Never goin’ back

Two days ago we detailed the housing boom now gripping North America. It’s everywhere. It’s real. It both defies the pandemic and feeds from it. It’s potentially dangerous. And buyers need to be incredibly careful. For this has the potential to turn on a dime.

As stated, there are valid economic reasons for the surge (cheap mortgages and pent-up demand), but mostly the phenom is emotional. Nesting. Cocooning. Dog bonding. The flight to security in an insecure world. Fear of the virus. Most of this has been fueled by remote working. Time will surely show this is a temporary thing that most people believe is permanent. Big mistake.

Did you see the latest clickbait survey?

A new poll (ADP) found almost two-thirds of Millennials hate the office. Instead they prefer flexibility, a Zoom existence with only the occasional visit to the cubicle farm. But they expect to be paid as usual. Naturally. Seventy per cent say flexibility should come with full compensation. A quarter of the remoters are afraid of catching Covid at the office, which is interesting since the national infection rate is currently one third of one per cent. Thanks, media.

Okay, so trend No. 1 fueling the housing market is an altered perception of ‘home’. Now it means a Leave-it-to-Beaver, leafy street with detached houses and minivans, rather than sleek condos in a hip urban tower with a bicycle elevator. Remote employment makes people want more space, privacy and physical comfort, since home is work and work is home. It’s led a lot of folks to borrow excessively and spend immodestly.

Look at central Toronto, for example. In August average prices increased 26%, sales were ahead 38% and four in ten properties sold for more than the asking price. This is ridiculous during the month of the year traditionally peppered with vacations and sloth.

Trend No.2 is also emotional at its core. The flight to the burbs. It’s a meme now, and outer-urban areas – like Toronto’s 905 belt, or the sprawling suburban areas around Montreal – are seeing strong sales and popping prices. The biggest stumbling block to moving to Mississauga, for example – commuting and spending four hours a day on the clogged QEW – is gone. At least for now. And as the survey above shows, a ton of Mills think it’s gone forever.

Data doesn’t actually support this.

For example, Zillow found in the States (same conditions as here at the moment) sales of both urban and suburban homes are brisk. And about equal. DOM comparable. Above-asking sales the same. Average price increases similar. Detached prices are growing faster than those of condos (as here), and this is the summary for real estate searches:

Suburban home listings are not seeing any more attention on Zillow than they were last year, relative to urban or rural listings. Suburban homes made up 62.2% of all Zillow pageviews of for-sale listings in June 2020, down just slightly from 62.6% in June 2019. Urban and rural pageviews each climbed 0.2 percentage points from last year

In Canada condo inventories are up, thanks to a whack of new units hitting the market, the collapse of Airbnb and the shutdown of Landlord-Tenant boards which led to non-payment of rent and panic for many amateur landlords. Of course, the virus has impacted too, since masks are now mandatory items even when heading for the garbage chute. Ugh.

Having said that, condo prices are not falling. Detached inventories are running higher. And the prices of SFHs are, frankly, outrageous. The amount of additional debt required is scary. When all those buyers today with sub-2% mortgages are renewing in 2025, well, it might be a shock.

Can the work-from-home, I-loathe-the-office, suburban-no-commute thing carry on indefinitely? Even post-Covid? In a neo-Zoom world?

We’ll see. But it’s doubtful. As stated here before, cities developed for a reason. People come together to work for a reason. People want to live in proximity to each other and services for a reason. Productivity and efficiency are higher in group settings, for a reason.

Meanwhile, pandemic job loss, restructuring of industries, curtailing of immigration, no-school child-care woes and the ending of epic government cash and mortgage deferrals have yet to be felt by the housing market. Emotions, like FOMO and cocooning, can start a real estate fire. But to keep burning, it takes employment security and confidence about the future.

Moisters hiding from the boss in the guest bedroom? It means we’re not even close at the moment. Govern your urges accordingly.

202 comments ↓

#1 Captain Uppa on 09.02.20 at 2:47 pm

Shopify disagrees with you as they are shuttering their Headquarters in Ottawa.

Link: https://financialpost.com/technology/shopify-to-vacate-its-ottawa-headquarters-in-virtual-office-push/wcm/c0af1524-41a0-4659-9d75-3598a9c4d044/

Some companies will decentralize, most will not. The bulk of people thinking they’ll never need to return are dreaming in pixelated technicolour. – Garth

#2 YouKnowWho on 09.02.20 at 2:51 pm

Please note YouKnow who is Out Of Office for the next week with no access to email.

#3 i.see.debt.people on 09.02.20 at 2:55 pm

Fuuuuuurrst!

#4 Doug t on 09.02.20 at 2:59 pm

People disappoint me on a regular basis – The pandemic has shown once again how stupid humans are in so many ways – I cannot imagine (or maybe I can) what would happen to our pathetic species if we were faced with a truly horrific virus that has the potential to kill tens of millions – we should be ashamed of our response to this current pandemic and the way we treat one another especially- look around the world and see the sad disintegration of civility – people in countries all over the world seem at their wits end – violence and extremism are everywhere and growing – what have we become ? Is there any turning back ? or is this the cross roads moment for humanity

RATM

#5 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 3:02 pm

Sept 2nd already, back to School , the annual monsoon season and a new Covid upsurge…..

Get ready for the Trump Show, Teachers walking out, Restaurants closing and layoffs to continue……

3.5 months to Christmas :)

#6 Overheardyou on 09.02.20 at 3:02 pm

Is there data on the number of happy vs unhappy work from home employees? It would be interesting to gauge the gap between wants and needs between an employee and employer.

Also, could they fire someone for refusing to not go back to the office because of essentially fear of catching an illness?

I have a few friends that are dying to get back to the office because working alone every day is emotionally draining. Turns out you do miss the company of others, the good and the bad.

#7 Captain Uppa on 09.02.20 at 3:05 pm

Some companies will decentralize, most will not. The bulk of people thinking they’ll never need to return are dreaming in pixelated technicolour. – Garth

———————————————————

Time will tell.

But is it not likely companies have told a lot of their employees that WFH is permanent or part time already? I ask this because I assume they have and in turn people are laying roots far away because of it.

#8 Attrition on 09.02.20 at 3:10 pm

Cities came to be for a reason, and could cease to be for a reason as well–several reasons. Thinking otherwise is historical-bias.

When cities formed, home delivery (by drone, no less) for almost everything you could need wasn’t even a wet dream of Nostradamus’.

Mother Shipton may have foreseen the Internet (“Around the world men’s thoughts shall fly, in the twinkling of an eye”) but she had nothing on Bezos.

People moved to cities for commerce and health and connections. We have all that at home now, via Bradbury’s wall to wall talkie screens.

So, the question isn’t will or when will cities go back to normal, by why would they and what will become of them if they don’t?

I have a theory: think warehouses, endless warehouses. Drone ports on every rooftop. Office towered turned into warehouses. Elevator shafts converted into industrial dumbwaiters for delivery robots.

To the machines go the cities, to the people goes the bucolic countryside. How else to end unrest and protest than to eliminate the centre?

In the post-city future, commerce likely won’t matter and very few material needs will go unmet. It’s already happening, already started. Anyone here not have something they need? No, we all have waaaay too much.

The agricultural revolution gave us abundance. The shipping and logistics revolution underway now will give us even more–whether we want it or not.

It’ll cost us our freewill and souls of course, but those of us who care about those quaint concepts will be living in sodden, damp caves in containment zones by then.

Damn…think I just channeled TN…and maybe SA a little.

#9 SunShowers on 09.02.20 at 3:10 pm

Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?

People are hired to accomplish certain tasks, and if those exact same tasks can be accomplished from home, why shouldn’t the compensation remain the same?

It’s not as if workers are paid for their commute.

#10 Millennial905er on 09.02.20 at 3:11 pm

Scary times as the Bank of Canada is asking for Joe and Jane public’s opinion on what to do about inflation.

https://letstalkinflation.ca.engagementhq.com/lets-talk-inflation-survey/survey_tools/take-the-survey-today1

Negative interest rates in the mix there.

Sounds like they’re either completely up the creek with no options or they want to do something extreme and claim public support.

Yikes.

#11 yvr_lurker on 09.02.20 at 3:23 pm

#9

Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?

People are hired to accomplish certain tasks, and if those exact same tasks can be accomplished from home, why shouldn’t the compensation remain the same?

It’s not as if workers are paid for their commute.
———-

Exactly. I don’t see what justifies a pay decrease unless the online worker is unable to perform at a high level in the new enviroment. Looks just like some “excuse” to decrease wages.

