Will fruit Thursdays survive the recession? – Career Weekly vol. 24

Let’s see if tech companies want to cut benefits due to the market situation. Then we’ll visit the Dublin offices and Toshiba’s Tokyo headquarters, where there are again invoice troubles.

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Benefits in IT will not be cut, but…

There is a conspiracy theory that says the giant media hype around layoffs in Big Tech was meant to cause goosebumps throughout the IT industry and prepare us for privilege cuts. This is not as idiotic as the flat earth or chemtrails theory, so I decided to check with smart sources to see if there was anything to fear.

For starters, let’s take a look at a report by Ryan Golden of the HR Dive website, which cites research conducted in US companies. Their results are very interesting. While 70% of bosses are under no illusion that the recession will get worse, 52% of all respondents do not intend to cut benefits, and 58% want to maintain current salaries. What’s more, smaller companies are the more secure and flexibe in that matter.

A key benefit is and will continue to be private medical care. In this case (fortunately) not much is changing. Our medical packages were getting more expensive by a few percent year after year anyway, so employers were ready for the traditional tranche of increases. From their perspective, health benefits are also extremely “problematic” to reduce, because they are associated with potentially the greatest dissatisfaction among the team. The only thing that can be done is to choose packages wisely and limit the number of the most expensive options (which are virtually never used 100% anyway).

I couldn’t resist using this meme. Credits:

Additional light is shed on the subject by Selin Bucak, who described on Sifted the activities of Moca Care, a French start-up dedicated to employee mental health. Of its 150 clients, which include giant corporations such as L’Oreal and Allianz, only two have recently dropped out. And that’s because their owners went bankrupt. The founder of Moca Care explains that companies invest in the mental health of their employees because it has a direct impact on the bottom line. There’s something to that! Fatigue, illness and permanent stress certainly don’t help close shuffles on time and issue more invoices. And how does one measure the return on investment of fruit Thursdays, rooms with hammocks for afternoon naps or an exotic aquarium in open space? Probably difficult, since most of us and work remotely…

Oh! Did you know that HR reports list “home office opportunity” in one breath as the third key benefit? On par with private health care, team integrations and snacks. I don’t know if that’s the right category. I think it’s more of an industry standard.

One thing is certain – if the benefit is “measurable” in terms of ROI and serves to enhance your sense of security, you should not likely fear that it will suddenly disappear. The question is what your employer actually offers in this regard.

PS. For employers, I recommend the report in Forbes Advisor, which can be a great tool to evaluate current benefits in your companies.


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Go to the office on Wednesday

Do you sometimes visit the office? I do, but mostly once, maybe twice a week – mostly to refresh relationships and quickly discuss key issues with the Vived team. I’ve noticed for some time that Wednesday is best for this purpose. I thought it was pure coincidence, but Leigh McGowran of Silicon Republic made me realize that it wasn’t.

A survey completed by representatives of more than 500 companies operating in the Dublin area (which include small start-ups’ such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and hundreds of others) found that the middle of the week is the most optimal time for many to visit the office. The results of the survey also provide several other findings.

First, they confirm that hybrid work is preferred by a very large proportion of employers. We’ve already noticed this in the job listings added to Vived applications, so this data further supports our hypothesis. Fortunately, only 9% of respondents confirmed that their employees must work in the office five days a week. In contrast, as many as 47% require employees to be in the office two or three days a week.

Second, offices are generally ready for the return of employees. Among potential changes, administrators most often point to rearranging desks, 40%, and making it easier to maintain social distance, 33%.

Third, what I find missing from this data is the real level of recent office filling. I can only guess why only 7% of respondents intend to increase their office space, while 8% anticipate decreasing it.


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Uwaga na faktury za integrację!

I started with benefits and will end with benefit. But that one can make you lose your position.

Toshiba has been facing a number of problems recently. The company significantly lowered its profit forecast this year from $930 million to $721 million after its Q3 2022 operating profit fell 88%. The third player in the storage market is also considering a buyout proposal from a consortium of Japan Industrial Partners, and is still facing angry remarks over a 2015 scandal when financial documents were falsified and the company reported $1.2 billion in inflated claims.

Finances are not Toshiba’s strong point. Last week, the company announced the resignation of Goro Yanese, COO. As it turned out, in 2019 Yanese spent the company’s money on entertainment, but did not name the companies with which he held business meetings. In doing so, he violated the rules adopted by Toshiba, and although he held a less prominent position at the time, he will not be eligible for re-election. He will remain COO until the end of the fiscal year, and then become a lower-level director.

What follows is that when going for team integration, accurately describe the generated invoices. Even if you are not the COO at the moment.