UK

Amid the Covid-fueled recession and Brexit-run pariah status, global investors have been rewarding British stocks in recent years. 21st century consultants and their clients have less support than previous generations. But don’t despair – there may be other ways to get the most out of your UK stock investment.

In September 1997, my 20th birthday in the industry represented a career that had a total return on the FTSE All Stocks Index of nearly 2,900 percent – a combined 18 percent per year. At that time, the typical stock bias for multi-asset funds versus the UK was more than 50%, even though the UK accounted for less than 12% of world market capitalization. Figures with an annual return of 10% and 12% are standard and considered conservative as the “long-term” market continues to rise and previous presentations are investment marketing’s best friends.

Consultants and fund managers with pure 21st century market experience will build their careers on the well-being of the past few decades. Unfortunately, the experience that followed was a little more brilliant and this generation has a different approach from the “normal”. In particular, beta waves, seen as active governance over the past few decades, have receded – successful active governance is generally expensive, but rare for individuals.

Currently, beta versions are cheap, if not always fun. In terms of capital, the FTSE All-Share index has returned to near zero for the past 20 years until 1 September 2020.

Different companies

For reinvested income, the annual return is 3.5%; At first glance, the investor’s returns can come almost entirely from reinvesting dividends.

However, a breakdown of all stocks by size shows that the top 100 companies have lost around 13% of investors over the past 20 years before dividends, while in stark contrast to the next biggest 250 companies, they are up nearly 150% and another 300 smaller companies. Company almost 50%.

The additional dividend contribution in all these sectors is around 3%. This underscores the diversification error that occurs when the FTSE All-Share Index is assumed to accurately reflect the diversity of UK companies. As measured by market capitalization, long-term exposure to this index is a big bet for the 100 largest companies that make up two-thirds of the all-stock index weighted 641 components of the FTSE, 98% of the total market capitalization of the 2,000 listed companies.

Buying an all-share tracker is similar to eggs and baskets. Active managers have used this weighted return difference to assure us that stock picks will benefit from this effect. The average total returns of all UK companies and indices of all stocks have been nearly identical over the past 20 years. Herd activities are clearly grouped according to standards and therefore according to the larger company.

Small company effect

Conversely, some managers will exhibit a “small business effect” because the logic is that small firms have greater growth potential and must therefore outperform their larger counterparts in the long run.

The 300 or so small companies on this All-Share Index may have done so, but unfortunately there is no way to effectively access these companies via passive vehicles – even the iShares MSCI UK Small Cap ETF owns six FTSE 100 shares in the top 10 companies.

Over the past 20 years, the average active small-cap manager has returned twice the FTSE Small Cap Index returns and one and a half times the wider Small Cap Numis plus the AIM Index.

I can’t find a retail vehicle that offers passive exposure to the FTSE All-Share Index of the same weight. In the absence of a UK Small Business Tracking Fund, one solution to the problem of diversifying the UK equity market may be to invest proportionately through joint membership in the all-stock index of 641 companies. For example 16% (100/641) in the FTSE 100 tracker, 39% in the FTSE 250 tracker and the balance sheet in a fund that is well diversified, actively managed, even though it is medium in size, and is small in scale. Our 20 year yield will be nearly double the total return on the All Stocks Index with less annual volatility.

We all know the principle of diversification in asset allocation. We should understand no less about style.

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Used batteries removed from electric BMWs

One of the biggest criticisms of electric cars is what happens to their strong batteries when they break down and, in plug-in vehicles, must be removed.

Electric batteries are not only expensive to replace, but also require highly skilled labor to extract the precious metals they contain, and even then are difficult to recycle – and this can lead to huge piles of waste, experts warn.

German automaker BMW has found a solution for its long-range electric vehicles that give their batteries a second life as a mobile powertrain to provide a solution for charging other cars with an add-on.

The car brand will supply the British energy storage company with a deactivated battery module from BMW and a Mini electric model that can be used in a mobile unit.

The aim is to provide a sustainable used battery model that loses capacity over time and is deemed inefficient in an electric car after years of use.

As part of a new partnership with the auto giant, Off Grid Energy has developed the first prototype of a mobile charger powered by a lithium-ion battery module from the Mini Electric development vehicle.

It has an output of 40 kWh, fast charging 7.2 kW and will be used next year at BMW and Mini UK events.

As more battery modules become available over time, these devices can use multiple EV batteries to create a combined system with capacities up to 180 kWh and capable of delivering up to 50 kW of power.

“When this unit is used to replace the traditional method of generating electricity temporarily, the battery module will at least double the CO2 reduction achieved when it is first used in a car and continue to have a positive effect on reducing CO2 emissions,” the company said. for energy storage.