With working from home, the workday can easily extend into the evenings and weekends as the line between home/work is blurred. Once this is all over I can see a more hybrid model developing whereby people will need come into a scaled down “office” for a few days a week, but be given the flexibility to work from home otherwise.

#12 IN AB on 09.02.20 at 3:29 pm

Garth I’m curious your thoughts on Alberta real estate right now. Obviously toronto and Vancouver are markets from outer space but if you are a young person employed here a detached home compared to average income is starting to seem like a rational purchase.

Also necessary suck up: I’ve been reading your blog for 5+ years and have taken a lot of your advice and it has served me well, thank you

#13 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 09.02.20 at 3:29 pm

Without claiming a crystal ball it is clear to me that what we are seeing on the RE market is ” business as usual”. The people buying clearly have confidence in their income stream and the fact that they can sell at any time if needed before the 5 years renewal or make money at that point once immigration resumes and all that “land back in the home country” gets sold and buyers pop out of nowhere .
As much as some think it is a gamble and it might rightfully be so it is hard to argue with history of RE in Canada since we have not experienced a correction like the US had back in 2009 .
WFH will end pretty quick for the majority of people sometime mid next year as companies simply do not trust their employees and by the time you implement and enforce a proper monitoring system you may as well just bring them back into the office.
There will obviously be some people who will lose big , however I am placing my bets on “this time will be no different” .

#14 Reality Check on 09.02.20 at 3:35 pm

#9 SunShowers, It’s called perspective. As a senior manager in a large Technology company, I’ve always had employees suggest that working from home is ‘just as productive” as having teams physically together. That is their perspective. Unfortunately I see things differently. There is a measurable advantage to having ‘most’ teams physically together ‘most’ of the time. There are always exceptions, however, the general performance of a team is always better for us having everyone together.

#15 Ubul on 09.02.20 at 3:36 pm

How about companies, which insist to go back to the office and do the same amount of hours, work – with a 25% pay cut indefinitely? Naturally.

#16 Leftover on 09.02.20 at 3:37 pm

The meme around work-from-home = house in the sticks sounds right, but there’s more to it.

Cities have become scary. In the USA downtown’s have become riot zones, in Canada they’re homeless encampments. This will continue long after there’s a vaccine and offices re-open.

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

#17 Dolce Vita on 09.02.20 at 3:38 pm

#4 Doug t

On the virus (RE: pathetic species), says he in the 21st century of MRI, heart transplants, vaccines, Lysol, antibiotics and Viagra.

The Plague of Justinian was Yersinia pestis, the same bacterium responsible for the Black Death (1347–1351) now effectively treated by antibiotics.

As for the 1918 Spanish Flu, H1N1 vaccines to protect against it are widely available and antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections.

And for COVID-19 there are in the 21st Century these effective treatments:

NOTHING.

NOT A THING.

A SNOWBALL’S HOPE IN HADES.

Pathetic alright, can’t find a treatment or a vaccine.

————————

PS: Probably Garth why your remoter Millennials are a little gun shy of crowded rooms (even if the national infection rate is currently one third of one per cent).

But you know, 75% of sensible Canadians are all “pathetic” and 18% of them are the wisest of them all:

https://i.imgur.com/WVqavKl.jpg

“Thanks, media.”

You forget, Canadians are not duped by the Cdn MSM nor are they as gullible as you imply:

https://i.imgur.com/K2HCVED.jpg

#18 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 3:39 pm

@#10 Millenial905’er

Excellent link.

Filled out the survey with a few comments about the financial insanity of Universal Basic income and Negative rates.

What say ye fellow blog dogs?
Care to inundate the Bank of Canada with survey results?

https://letstalkinflation.ca.engagementhq.com/lets-talk-inflation-survey/survey_tools/take-the-survey-today1

#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 3:41 pm

@#9 Sunshower
“Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?”
++++

Because we shouldnt have to give you full pay when you’re working in your food stained jammies and havent bathed in two weeks.

#20 The real Kip (Ret) on 09.02.20 at 3:41 pm

Realtors are saying the sweet spot is 87 km from the downtown core but alas, I’m 91 km the core on the lake. Dang, I guess I miss out again.

#21 Dogman01 on 09.02.20 at 3:43 pm

#78 XDFO on 09.01.20 at 6:49 pm

“Obama and his predecessors created the mire from which Trump rose. When you put your boot on the neck of your citizens and threaten their survival and hope to thrive then you get a fallback to nationalism, preying on fear and eventually riots. “

——————————————–

#5 Handsome Ned on 09.01.20 at 2:45 pm

“Biden – He’s an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.”

——————————————————

Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52009042-trade-wars-are-class-wars

We have had several decades where a narrow interest has seized the agenda and enacted globalism thereby eroding the Western world’s middle class society, with National income shifted from workers to the owners of capital, I suspect the recent unrest in the US is a symptom of declining prosperity and poverty.

This narrow Globalist elite interest has lost the agenda with Trump elected, but Biden is their man.

The last episode of Globalism ended with World War I.

With the Western elite destroying their own society, (exporting productive capacity and importing profits and unemployment), they are enabling China. They are likely to find a rising China challenging their position as the Germans did to the old order in the 1900’s.

“The inner rot of all empires is very, very slow and quite insidious. The tipping point is up at the top: do the elites see the empire as a road to personal wealth? When they decide this, they go on an internal looting expedition, cutting their own taxes while increasing taxes on the lower classes. Rome did this, Spain did this and the UK did this. All empires do this.” – Niall Ferguson

#22 LG on 09.02.20 at 3:45 pm

Working from home can end as abruptly as it began if cyber security is threatened.

Is this true?
Working from home, using ZOOM. Is it secure? Is it possible that this could deter working from home? https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/03/zoom-calls-routed-china/

“Zoom isn’t end-to-end encrypted at all, despite the company’s earlier claims, meaning that Zoom controls the encryption keys and can therefore access the contents of its customers’ calls. Zoom said in an earlier blog post that it has “implemented robust and validated internal controls to prevent unauthorized access to any content that users share during meetings.” The same can’t be said for Chinese authorities, however, which could demand Zoom turn over any encryption keys on its servers in China to facilitate decryption of the contents of encrypted calls.”

The media/tech mis-information war has progressed. Discerning between fact and fiction is practically impossible. There is no news, only entertainment.

#23 The real Kip (Ret) on 09.02.20 at 3:45 pm

Should be a rockin Labour Day as the city floods north to cottage country. We’ve stocked the freezer up, boat’s gassed, no need to leave the house till Tuesday.

#24 Don Guillermo on 09.02.20 at 3:46 pm

#9 SunShowers on 09.02.20 at 3:10 pm

Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?

People are hired to accomplish certain tasks, and if those exact same tasks can be accomplished from home, why shouldn’t the compensation remain the same?

It’s not as if workers are paid for their commute.

***************************************
Worker pay is set by markets. If you can work from home why wouldn’t businesses take advantages of lower paid jurisdictions i.e.: India, Alabama, Mexico, New Brunswick ….. ?

#25 baloney Sandwitch on 09.02.20 at 3:50 pm

I think companies will discover if they can do with remote work, then why bother with high priced former cubicle dwellers with tats, phobias and attitude. On the internet, the difference between Mississauga and Mangalore is non-existent. But you have to pay the Manglorian 1/4th of the Mississaugan. Plus you don’t of bother with HR, employment laws and all that crap which companies hate. Once companies discover this keep your ears perked for the flushing sound as jobs disappear.

#26 Dirty Dan on 09.02.20 at 3:54 pm

> A quarter of the remoters are afraid of catching Covid at the office, which is interesting since the national infection rate is currently one third of one per cent. Thanks, media.

I’ll give you credit on the corona virus. You went against the leftist programming, correctly called that out and stuck to your guns.

///

#11 yvr_lurker on 09.02.20 at 3:23 pm

Exactly. I don’t see what justifies a pay decrease unless the online worker is unable to perform at a high level in the new enviroment.

It’s not about what’s fair or moral or expected. It’s about what you can get away with — just ask Justin Trudeau.

If I decide to move to Panama, and in exchange for not being able to drop into the office on short notice or meet with clients as often I’ll be willing to take a slight pay cut… whelp, I’ve just set a new bar. It’s a classic “prisoner’s dilemma”.

#27 dave on 09.02.20 at 3:55 pm

Things that are falling off the debt cliff:
– Mortgage deferral
– Corporate tax
– Personal tax
– Property tax
– Student loans
– Cerb is now EI

Am I missing anything, on top of the above is double digit unemployment and one of the greatest recessions in modern history.

