The big event of last week was the Credit Strategy Collections and Vulnerability summit featuring the U&T conference. It was an interesting event, discussion, and once again an opportunity to meet people in person.
As previously discussed, meeting people, in person for the first time, can feel a strange experience and it was not much different this time around. However, what I did notice was if I knew someone well from video calls, that once we were over the initial “hello” our discussion would then carry on as if we had known each other for a long time…. which I suppose we had, just on video. It really did all feel very natural.
I suppose this is not that surprising, but it does seem all that discussion, and work, getting to know people over lockdown, really does pay off. It is not really reset on meeting, so good news.
There were also a couple of interesting themes at the conference itself.
The great return to the office.
Much discussion I have heard up until now has swirled around the many benefits of remote working and continued working on a hybrid basis. This week however I happy started to increasingly hear more arguments from supporters for an office return.
Having not had the weight of events on their side until now, they are clearly starting to feel more confident. Arguments were being vocally pressed, explaining how ‘employees are just so happy to be back’.
Of course, much of this will depend on the demographic, age of workers and role type, it is unlikely to be one-size-fits-all. It does feel like waiting to ask the question again, after any initial excitement from meeting people again subsides, is probably worth it before jumping to any conclusions here. [… and of course, with new COVID measures announced over the weekend, all of this could be somewhat premature too].
The return of inflation.
Inflationary pressures are increasingly starting to get mentioned. With gas and electricity prices leaping, and rumours of £2 per litre petrol, all of this is going to have a significant impact on affordability. Customers of course need to stay warm, and get to work as a priority, so this will start to feed through to arrears levels. It seems we are going to have to be prepared and prepared soon (likely early in the new year).
The great resignation
Staffing and recruiting is still a burning issue for many companies, many appear to have large swaths of employees announcing they have found new roles.
The question I have been mulling on is why is this occurring, and founds some plausible answers this week.
No one has moved roles for the last 18months, so we have a lot to catch up on – it is just all happening in a shorter period of time.
Also, many older employees in the workforce have just decided to not come back. With COVID, new younger employees have also not yet entered the workforce. With about 500,000 employees entering and leaving the workforce in the UK every year, this kind of made sense.
With the turn of the month to December, there are only a few more weeks to get things ready for the break over the holidays and then into the new year, so a few important things to think about this week.
Have a good week everyone.