Graham Greave, CEO of BMW Group UK, commented on the partnership: “The BMW Group will have 25 models of electrified roads by 2023 – half of which are fully electric.

“We are excited to work with Off Grid Energy to find sustainable ways to continue using this valuable battery even after years of investing in our electric vehicles.”

Like many electric models on the market, the batteries in BMWs and mini-vehicles are guaranteed for eight years or 100,000 miles.

After that, according to the car manufacturer, the battery can still last up to 80% of its original capacity.

However, he admits it is “inevitable” that electric cars will no longer function optimally for cars as we get older.

According to estimates by the Canadian battery retired company Geotab, the average capacity loss for electric cars and plug-in hybrids after six years is around 12%, essentially reducing capacity by 2% per year.

BMW says that while its car battery performance is reduced – enough to pull the device out of the vehicle – it can still serve a secondary purpose as a portable power source as part of its sustainability and resource efficiency strategy.

Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Management Board of the BMW Group, said: “The use of resources will determine the future of our society – and of the BMW Group. Our goal as a premium car manufacturer is to show the way to sustainability. That’s why we are responsible in the here and now. “”

Earlier this year, the University of Warwick announced that it had created a “fast rating” system for a second-life battery to see if it could be used for research after vehicles equipped with Nissan Leaf EV power supplies were discontinued. .

When the battery life is less than 70 percent, the report says they can be reused for less demanding second-life applications such as household and industrial storage.

The university says, “Classified second-life batteries provide reliable and convenient energy storage options for a wide range of customers: from roaming electrical products – power supplies for customers on the move, to home storage products – for customers with solar panels that store the energy produced. .

“More importantly, packaging can be used for storage, increasing the number of regularly renewable energy sources on the network without compromising supply security.”

Professor David Greenwood of WMG, University of Warwick added, “Car batteries offer some great environmental benefits, but they are also resource intensive.

“Unlocking the second battery life increases the environmental and economic value we extract from this resource before it has to be recycled.”

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Buying a car during lockdown?

As we entered a full lock down a few weeks back did people still buy or lease a car ?

Looking around it seems people have been it does seem odd as now most people are working from home but with lots of offers are around so it shows car sales strong in new and second hand.

I was looking around and found the customer support or enquiries to be very poor and this is from the top dealerships.

When you send a enquiry and have no reply or feedback it really does put you off a car this was found with landrover Audi and Mercedes.

If they improved this how many more cars would they sell or lease ?

The car industry is changing with people these days not even looking at a car and ordering it for delivery but i feel the service needs big improvements.

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Another day away from the office

A man is sitting by a window on the first floor of the house that is on the other side of the fence behind me. It’s early August, the weather is sticky and the windows are wide open. He was on the phone “hands free” and was laughing in an interesting way, which showed that a high salary was at stake. He speaks in modern conversations that sound like real conversations but are uncritical and actually carry the terrain into the environment. WTF? I want to scream, but I already know the answer: WFH.

With the exception of Covid-19 itself, working from home is a big story in 2020. I was at home for over 20 years, and most of the time I was before my neighbor started promoting his WFH status on the Exclusion site which remains in silent isolation on my own device. No one cares much about the emotional dynamics of my daily routine. But when the castle vacates the state offices, it becomes national talk.

Even though the government tries to encourage workers to return to work, the house remains at home. Last month it was reported that only 34% of UK employees returned to the office, compared with 83% in France and an average of 68% for key European colleagues. Schools reopened this month, but so far there has been no parental pressure at work.

This resistance was due in part to concerns about the virus and the confusion of conflicting government reports. If seeing more than five friends is no good, how good is it to be around 20 coworkers? But he also focused on the general dissatisfaction with the grind from nine to five. Many people have realized they came to travel for work, office politics, open office banality, and the tyranny of crab and rocket sandwiches. This raises the belief that something deeper and more permanent is happening and raises important questions about how we see work and where we do it.

For example, if you can work from home, does it matter where your home is? Heather Trainer (not her real name) takes remote work to its logical conclusion. As a 57-year-old university administrator, he spends the castle in the apartment he shares with two of his friends – neither of whom exist. Instead, he enjoys the freedom and space that isolation gives him.

Then the friends came back and things got a little tight and tough. So he decided to visit a friend in Crete, where he lived for a few months, with lots of space and a beach nearby.

“You have to control the heat,” he said, noting that it was 32 ° C. “But I’m not complaining.” He didn’t want to evoke bad feelings among his peers and didn’t “advertise” his existence. Only his closest team knows where he is.