And as of August Real Estate is going great !????????? When will this change?

#28 Zed on 09.02.20 at 3:55 pm

People cannot think that with WFH they will receive the same salary. Employers compensate their employees with a certain salary to get to work in a downtown tower, if that central location is not required, compensation can and will be lower.

Salaries are high downtown as a way to attract workers.

If the required work can be done without a physical presence in the office, that work will be done by whoever/wherever it is cheaper on this planet.

Soon people will want to show up at te office to justify their employment.

#29 Dolce Vita on 09.02.20 at 3:59 pm

Stop blaming COVID for RE prices.

Even if this happened:

1. Global earthquake, pole shift as a result and Canada is now the Land Down Under (no kangaroos).

2. Snowball Earth has just happened with Canada the only arable land area left on Planet Earth.

3. The 2nd Coming where the 1st shall be last and the last shall be 1st preceded by Conquest, War, Famine + Plague avec Hades in tow.

As long as this remains in place:

1. Cultural immediate gratification.
2. Banks to finance immediate gratification.
3. CMHC to render banks harmless in immediate gratification lending.

You will have this in Canada:

RE Prices that rise and on very rare occasion, drop [regardless of COVID, Poll Shifts, Snowball Earth, 2nd Coming + friends).

#30 Brian Ripley on 09.02.20 at 4:02 pm

My Vancouver Housing charts are up with August data:
http://www.chpc.biz/vancouver-housing.html

​In August 2020, Vancouver average prices of detached houses ticked up but remained on the downtrend while strata unit prices caught bids on total residential inventory that has increased 49% since the beginning of the year. ​

Although the FOMO crowd has been quarantined, the growing supply of housing stock for sale has spurred those who think they are missing out to increase total residential sales 94% also since January 2020.

Housing bulls should not get too excited; residential sales are still well below 1Q 2016 when inventory levels were at the lows.​​ Also the housing vacancy rate has ticked up and “Vancouver rents were down on all fronts again.” (Padmapper July data) One and two-bedroom rents dropped Y/Y 6.4% and 9.4%, respectively.

#31 BS on 09.02.20 at 4:02 pm

DELETED

#32 Wile E. Coyote on 09.02.20 at 4:07 pm

Employees pay workers based on locale. Consider a company such as IBM. Employees doing the same jobs in Ottawa, Edmonton, Victoria, etc are not paid the same. Cost of living is built into it.

Companies in the US have already stated you are not getting your Silicon Valley salary when you relocate to a mountain retreat and work from home.

Do you seriously think companies are not going to do what is best for them?

#33 CEW9 on 09.02.20 at 4:07 pm

A compelling argument that ‘work-from-home’ is largely temporary is the fact that there are more extroverts in the world than introverts.

#34 LepreCon on 09.02.20 at 4:07 pm

@ #4 Doug t

Social media continues to allow fascism and misinformation to erode society as we know it.
It’s about 15 years old, and becoming a proverbial teenager we can’t control and don’t completely understand.
Some of the insane blog comments that don’t make the DELETED pile here at GF are a solid indication…

#35 jerry on 09.02.20 at 4:08 pm

The markets are way up. What vision of the future are they seeing and what is everyone buying into?

#36 Eaglebay on 09.02.20 at 4:08 pm

#11 yvr_lurker on 09.02.20 at 3:23 pm
“Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?”

Sorry my friend, you’re a bit shortsighted.
When we negotiate our compensations we take into account all our costs including commute and related costs as for parking, fuel, vehicle depreciation and maintenance, other mode of transportation, etc…
Your competition will surely work for less when taking such expenses into account.

#37 Jay on 09.02.20 at 4:09 pm

There is also a reason offices exist. Not everyone has the luxury of working from a home office without constant distractions, have fast enough internet or bandwidth to handle some of the heavy duty tasks required (Like CAD Drafting work). Most people I know who actually work a productive day cant wait to get back to the office.

The only ones I know who are demanding to stay at home are government workers who currently spend the day gardening and watching Netflix during the day, and just check their email once in a while, then forward it onto the next lowest employee to handle.

#38 Timoftrees on 09.02.20 at 4:12 pm

Meh. If someone can work from home, someone else can work from India.

#39 Smartalox on 09.02.20 at 4:12 pm

For what it’s worth, from a professional in the midst of relocating away from the city where my office is:

– attending the office might be worthwhile for positions in companies where on-site attendance is mandatory for some portion of the job function, such as working in a lab, a factory or a production facility, and those that are direct supervisors.

– In-person attendance and interaction certainly has a role to play when one is developing a career, or looking for a promotion. Working off-site (out of sight, out of mind) will likely hinder initiative and momentum that are typically fuel for advancement, and impact those chances as a result.

That said, there are some advantages, at least in my case:
– My wife’s workplace is a toxic work environment. Her supervisor, the CEO of the organization is prone to tantrums and outbursts, and I can tell that she suffers from witnessing that behaviour, even if it is not directed at her, even if she’s the one who has to ‘talk him down’ or smooth things over amongst the staff. This activity consumes a large amount of her energy, and is in no way a part of her job description. So working remotely and being away from that environment will improve her quality of life.

#40 Rainman on 09.02.20 at 4:16 pm

I think you are wrong on this one Garth. My company (big telecom) is getting out as much RE as possible right now and the pandemic just pushed that along quicker. It was in the plans anyhow. Once things get back to normal and we can come back to the office, is will be for collaborate sessions/meetings and maybe once/twice a month. Not to work at a desk.

#41 Dutchie on 09.02.20 at 4:20 pm

Swift tax hikes are not that much speculation anymore. Surprised this piece of news is not yet brought up here:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-tax/uks-sunak-considers-sweeping-tax-hikes-to-plug-covid-19-hole-newspapers-say-idUSKBN25Q05G

#42 YouKnowWho - from PTO on 09.02.20 at 4:26 pm

Citing the risks of COVID-19 spread, the Trump administration on Tuesday said it would halt US evictions through the end of the year, wielding a rarely used power of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s not rent forgiveness, but if you can’t pay now, what makes you able to pay later?

#43 Stoph on 09.02.20 at 4:31 pm

#11 yvr_lurker on 09.02.20 at 3:23 pm
#9

Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?

People are hired to accomplish certain tasks, and if those exact same tasks can be accomplished from home, why shouldn’t the compensation remain the same?

It’s not as if workers are paid for their commute.
———-

Exactly. I don’t see what justifies a pay decrease unless the online worker is unable to perform at a high level in the new enviroment. Looks just like some “excuse” to decrease wages.

With working from home, the workday can easily extend into the evenings and weekends as the line between home/work is blurred. Once this is all over I can see a more hybrid model developing whereby people will need come into a scaled down “office” for a few days a week, but be given the flexibility to work from home otherwise.

—————————————————————–

A distinction between what’s ‘fair’ or what ‘should’ happen versus what will happen should be made.

I don’t expect salary decreases to be enacted as people continue to work from home. Yes, people are paid for the work they do and not their commute. However if companies don’t need to pay as much in order to retain or attract employees, they won’t. I see this work from home movement putting negative pressure on salaries and allow companies to get a better bang for their buck from their employees.

#44 Guelph Guru on 09.02.20 at 4:31 pm

I hope people are considering the liabilities of their purchase. Property tax and mortgage interest.
Sustaining a house requires consistent cash flow to pay all the bills. Punting all your income to feed this monster of a house will cause a serious dent in the lifestyle.
People will have to think twice before going to Keg. I know some folks who are down to think twice before going to Tims. But live in a mansion.
Hope our brand new FM can smooth it out with hyperinflation. Oh wait, but that would cause the mortgage payments to rise and … .
That’s logic and it does not apply to our new super connected world. It’s different this time :)

#45 I’m stupid on 09.02.20 at 4:44 pm

#9 SunShowers

What we are witnessing in my opinion is the flight of office jobs. Employees are being paid full salaries at the moment but I think this will all change. I believe that if work from home becomes a thing that those jobs will go to India. I mean why pay someone here 100k a year to complete tasks when you can pay 5 people 20k each to do more?

We witnessed manufacturing go to Asia in the 80s and 90s. We witnessed phone centres go to Indian in the 90s and 2000s we’re soon going to witness the rest of office work leave too. Just my opinion.