“When I met a large group of people,” he explained. “I blur the background or use photos. I feel with Covid-19 I need to have more bunkers.” “

Her boss was “a little reluctant” when she presented her plan, but raised no obstructive objections. Her employer’s concern, she said, was in her case acceptable, “what would it mean if everyone else was doing it?” “This is definitely something to remember,” he admitted.

Remote working has not only changed our understanding of the work community and company ethos, it has also changed our concept of physical reality. Suddenly, to get to Gertrude Stein, he wasn’t around anymore. But if there is no shared space, what can stop employers from following the example of many customer service centers and hiring staff much cheaper in developing countries?

Right now, on a difficult day due to distant social insecurity, few have thought so far. Just as experts have predicted viral pandemics for years, other experts predict a shift to teleworking.

In 1973, a former NASA engineer named Jack Niels wrote a book advocating remote work to reduce traffic congestion. Titled The Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff, it was not a bestseller. But he did raise the flag to disperse the staff despite technological limitations at the time.

It was two more years before the term “personal computer” was introduced and another decade before affordable, easy-to-use home computers arrived. Even then, the necessary technology infrastructure – Internet, email, cell phones – is still in its infancy. In the 1990s, working from home was a much more applicable goal for a growing workforce.

Even so, WFH only has a small percentage. In 2001, 678,000 people worked from home. Last year the number increased from around 32.6 million employees to 1.7 million (around 4 million sometimes work from home). Come on lock and over 46% of workers take WFH. In London the number is more than 57%. The telework era has finally arrived.

One of the remote workers is William McCarthy (not his real name), a 40-year-old civil servant employed by a large London liaison group, as he puts it vaguely “with a number of other public bodies”.

For McCarthy, remote work isn’t the great personal freedom he sometimes squeezes out. She’s another person who lives in a shared apartment, which means she’s had some cramped up in her bedroom. This is also the room where he spends his free time online.

“What I do during working hours is very similar to what I do outside of work in front of a laptop. The activities may be different, but it is quite difficult to achieve a psychological separation because the physical activities are almost identical. “”

Of course, work had invaded the supposed sanctuary of the house for quite some time. Many companies expect their employees to respond to emergency emails outside of working hours, especially if they are from a different time zone. McCarthy said he knew people who had access to business email at 2am.

Sometimes she feels that the world on her laptop screen has been reduced to 10 “by 7” and the barrier between work and home has disappeared.

“It’s very easy to let work invade your imagination,” he said. “I have very strict working hours. I don’t come in before 9 am and go out at the end of the day.”

But when he entered he was expected to do a lot more. He toured the city for various meetings. Now all of them are enlarged one by one. “So you can go from meeting to meeting all day long without thinking about what you just heard,” he said. “I thought it was very challenging.”

Efficiency gains are difficult to measure in these circumstances – as many of us may confirm, more meetings does not necessarily mean more productivity. And like many aspects of our work life, productivity is a major business concern. This is also the reason remote work is spreading while the coronavirus is moving so slowly.

Suspicion has long held that working from home is indeed a euphemism to relieve, or rather, breastfeeding after a hangover. Many industries and companies prefer to have employees where they can see them.

In 1999 I decided to work from home. At that time I couldn’t do it and remained an employee, so I became a contract employee. Maybe not the smartest move as the newspapers are getting closer to the flow of the economy, but I’m a new dad and happily released from office. Then there was a brutal turnaround – years later the rules changed and employees could work from home.

However, as the old media became more flexible, some of the new media organizations took a more assertive stance. In 2013, Yahoo CEO Marisa Meyer banned teleworking for the internet giant. To be “the best place to work,” he said, “communication and collaboration will be important, so we have to work side by side.” That is why it is so important that we are all present at our office. “

Apparently, the Yahoo blog suggests that remote workers spend more time off company servers than in the office. The organization McCarthy works for has efficiency initiatives. The traffic light system shows if he or one of his colleagues is busy – red light for busy, green free. If he doesn’t touch the keyboard for a few minutes, the light will turn yellow, signaling his possible absence. After a while it will turn gray which means its location is unknown.

“The aim is to allow for faster communication,” he said, but he added, “the pressure to see it succeed is even greater than the results, which show you are on your side in this case. . “Work at home is a deal. This can feel really sad in a more criminal environment.” “

Research shows that people work differently when they are alone. At first glance, it seems unlikely that emailing co-workers will be. This may not seem as intuitive as you feel there is more reason to communicate via email when you are not in the same building. However, one study found that engineers who share physical space are 20 percent more likely to stay digitally connected than those who work alone.