#46 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 4:45 pm

Mr. Turner :

Perhaps with many businesses, bars, restaurant, etc. closing and entertainment venues, parks,etc. restricted as to capacity , maybe the “city” that people want to live in as you state in today’s post may not, in fact, exist in that form.

This may further reduce the attraction of living there.

You are suffering from recency bias. This pandemic is temporary. – Garth

#47 Eco Capitalist on 09.02.20 at 4:46 pm

Emotional urges are very strong right now. I miss having a private patch of the outdoors and being able to BBQ food! No fall fairs to look forward to and the Farmer’s market just isn’t the same with all these restrictions. This may be one of the few times I look forward to winter; then I won’t feel like I’m missing out.

#48 Dogman01 on 09.02.20 at 4:50 pm

#25 baloney Sandwitch on 09.02.20 at 3:50 pm

“if they can do with remote work, then why bother with high priced former cubicle dwellers with tats, phobias and attitude. On the internet, the difference between Mississauga and Mangalore is non-existent. But you have to pay the Manglorian 1/4th of the Mississaugan. Plus you don’t of bother with HR, employment laws and all that crap which companies hate. Once companies discover this keep your ears perked for the flushing sound as jobs disappear.”

—————————————————–
This is the last call for White Collar work in North America, history may not repeat but it does rhyme : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3LvZAZ-HV4
Just look at Bush and Clinton’s faces when Ross reveal the what they clearly understand.

#49 Billy Buoy on 09.02.20 at 4:50 pm

I still have to ask….with debt levels at extreme levels, wages not keeping up with inflation, REAL unemployment levels at likely 20% just where is the GROWTH coming from?

Where?

Keep buying people. You’re ONLY hope is the government continues to back stop you and as there is no sign of growth anywhere for eons, I wish you luck.

People sitting with a LOT of cash are patiently waiting for your values to explode downwards in the near future.

#50 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 4:51 pm

Hmmmm.

Political Correctness meets Profits…..
And the social Justice warriors lose.

Disney is apparently rooting out all the politically correct actors that hector their fans on how the fans should behave….apparently actress Brie Larson is in their sights…….. something about profits I presume.

A few years on the unemployment line might do the trick.

#51 jess on 09.02.20 at 4:51 pm

god shields /complex web of companies

a rickety ship with 3000 tons

Reporters found that the circumstances for the tragedy were set in the baffling nowhere-world of offshore trade, where secretive companies and pliant governments allow questionable actors to work in the shadows.

Among those secretly connected to the Rhosus and its final voyage: a hidden shipping tycoon, a notorious bank, and businesses in East Africa previously investigated for ties to the illicit arms trade.

In their joint investigation spanning ten countries, reporters found that:

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/a-hidden-tycoon-african-explosives-and-a-loan-from-a-notorious-bank-questionable-connections-surround-beirut-explosion-shipment

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/holy-rollers-the-religious-leaders-using-churches-to-launder-illicit-cash-across-the-americas

#52 Attrition on 09.02.20 at 4:52 pm

If anyone tries to lower your salary for working from home, just say:

“Sure thing, and I’ll invoice you monthly for the cost to use my home, Wifi, parking, electricity, etc. for commercial purposes.”

It cracks me up how many people think that working from home is an exploitable privilege that should come as no cost to the companies.

Wake up. Companies will save salary expenses times thousands in reduced real estate expenses when we emerge in our post-city society.

#53 Howard on 09.02.20 at 4:57 pm

Detailed analysis of the rental situation in the US. Rents down 20% in NYC and San Fran so far, while rents are spiking in smaller, cheaper cities.

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/09/01/rents-plunge-in-san-francisco-new-york-other-expensive-cities-college-towns-texas-oil-patch-also-hit-incentives-surge-but-in-18-cities-double-digit-rent-increases/

#54 FreeBird on 09.02.20 at 4:57 pm

#20 The real Kip (Ret) on 09.02.20 at 3:41 pm
Realtors are saying the sweet spot is 87 km from the downtown core.
———————

We live 100+km away and many house hunters coming from GTA and further west. Not sure if it’s 407 that’s helping or all of our Tim Hortons. Garth’s post talking about GTA realtor John Pasalis’ boonie sweet spot:

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.greaterfool.ca/2020/07/23/head-faking/amp/

#55 Howard on 09.02.20 at 5:01 pm

We’ll see. But it’s doubtful. As stated here before, cities developed for a reason. People come together to work for a reason. People want to live in proximity to each other and services for a reason. Productivity and efficiency are higher in group settings, for a reason.

———————————–

Well, Jamie Dimon seems to disagree with you Garth since JP Morgan has announced that WFH will be permanent for all those who want it (and perhaps for some who don’t).

So what? Isolated companies will try different approaches. Most will want people back where they can see them. Especially you. – Garth

#56 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 5:04 pm

My unimpeachable source for rumors.
A comic book fan site…..

:)

https://boundingintocomics.com/2020/08/26/a-new-rumor-claims-the-top-priority-at-disney-is-to-remove-sjw-employees/

#57 Leftover on 09.02.20 at 5:05 pm

Cities have become scary. In the USA downtown’s have become riot zones, in Canada they’re homeless encampments. This will continue long after there’s a vaccine and offices re-open.

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

_____________________________________________

Two examples:

Victoria – walk down Pandora Street from Cook westward to downtown

Vancouver – entire Strathcona neighbourhood since encampment was set up in local park

#58 Penny Henny on 09.02.20 at 5:06 pm

I saw this headline today “Canada won’t back down in softwood dispute with U.S., Trudeau vows”

//////////////////////

This is a headline you will probably never see “Canada won’t back down in dispute with China, Trudeau vows”

#59 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 5:07 pm

to comment # 25 baloney Sandwich

I think you may be correct.

Especially when you consider the HR , labour laws and workers’ rights aspects / policies in less “advanced” locales.

Let alone the work ethic, motivation and loyalty that a good paying job in a country with lesser prospects would command from foreign employees.

That alone could make the “labour arbitrage” case for some employers.

#60 Penny Henny on 09.02.20 at 5:15 pm

When all those buyers today with sub-2% mortgages are renewing in 2025, well, it might be a shock.
////////////////

Don’t forget that they had to pass a stress test with much higher rates.

#61 Doug t on 09.02.20 at 5:16 pm

#56 leftover

Pandora in victoria is downright scary – beacon hill Park tent city – now the city has decreed 9 more parks for tents – my wife actually asked me if I was interested in moving

#62 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 5:17 pm

comment # 46 Idiocy (my posting)

reply to Mr. Turner’s comment

If, in fact, many shops / establishments, etc. close down, are you then suggesting that new businesses will arise to replace them and thereby re-establish the old “flavour” of big city living ?

I can see a strong business case for starting a business / businesses as competition will be lessened and rents lower, but that may take some time.

So, with a dearth of those ‘amenities’ currently, would it not be another negative for city dwelling now – which is when people are deciding to leave and buy in suburbia ?

#63 Millennial Realist on 09.02.20 at 5:18 pm

I’m focused on the date.

Three weeks until September 23.

WFH will likely be a part of the enormous changes that start on that date.

Get ready.

Be part of the change.

Or be run over by it.

#64 Howard on 09.02.20 at 5:19 pm

#13 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 09.02.20 at 3:29 pm

WFH will end pretty quick for the majority of people sometime mid next year as companies simply do not trust their employees and by the time you implement and enforce a proper monitoring system you may as well just bring them back into the office.

————————————

This will only work out if ALL companies do as you say and end WFH home, leaving job seekers no choice.

More likely is that some companies will end WFH, while others won’t, and it will become a significant deciding factor for talented workers on the job hunt (note, I’m speaking of highly skilled workers who are in high demand even in a down job market). In this scenario, the dinosaur companies that ditch WFH will lose most of their introverted employees – you know, the creative, analytical types who do most of the real work in any enterprise.

#65 Planet Zoom on 09.02.20 at 5:26 pm

I’m all zoomed out.. but some of this will remain

#66 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 5:27 pm

to comment # 50 C. E. F.

I don’t know about that.

Disney just wrapped production for the popular Disney Channel ( for kids via TV ) that features a bisexual leading character in a kids’ show. (google it )

But maybe political posturing is different in their eyes.

#67 Penny Henny on 09.02.20 at 5:28 pm

#33 CEW9 on 09.02.20 at 4:07 pm
A compelling argument that ‘work-from-home’ is largely temporary is the fact that there are more extroverts in the world than introverts.
//////////////

That’s funny I see it more the other way

#68 Wuhan we got y'all in check on 09.02.20 at 5:29 pm

the company I work for has already made it clear that those who choose to continue to work from home will get smaller raises and bonuses than those that come to the office

#69 The West on 09.02.20 at 5:30 pm

Well written piece today.