Again, staying connected doesn’t necessarily mean more productivity. Sean Murray lost his job as insurance at the start of the blockade and later found a bill for a Cardiff company that had been transferred to the government. To get it, she had to go through two zoom interviews and then a phone interview.

“Obviously that’s a little weird,” he said, “because you’re very aware of what you’re saying, but it’s reinforced because you can see yourself in the corner of the screen, almost like feedback.”

The second week he was busy doing work he had never done before.

“I’ve shared the screen with my manager and we’ll see how the bills are processed. But when there’s no one sitting next to you, it’s hard. They miss the nuance of things.”

There is also a community of coworkers. “I found him very lonely and isolated,” he said. Even though there was a group chat on WhatsApp, he didn’t know his peers or their jokes and that only made him feel even more alienated. Then the manager said he had to take 400 bills a day.

Is that possible? He asked himself. “Does that make sense?” I don’t want them to think I’m relaxing. If I were in the office, someone would probably say 300 would be enough. I made 560. When you don’t have distractions, you work all the time. What the boss might want. But then you feel a little tired because there is no natural break. “”

So far, studies on WFH’s performance after the blockade are inconclusive. According to the UK self-reporting survey, 18% of respondents felt more productive and 22% less productive.

Someone who truly believes he is underproductive is Nicola Palmer, a law professor at King’s College, London. She and her husband, a professor of international politics, have three children – aged four and twins who are nearly two.

“Working from home is a very different experience when you have kids, especially around castles,” he said. It’s no coincidence that women with early and middle careers have experienced a notable drop in magazine appearances.

Palmer and her husband share strict and fair parenting, but it doesn’t matter. “The ability to have this space for reflection is very limited,” he said. “The possibility of long-term intellectual work has been excluded. Studying or writing is very difficult.”

Without the responsibilities of university life, his academic friends without children have spoken of an outpouring of writing. In return, Palmer and her husband offer anecdotes about parenting.

One of the things that attracted them to academic life at first was their flexibility as it made it possible to move jobs smoothly between work and home. And he believes the pandemic has accelerated an already underway trend. There will continue to be more online classes, he said, as he campaigns for the benefits of face-to-face teaching and face-to-face meetings.

“We would lose a lot if we lost the physical space of the university,” he warned. “One of the things that needs to change radically is the size of international travel. I don’t think we as an elite can travel the world and attend conferences again. ” Then the webinars will still be around.

There are other important developments in work culture that are likely to accelerate movement. With the advent of personal computers, employee jobs have become more and more similar, as everyone ends up staring at the same computer screen. And because most of the homes are similar and very private, WFH has even removed the quality of the office that differentiates and further obscures professional and personal identities.

Anthropologist James Susman points out in his new book “Work: A Story of How We Spend Our Time” that the work we did in the 19th and 20th centuries is the foundation of our identity. We are what we do.

There is a clear social and imitative element to our work identity and the people we build that are sure to weaken when people are not seen at home. If the professional philosophy that led the Victorian era was this: The more we work, the more aware we become of our personal “potential.” The next question is, how does a less visible identity affect our taste for work?

Although a radically shortened workweek is expected to emerge within a century or so, the time we spend working, including going to work, remains around 45 hours per week. Susman estimated that the work of our predecessor hunters and gatherers was no more than a third of what made our history seem idyllic before the round.

The castle awakens a longing to return to a less busy time, and for many it turns out to be a mass exodus of rats, an escape to the ideal past, despite death and health problems.

In this romantic past, landscapes – historic sights of the collapse of farm work – symbolize freedom and leisure. Likewise, the city was seen as malfunctioning and unhealthy in recent months. In the history of the city in Metropolis, Ben Wilson wrote that in the early 20th century “the traditional city is a place of pessimism, not hope”.

As he claims, this changed towards the end of the last century when cities came back into fashion. All of the most important recent infrastructure initiatives – Crossrail, HS2, “Nordkraftwerk” – are based on urban expansion. In the urban business model, urban centers are revitalized and made more attractive to skilled workers. It is a principle of a coffee culture whereby the destroyed industrial estates have undergone artisanal transformation, followed by gentrification and intensive commercialization.

But now, with all the pressure and social distancing recently, that model is risky. As the coach said: “Under normal circumstances, I really enjoy living in London, but there are less things I like about in London.” A coffee culture cannot succeed without a cafe, and cafes need customers. A recent study found that 88% of those who worked at home during the lockout wanted to retain some capacity to do so: these customers are in no rush to return.

Otherwise, something is missing that is less real but more significant than a cafe. In an article for the New York Times last month, comedian Jerry Seinfeld questioned the idea of ​​remote work: “Everyone hates doing this. Everyone. He hates. You know why? No energy. Energy, posture and personality can’t be” let go “. of the best optical lines though.

No matter how hard I make it without my neighbors moving, Seinfeld is right about energy. It is the life force of great quotes. But the WFH spirit is out of the bottle, and the early signs are that everything Boris Johnson and his cabinet colleagues say is not coming back.

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How to Utilise the Green Homes Grant Scheme

As it is becoming increasingly evident the impact we are having on the environment with our daily lifestyles, the government this year have decided to launch a new £2 billion scheme. Announced by Rishi Sovak as one of his many valuable schemes, Green Homes Grant Scheme aims to support homeowners or landlords in making their homes more sustainable and efficient in how much energy they use day-to-day. 

The grant will be given to homeowners in the form of vouchers, which can be used to go towards the cost of home improvements such as replacement windows, doors, insulation and much more. Any aspect of your home that is causing you to use far more energy than should be necessary could make you suitable for the scheme, allowing you to save money, energy and feel more confident in your home’s contribution to sustainability. 

What is the Green Homes Grant Scheme?

A new government scheme that allows homeowners and landlord in England to apply for vouchers to improve their homes in an effort to make them more energy-efficient. The amount of the vouchers is dependent on the varying incomes of households, with most vouchers being capped at £5000 but a maximum of £10,000 vouchers available to those on lower incomes.

You can receive a voucher that covers up to two-thirds of the cost of your home improvements, making it far more affordable for households to adapt their homes to use energy more efficiently. Not only do these vouchers benefit homeowners who may be struggling with draughty and cold homes, but they will help to create tons of local work for home improvement companies at a time when everyone is tight for cash. 

BOXT have outlined all you need to know about the Green Homes Grant Scheme in a handy guide. You can learn how to apply, what you can gain and how to benefit from the scheme as much as possible. 

What’s included in the scheme?

For a complete outline of what exact types of home improvements are included in the scheme, head to Simple Energy Advice. Briefly, though, the scheme is broken down into two main categories – primary and secondary measures.


Primary measures consist of:

  • Insulation e.g. solid walls, cavity walls, under-floor, loft, flat roof etc. 
  • Low carbon heat e.g. air or ground source heat pumps, solar panels, and biomass pellet boilers.


Secondary measures are:

  • Windows and doors e.g. draught-proofing, double or triple glazing, and replacement doors. 
  • Heating controls and insulation e.g. hot water tank thermostats, tank insulation or smart heating controls. 


Before applying for the scheme, you will need to make sure you have pinpointed which energy-efficient improvements your home needs and which are doable. If you’re simply after a new extension or decking for your garden, for example, this scheme isn’t for you. 

How do you apply?

The Green Homes Grant Scheme is open for applications from the end of September 2020, so it’s important to apply as soon as you can. Make sure to use the official energy advice tool to see if your home is eligible, which improvements you require and an estimation of how much you may be able to receive in vouchers. 

Not every home in England will be eligible to apply to the scheme – you either need to own a home or be a private landlord to gain access and apply. If your home is newly built and you are the first to own and occupy it, you are not eligible as the scheme aims to improve older homes that may not have been built with efficiency at the forefront. 

Now you have an understanding of what the scheme can offer you and how to apply, don’t waste any time. The scheme is open for applications from the end of September so get in their early as all vouchers must be used by March 2021. 

They are least likely to seek professional financial advice under the age of 35

People under 35 years of age are at least likely to seek professional financial advice. According to the new Hodge search, only 20% said they had previously sought advice from the IFA.

Family and friends are the biggest source of financial advice for those under 35, according to the survey, which asked more than 3,000 people about their attitudes toward finances. 70% of this age group say this is where they seek advice.

In contrast, the number of people seeking financial advice from the IFA doubled to over 40% for people over 55. The number of people in this age group who consulted their family and friends about their finances has fallen to 53%.

Emma Graham, Director of Business Development at Hodge, said, “The study shows that family and friends have a tremendous influence on all generations of financial matters, especially the younger generation. However, it is important to remember that well-meaning personal views or experiences are not always means good advice.

“Seeking advice from family and friends is the most subjective form of guidance because loved ones often have thoughts or opinions about how to live life that don’t always go along with your own plans.

“Having independent advice from a qualified and experienced financial advisor will not only ensure that you receive objective advice that takes your personal circumstances and plans into account, but you will also get tangible benefits from accessing their experience and making these important decisions with confidence when met when you meet them when You know this. You have considered and weighed all of the available options. “”

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