Not sure if companies will “re-centralize” again, there is a real cost saver in remote workers. And with the rise of AI into the fold it will be interesting to see how it plays out. People who do not own something and have been working from home could be sitting ducks into the Brave New World.

What so you do when you have 75% of the population no longer needed to build a kingdom on top of?

I remain convinced there is going to be a war of necessity with equal means. It won’t be so any one side can “win” – it will be a conflict derived of population reduction to build the new “Utopia” on top of.

Check out Jacques Fresco’s Venus Project:
https://www.thevenusproject.com/

We’re all turning on each other – the consequences could be entirely intentional.

#70 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 5:33 pm

@#52 Attrition
“It cracks me up how many people think that working from home is an exploitable privilege that should come as no cost to the companies.”

++++
It cracks ME up when data monkeys think they cant be replaced by someone in Bangalore for pennies on the dollar.

In-Hu-man Resurces will cut you loose and get a bonus for doing it.

#71 Penny Henny on 09.02.20 at 5:35 pm

#39 Smartalox on 09.02.20 at 4:12 pm

That said, there are some advantages, at least in my case:
– My wife’s workplace is a toxic work environment. Her supervisor, the CEO of the organization is prone to tantrums and outbursts, and I can tell that she suffers from witnessing that behaviour, even if it is not directed at her, even if she’s the one who has to ‘talk him down’ or smooth things over amongst the staff.

//////////////////

Now do you get it Sail Away, I wasn’t the problem, the boss was.
Hey Smartalox, I may have worked with your wife.

#72 Bernie on 09.02.20 at 5:36 pm

Don’t worry Chrystia Freeland and Mr. Socks Boy will give $4000 a month CERB for marginalized groups like upper class Manhattan living ladies and trust fund babies.

The Liberal dictatorship in Canada goes against the laws of economics. Get ready to be taxed. You are a prime target— White, hetero-male, rich, handsome and married.

#73 drydock on 09.02.20 at 5:38 pm

https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/we-just-passed-guy-jet-pack-fbi-investigating-after-pilots-report-sighting-3000-feet

(((((((((((((((((((((((((()))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Nothing tops this.

#74 mark on 09.02.20 at 5:39 pm

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

Some have been calling for a housing slow grind with loss of equity in there house, here on this blog for a decade, and there still wrong after a decade, take heart one day they may get it right??

#75 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 5:42 pm

Some jobs will lend themselves more naturally to a home office environment and the advantages have been previously developed here. But fraternity and fellowship suffer as does collaboration.

Just consider the current ‘dust up’ all over Canada about sending the kids back to school. If all requirements for a robust education could be met by squeezing them out of an internet connection please explain the monumental hand wringing going on about whether or not to send the kids back to school. Right. It’s because it is generally acknowledged that human beings thrive when they are under the encouragement, support, and inspiration provided by personal interactions with their fellow human beings. Social interaction needs to take place outside of the family home environment. This doesn’t end when school ends.

It’s nice to work from home on occasion. The cats and dogs love the company. But life isn’t supposed to be ‘easy’ all the time. It’s about the struggle and the participation. Isn’t that what the Olympic motto is all about?
“The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.”

So get your lazy asses out of those pyjamas, see if you can still fit into the clothes you bought to impress other people, and suffer the annoying habits of your fellow citizens on the GO-Train.
You’ll be a better person for it. Also, we wouldn’t want BillyBob working from home, because then we would wonder who was flying the plane.

#76 Don Guillermo on 09.02.20 at 5:46 pm

The DJIA closed approx 1.5 % below its Feb high. Good thing Garth taught everyone patience. 29,100.50

#77 forgotmyusername on 09.02.20 at 5:48 pm

#16 Leftover on 09.02.20 at 3:37 pm
The meme around work-from-home = house in the sticks sounds right, but there’s more to it.

Cities have become scary. In the USA downtown’s have become riot zones, in Canada they’re homeless encampments. This will continue long after there’s a vaccine and offices re-open.

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

—————
Sorry, Garth. Leftover isn’t invoking some imaginary Boogieman. Homeless “campers” are a huge & ongoing issue in many places, including sleepy Victoria, BC.

https://www.reddit.com/r/VictoriaBC/comments/fpn1xq/drove_down_pandora_today_very_upsetting_to_see/

So, the link above shows video of Pandora Ave in downtown Victoria in May.

More recently, there was a homeless tent city right beside City Hall. But the drug dealing got out of hand. So much so that even our woke Mayor (eventually) said it had to go someplace else.

https://www.reddit.com/r/VictoriaBC/comments/iigil7/centennial_square_encampment_untenable_victoria/

The city has new proposals on how to share the joy, as in ‘coming to a municipal park near you’:

https://www.reddit.com/r/VictoriaBC/comments/ikdqal/citys_new_recommended_camping_locations_in_parks/

Yes, yes. We know. Addiction and homelessness are a human tragedy. Very hard to solve.

Well, get ready for even more of it.

If you’e not seeing this in Nova Scotia, good for you. In other places it’s the new normal.

#78 Ponzius Pilatus on 09.02.20 at 5:54 pm

#8 Attrition

Damn…think I just channeled TN…and maybe SA a little.
———————–
Nah, you just watched too many Jetsons episodes.
BTW, Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man” is still my favorite sic-fi anthology.

#79 Comrade on 09.02.20 at 5:54 pm

I was following 3bdrm in west end vancouver. 3BDR townhouse in the Lauren building was $3,800 at the beginning of March. 3bdr townhouse in same building is now $4,300. The first time around they got snatched within days of listing. I would say the demand for places hasn’t dropped significantly here.

#80 Stone on 09.02.20 at 6:01 pm

#46 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 4:45 pm
Mr. Turner :

Perhaps with many businesses, bars, restaurant, etc. closing and entertainment venues, parks,etc. restricted as to capacity , maybe the “city” that people want to live in as you state in today’s post may not, in fact, exist in that form.

This may further reduce the attraction of living there.

You are suffering from recency bias. This pandemic is temporary. – Garth

———

1 year later…no change.
3 years later…no change.
5 years later…no change.
10 years later…no change.
15 years later…finally, some change. Oops, my mistake, no change.

Garth, sometimes, things don’t revert back to the way they used to be. I’d like to buy a house for $5,000 but we all know those days are long gone and not coming back. It has nothing to do with recency bias.

For you that was an unusually dumb comment. – Garth

#81 JSK on 09.02.20 at 6:10 pm

If everyone works from home, why would anyone hire local talent?

And who’s your competition for your Ubering from home efforts? Anyone on the planet. If you can work from home, that means whoever does your job from home for less, gets your job.

Who can afford to get paid the least? One whose living standard is way below yours. The most desperate.

And if that weren’t enough, while you work from home, big data gets to observe and train neural nets to emulate and substitute you down the road with an algorithm.

Future has no labor force. It has owners of means of automated production and majority of population living out their short lives on government sustenance pay. With no jobs, why have schools? Why have kids? Why get married? Why many things.

#82 yvr_lurker on 09.02.20 at 6:12 pm

#43
A distinction between what’s ‘fair’ or what ‘should’ happen versus what will happen should be made.

I don’t expect salary decreases to be enacted as people continue to work from home. Yes, people are paid for the work they do and not their commute. However if companies don’t need to pay as much in order to retain or attract employees, they won’t.

——–
I agree fully. Different firms may cease this “opportunity” as an “excuse” to simply pay workers less. It all depends on the line of work and the availability of other opportunites for skilled workers. Siklled IT people are still very much in demand and would be easily able to find other well-paying gigs.

I realize it is not the same thing, but this summer all of my son’s 16 year old friends were unable to find entry level summer jobs due to Covid as nobody was hiring. Finally, in mid July, my kid was offered a part-time dishwasher job for 9 bucks an hour (paid under the table) in a local dim sum restaurant. Exploitive is the easiest word to describe this. This motivated Plan B. I helped my kid set up with his friends a car-wash service, a gardening service (he had all the tools), and the most lucrative yet was an online tutoring service in math for grade 6 and 7 kids at 20.00 an hour (whose parents wanted their kids to get caught up after missing so much instruction). I have a fancy tablet for doing online, my kid excels in this subject, and he did a good job. Is still doing it this week. Much better than the 9.00 under the table gig in a hot steamy dim sum restuarant doing a jdishwasher job for others where you will learn zero.

#83 ImGonnaBeSick on 09.02.20 at 6:30 pm

#9 SunShowers on 09.02.20 at 3:10 pm
Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?

People are hired to accomplish certain tasks, and if those exact same tasks can be accomplished from home, why shouldn’t the compensation remain the same?

It’s not as if workers are paid for their commute.

—-

Because if you can work from home in Ontario and be successful, than why can’t the company just hire workers from low cost regions… So your wage may not go down, but all your new co-workers may speak a different language and never have heard of a double-double. No visas required either.

#84 not 1st on 09.02.20 at 6:32 pm

Our new normal according to science. After single digit cases again today.

What a crock.

Stop kissing, wear a mask while having sex to prevent coronavirus, Tam says

https://globalnews.ca/news/7312641/wear-mask-no-kissing-sex-coronavirus-tam/

#85 Ponzius Pilatus on 09.02.20 at 6:33 pm

#38 Timoftrees on 09.02.20 at 4:12 pm
Meh. If someone can work from home, someone else can work from India.
————-
Meh. If someone in Vancouver gets let off, this someone has to cut down shopping in Vancouver and can no longer pay the rent etc.

#86 Ponzius Pilatus on 09.02.20 at 6:37 pm

#42 YouKnowWho – from PTO on 09.02.20 at 4:26 pm
Citing the risks of COVID-19 spread, the Trump administration on Tuesday said it would halt US evictions through the end of the year, wielding a rarely used power of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s not rent forgiveness, but if you can’t pay now, what makes you able to pay later?
—————
Rent forgiveness?
Trump the closet socialist.
Must be an election coming.

#87 Stone on 09.02.20 at 6:38 pm

#80 Stone on 09.02.20 at 6:01 pm
#46 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 4:45 pm
Mr. Turner :

Perhaps with many businesses, bars, restaurant, etc. closing and entertainment venues, parks,etc. restricted as to capacity , maybe the “city” that people want to live in as you state in today’s post may not, in fact, exist in that form.

This may further reduce the attraction of living there.

You are suffering from recency bias. This pandemic is temporary. – Garth

———

1 year later…no change.
3 years later…no change.
5 years later…no change.
10 years later…no change.
15 years later…finally, some change. Oops, my mistake, no change.

Garth, sometimes, things don’t revert back to the way they used to be. I’d like to buy a house for $5,000 but we all know those days are long gone and not coming back. It has nothing to do with recency bias.

For you that was an unusually dumb comment. – Garth

———

Maybe yes, maybe no. Only time will tell. I’ve spent time in Detroit. It’s a dump and it hasn’t gotten better. Think that can’t happen in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, or Vancouver? Yes, it can. Wasn’t it you expressing your frustration earlier this year that the bookstore and coffeeshop in Lunenburg closed up? Have they reopened? I don’t wish for the misery to continue but I’m not smoking hopium either.

Yes, they opened again. Restructured. Your Millennial lack of experience is showing. – Garth

#88 Cto on 09.02.20 at 6:48 pm

Garth
You mean to say that you don’t think that 1.5% interest rates and disgusting huge levels of money printing doesn’t have anything to do with this???
Like the last crash…(2008). They dropped rates and left them there perpetually all while continuously printing money QE1, 2,3,4…that didn’t have anything to do with the insanity in house prices right up to 2019 they finally started raising rates a piddlly 2% and had to chicken out…
This same BOC, fed , etc …isn’t going to do exactly the same again???
Me thinks its money printing and ultra clear signals that central banks will keep rates at sub 2%…well,… forever I guess….

#89 Drinking on 09.02.20 at 6:49 pm

#8 Attrition

That was a very good post! Really something to think about!!

#90 Penny Henny on 09.02.20 at 6:52 pm

#84 not 1st on 09.02.20 at 6:32 pm
Our new normal according to science. After single digit cases again today.

What a crock.

Stop kissing, wear a mask while having sex to prevent coronavirus, Tam says
/////////////

What if I want the ‘girlfriend experience’?
Fartzy will know what this means.

#91 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 6:57 pm

@#63 Millennial Surrealist
“WFH will likely be a part of the enormous changes that start on that date.”

++++
You best hope and pray your savior Trudeau from Planet Hopium wins a majority in Parliament or the only “Major Change” will be his head rolling like Sir John A’s at the next Liberal Leadership convention.

#92 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:03 pm

I saw a study some years back can’t remember the details but it definitely made the case that the larger a city was the higher the average income.

But I still think a lot of white collar jobs will be very slow to return to the downtown core. The main things the office environment provided was typewriters, meeting rooms, secretaries, internal mail, photocopiers, filing cabinets, supervision, and office affairs. Later came computers and networks and color printers. Most people have all of that in their homes now, so it really is, from an efficiency point of view, quite a waste for all these people to have a home office and yet another office in a tower 15 miles away to which they must commute.

I think what we will see will be some sort of hybrid, with fewer days in the office. There are some jobs that don’t lend well to work from home, like trading. Trading managers like to be able to scream at their staff in person. It isn’t as effective on zoom because the victim can just press mute. Also for some meetings they just go better in person. But anyone who has worked in a cube farm before knows that you spend most of the day just you and your screen except when Joe comes by to tell you about his son’s hockey tournament.

Training and mentoring is probably the biggest impediment to work from home.

So who knows? Maybe the “WeWork” model will take off after all, with people working from home 3 days a week and meeting up for 2? I know of several companies that are doing away with assigned work locations specifically to accommodate this sort of thing (as well as social distancing).

So I am going to bet that things aren’t going back to the way they were. They never do. It’ll be something in the middle. Perhaps one day we will evolve towards some version of “The Matrix” where we never leave our pod and its 60 inch monitor. That’s pretty much how my son lives already.

—————————

It’s also going to be interesting to see what changes in the way the education system works have been set in motion. My son’s school is opening up next week but holy crap these kids are going to be treated like they are in a maximum security prison. It won’t be fun. My son along with about 15% of the students in the system have elected online learning instead. What if that goes well? Will the school board dismantle the system once it is set up? How much time will kids save if they don’t have to spend an hour on the bus every day? How much could the school board save if they only need half as many classrooms?

Of course the program they are implementing isn’t going to reduce the need for teachers. You’ll just have an online teacher and class now. The vision is for the teacher to be in full contact with her class for the same number of hours per day as would have been the case in class. We’ll see how it goes.

They can probably get rid of the library too. All that stuff can go online now.

Of course the counter argument is that couples need the schools so both parents can work. But if they are working from home does that still apply?

Also some will say that schools play an important role in “socialization”. I’ve met some homeschooled kids and they seem fine. All I ever learned from school socialization was how to avoid the bullies and heads.

#93 Drinking on 09.02.20 at 7:04 pm

#84 not 1st

lol!

#94 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 7:09 pm

@#90 Penny Henny
“What if I want the ‘girlfriend experience’?
Fartzy will know what this means.”

++++
Unfortunately, 3 paper bags will be required.

I’m not loving the sound of this. Cut it out. – Garth

#95 not 1st on 09.02.20 at 7:12 pm

Lets talk RE for a second. The focus is always Toronto and Vancouver. Look whats happening in the states. Mortgages are skyrocketing because people are relocating to different states and out of progressive crime infested cities just like Toronto is becoming after 6 people shot last night. Property taxes already rising to make up for city revenue shortfalls.

Canada is always a few yrs behind the US, but that trend will come here eventually. Bedroom communities and some of Canadas less populated centers will benefit.

Garths home town is probably likely to get a nice influx some day. I would rather stare at the Atlantic, the prairies or the rockies any day than have the BLM SJW ANTIFA combo in my neighborhood and be a sitting target for revenue hungry mayors.

Did I mention I also have a spot in downtown Toronto? If the city core is crime infested the progressives you blame do it quietly and politely. Oh, and property taxes are cheap. – Garth

#96 Steerage for the Ages on 09.02.20 at 7:13 pm

Well that’s no fun…………..

“The lowest risk sexual activity during COVID-19 involves yourself alone,” she added.

#97 BC Renovator on 09.02.20 at 7:15 pm

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

________

City of Vancouver is a nightmare currently. Victoria Police Cief as well has spoken out regarding the influx of Homeless to the city.
Strathconna Park in YVR is so Bad the neighbours are Petitioning to not pay property tax this year. There is also a Civil suit filed against the city regarding. Its Bad

#98 Stoph on 09.02.20 at 7:16 pm

#60 Penny Henny on 09.02.20 at 5:15 pm
When all those buyers today with sub-2% mortgages are renewing in 2025, well, it might be a shock.
////////////////

Don’t forget that they had to pass a stress test with much higher rates.

—————————————————————–

Maybe, maybe not. They will also have 5 years of mortgage payments under their belts and hopefully 5 years of salary increases, so making payments shouldn’t be a concern, but rather people who were house poor when they bought now will still be house poor in 5 years, delaying things like saving for retirement or having kids.

#99 Tarot Card on 09.02.20 at 7:21 pm

Thanks for the blog Garth
Very interesting how people extrapolate 6 month trend into a world changing event and everyone will be working from home. Gosh even the Jetsons commuted to work in their flying cars. I am sure most people will be working again downtown in the future.

So an update on my mortgage
BMO and RBC offered me five year fixed 1,94 percent. 10 year 4.48

Both wrote to me and said break your mortgage $1,200 and renew now as these low rates won’t be or may not be here in four months.
I thought hmmmmmm Did the federal reserve said two years of low rates?
Maybe BOC and federal reserve will have low rates but the banks may start raising mortgage rates?
Four months till I can lock in without cancelling
It’s going to be a long four month wait and prayer.
Thoughts and comments

#100 yvr_lurker on 09.02.20 at 7:24 pm

For those of you who think that the local online worker will be easily replaced by someone from overseas, please think again. At the university level, Canadian empoyment laws prohibits hiring new research assistants and graduate students (performing online work) who are not residing in Canada. Not in Canada? No local SIN number? No renumeration for your online teaching support assignment. This is currently as it stands now, but whether the Gov’t will allow this going forward is unknown.

#101 45north on 09.02.20 at 7:26 pm

Two days ago we detailed the housing boom now gripping North America. It’s everywhere. It’s real. It both defies the pandemic and feeds from it. It’s potentially dangerous. And buyers need to be incredibly careful. For this has the potential to turn on a dime.

Hilliard MacBeth sites a Bank of Canada study done in May 2019. In it, the adverse scenario has a decline in GDP of -8.2%, duration of 7 quarters of negative growth, an increase of unemployment of 6.4%, peak unemployment rate of 12.6% and a house price correction of -40.9.%.

https://www.howestreet.com/2020/08/the-worst-case-scenario-arrives/

Evan Siddall, Head of CMHC said prices could drop by 20%.

But house prices have gone up!

The reality is the opposite of the predictions. The factor driving the increase in prices is emotion. The factors driving the predictions of a drop are economics and experience. At some point economics and experience are going to catch up with emotion. And it’s going to be a sudden and drastic reversal such as we have never seen. A reversal more sudden and drastic than the drop the US experienced during the Great Financial Crisis. How could it not?

We’re looking at entirely the wrong things. We’re looking at school class sizes during the pandemic and racism in society as a whole. What about when substantial portions of the middle class are wiped out financially?

Politically we’re in a mess. Bill Morneau has just resigned as Finance Minister. A man who spent his life in finance. He’s been replaced by Chrystia Freeland who doesn’t know anything about it. Garth was Minister of Revenue. He went through the material the civil service handed him when he became Minister. She may be woke but she won’t know when we’re broke.

#102 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:35 pm

#9 SunShowers on 09.02.20 at 3:10 pm
Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?

People are hired to accomplish certain tasks, and if those exact same tasks can be accomplished from home, why shouldn’t the compensation remain the same?

It’s not as if workers are paid for their commute.

——————————–

A valid point. There is a common misconception that people get paid (or at least should) based on their expenses. “To each according to his need” kind of thing.

But that has never been anything more than perhaps a second order consideration. Yes, you might have to pay a person more to convince them to live in New York, but for the most part labor is competitive. If everyone could code then coders would get minimum wage. But not everyone can code so companies that need coders bid up the wages to attract talent. It’s a supply and demand thing and does not depend on whether a particular coder made a foolish decision to buy a house or go on vacation.

In fact, I could see an argument that a person who can reliably work from home might be worth more, not less, because they don’t need an office. That’s a huge saving for the company right there.

Things always evolve towards efficiency. Unless the government or the unions get involved.

Fact is we have reached “peak office”, and everyone knew it was coming from the day that email replaced the paper memo.

#103 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:42 pm

#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 3:41 pm
@#9 Sunshower
“Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?”
++++

Because we shouldnt have to give you full pay when you’re working in your food stained jammies and havent bathed in two weeks.

———————-

So Fartz, you are compensating for appearance? Don’t tell that to HR.

#104 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 09.02.20 at 7:46 pm

Howard on 09.02.20 at 5:19 pm
#13 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 09.02.20 at 3:29 pm

WFH will end pretty quick for the majority of people sometime mid next year
————————————
This will only work out if ALL companies do as you say and end WFH home, leaving job seekers no choice.

More likely is that some companies will end WFH, while others won’t, and it will become a significant deciding factor for talented workers on the job hunt (note, I’m speaking of highly skilled workers who are in high demand even in a down job market). In this scenario, the dinosaur companies that ditch WFH will lose most of their introverted employees – you know, the creative, analytical types who do most of the real work in any enterprise.
=================
My opinion having done both WFH and office in big enterprise and smaller companies:
Rarely is there any creativity happening in a vacuum or with screaming children and demanding spouses around. Most creative, analytical types I worked with loved the office even when given the opportunity to wfh before. Also no Citrix / VPN connection is ever fast enough for the same types . In any job you constantly need to learn and learning only truly happens in person. There is very limited opportunity for career advancement when you cannot build personal relationships ;internal job opportunities go to the best connected and liked, always.
There is also something to be said about separation of life and work ,as you get more life you want the work someplace else so you can leave work and do life .
I do agree with the point that a lot will try , some will stick with it and most will find a balance towards partial ,limited WFH

#105 Ponzius Pilatus on 09.02.20 at 7:51 pm

#102 Nonplused
Things always evolve towards efficiency.
—————–
Typical rookie statement.
Efficiency = maximum output at minimum input.
Effectiveness = optimum output at optimum input.
Efficiency produces crap, i.e. Made in China
Effectiveness = produces top quality, i.e Made in Germany.

#106 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:54 pm

Sunshowers

I just thought of another analogy.

When I first started in the engineering world pretty much everybody had an office with a door. And they needed it. There was paper everywhere, some of it confidential. Drawings would come back from printing on lithograph, and there would be big rolls everywhere. Filing cabinets full of memos and documents. A big stack of paper in your inbox and it never let up. You had to have a pen.

But then came Autocad, eMail, Sharepoint and such, so most employees only needed a desktop, so they squeezed everyone into a small desk packed row on row, not even enough room to hang your coat. Even the president would sit in one to show solidarity.

But now we all have laptops and high speed internet. So they are going to send us home.

#107 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 7:55 pm

@#92 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:03 pm
“”Also some will say that schools play an important role in “socialization”. I’ve met some homeschooled kids and they seem fine. All I ever learned from school socialization was how to avoid the bullies and heads.””

So that’s great. You made your decision on behalf of your children based on your measured facts and beliefs. So you don’t need to worry about the choices others made to return their children to the school system, right? Because some of the hand wringing has been about schools opening at all. But it’s about choices. Every parent can decide what is best. My observation, ( as a non parent) is that the hand wringing is from the ones schooling kids at home. Parents who are sending them back to school seem more confident. Reminds me of the attitude of my mother when chicken pox, mumps, and measles were rampant in my early 1960’s classrooms. Seems like learning to ‘avoid the bullies and the heads’, may have represented a life lesson. Maybe you can teach that one at home.

#108 The Woosh on 09.02.20 at 7:57 pm

#81 JSK

——————————————

I read an interesting futuristic sci-fi novel a while back on the topic called the Unincorporated Man. The precursor seems somewhat akin to what’s happening now just that in the book it was a nuclear holocaust that caused a societal reset.

#109 Flop... on 09.02.20 at 7:58 pm

As a construction worker I have been working from home the last 30 years.

Unfortunately for me it’s someone else’s home though…

M46BC

#110 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:59 pm

#25 baloney Sandwitch on 09.02.20 at 3:50 pm
I think companies will discover if they can do with remote work, then why bother with high priced former cubicle dwellers with tats, phobias and attitude. On the internet, the difference between Mississauga and Mangalore is non-existent. But you have to pay the Manglorian 1/4th of the Mississaugan. Plus you don’t of bother with HR, employment laws and all that crap which companies hate. Once companies discover this keep your ears perked for the flushing sound as jobs disappear.

—————————-

That was already happening for years and years, re: manufacturing.

#111 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 7:59 pm

Additional comment to the above. A colleague of mine whose children go to a ‘Montessori’ school and whose wife volunteers at the school, was telling me about how surprising it was that so many of the kids had ‘anxiety issues, were on some kind of ‘meds’, etc.
Talking young children here. Where exactly did all of that come from? Good luck when they grow up and have to function in the ‘real world’.

#112 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 8:05 pm

#45 I’m stupid on 09.02.20 at 4:44 pm
#9 SunShowers

What we are witnessing in my opinion is the flight of office jobs. Employees are being paid full salaries at the moment but I think this will all change. I believe that if work from home becomes a thing that those jobs will go to India. I mean why pay someone here 100k a year to complete tasks when you can pay 5 people 20k each to do more?

We witnessed manufacturing go to Asia in the 80s and 90s. We witnessed phone centres go to Indian in the 90s and 2000s we’re soon going to witness the rest of office work leave too. Just my opinion.

———————-

WFH will have no impact on that trend. If anything it may slow it down since WFH’ers don’t need downtown real estate and are thus cheaper.

#113 down and out on 09.02.20 at 8:07 pm

step 1 get employees to work from home then step 2 no wage comparison at water cooler so no raises no comp costs etc, step 3 switch to contract employee work convince employee it is a better option next and finally step 4 appeal to government for temporary off shore worker since no Canadian will work at set wages or contract and off shore worker has no need to come to Canada can from home country Success

#114 Sharon in Salmon Arm on 09.02.20 at 8:11 pm

Garth is 100% correct in today’s post. Excellent analysis sir. People who are now working from home, and have been since the advent of this virus , collecting all the fat juicy union benefits such as high salary, vacation pay, and enjoying all the other percs, should remember that, if you can do your job from home and not go to the office, there are millions of highly skilled people in incorrectly called 3rd world countries who’ll do it for much less…perhaps a lot better, and they’re just waiting to do so! Why should your employer pay you 50 –70 $’s per hour Zooming with friends, watching Netflix, playing golf every day, likely doing half of the work you’d be required to do in an office with a supervisor, when the same job can be done remotely for $10.00 per hour? ..And no union problems, retirement pensions, sick leave/disability costs, office rental costs, etc..etc. And once the Liberals cannot feed the python any longer things are going to turn very sour. You might get lucky and find a greeter’s job at Walmart..but, oops there goes the ol’ homestead..$5000.00 monthly mortgage on a $1,500 month income now assisted by the early morning paper route..don’t compute…I don’t think Justin will lend you a hand there..Never in history have the stock and RE markets gone parabolic in the midst of a recession cum depression without very dire consequences. Maybe time to find out when the boss’s family are having birthdays and get some cards to send out..

#115 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 8:11 pm

#107 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 7:55 pm
@#92 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 7:03 pm
“”Also some will say that schools play an important role in “socialization”. I’ve met some homeschooled kids and they seem fine. All I ever learned from school socialization was how to avoid the bullies and heads.””

So that’s great. You made your decision on behalf of your children based on your measured facts and beliefs.

——————————–

Well, no actually. My son is 14 so we left the decision to him. He read the protocols and said “no”. He also reads too much on Reddit and is pretty convinced the schools will be closed again by November, so why not get set up with online now? He can return to school once the situation normalizes.

I could have overruled him, because supposedly I am the parent. But I prefer letting him make his own mistakes so long as it isn’t life threatening. I think people learn better that way and then they don’t have anyone to blame but themselves.

As for other parents, well that is not my call. I was not attempting to tell other people what to do. My subject was more about how covid is pushing the internet more to the center of life and is creating new efficiencies.

#116 Yukon Elvis on 09.02.20 at 8:14 pm

Did I mention I also have a spot in downtown Toronto? If the city core is crime infested the progressives you blame do it quietly and politely. Oh, and property taxes are cheap. – Garth
……………………………..

Was that you under the bridge with the black and red checkered shirt and the hat with ear flaps ? That is a choice spot. I thought you looked familiar.

#117 Stone on 09.02.20 at 8:24 pm

#87 Stone on 09.02.20 at 6:38 pm
#80 Stone on 09.02.20 at 6:01 pm
#46 Idiocy on 09.02.20 at 4:45 pm
Mr. Turner :

Perhaps with many businesses, bars, restaurant, etc. closing and entertainment venues, parks,etc. restricted as to capacity , maybe the “city” that people want to live in as you state in today’s post may not, in fact, exist in that form.

This may further reduce the attraction of living there.

You are suffering from recency bias. This pandemic is temporary. – Garth

———

1 year later…no change.
3 years later…no change.
5 years later…no change.
10 years later…no change.
15 years later…finally, some change. Oops, my mistake, no change.

Garth, sometimes, things don’t revert back to the way they used to be. I’d like to buy a house for $5,000 but we all know those days are long gone and not coming back. It has nothing to do with recency bias.

For you that was an unusually dumb comment. – Garth

———

Maybe yes, maybe no. Only time will tell. I’ve spent time in Detroit. It’s a dump and it hasn’t gotten better. Think that can’t happen in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, or Vancouver? Yes, it can. Wasn’t it you expressing your frustration earlier this year that the bookstore and coffeeshop in Lunenburg closed up? Have they reopened? I don’t wish for the misery to continue but I’m not smoking hopium either.

Yes, they opened again. Restructured. Your Millennial lack of experience is showing. – Garth

———

I’m not a millennial. I also don’t lack experience. It’s just different from yours.

#118 Out Of Work CEO, Will Travel on 09.02.20 at 8:32 pm

There is serious irony built into the Ontario Teacher’s Unions fight with the Ford government over opening up the schools to live school with real kids in the classroom now. Women are the major loosers in the covid situation with job loss and income loss and career pause and no school for their kids. It’s ironic that most teachers are women and teachers are a testament to the ongoing success of women’s economic success but now here teachers are a major liability and stumbling block against Canadian women in the workplace and financial stability for women and their families. Funny also Trudeau’s moral high ground was to boost female representation in Parliament but Parliament is closed. You can’t win for loosing.

#119 45north on 09.02.20 at 8:37 pm

ElGatoNerodeYVR

Rarely is there any creativity happening in a vacuum or with screaming children and demanding spouses around. Most creative, analytical types I worked with loved the office even when given the opportunity to work-from-home before. Also no Citrix / VPN connection is ever fast enough for the same types . In any job you constantly need to learn and learning only truly happens in person. There is very limited opportunity for career advancement when you cannot build personal relationships ;internal job opportunities go to the best connected and liked, always.

the best explanation I’ve seen

#120 Scotchy scotch scotch on 09.02.20 at 8:52 pm

Garth, how do you rationalize the buy and hold (patience) strategy for the stock market, but not housing? We’d be in a depression and the stock market in the absolute tank without trillions in bailouts right? What makes you think that the housing market is different? Or am I misunderstanding and you also would not recommend someone to invest in the stock market right now?

Seems clear that T2 and the central bank will do anything in their power to keep house prices from collapsing. They still have lots of ammo – zero down-payments, 40 year mortgages, extended deferrals for those truly in difficulty, zero transfer tax, zero GST for new builds, negative interest rates, increased bond purchases. Why would they stop now?

#121 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 9:19 pm

@#111 Jag

” how surprising it was that so many of the kids had ‘anxiety issues, were on some kind of ‘meds’, etc.
Talking young children here. Where exactly did all of that come from? Good luck when they grow up and have to function in the ‘real world’.”

++++++

Children of Millenials?

#122 Vanreal on 09.02.20 at 9:32 pm

If your job allows you to work from home, it’s probably a job that will be able to be replaced by a robot or technology. Be careful of what you wish for. It’s the jobs that require human interaction and input that have a better chance of lasting.

#123 Generation Screwed on 09.02.20 at 9:36 pm

Thanks boomers!

https://financialpost.com/opinion/millennials-will-pay-the-price-for-their-parents-luck-and-self-indulgence/wcm/fa6c8b26-933e-4298-be70-a63b9c80bde4/

#124 Armpit on 09.02.20 at 9:38 pm

Heard on the radio…. 1.67 percent mortgages for 5 years on high ratio mortgages – (insured).

Lenders have nothing to lose.

If an above average number of defaults occur and the CMHC insurance is underfunded…guess who pays?

I really wonder if these properties are really assessed at face value.

This smells of another “Big Short” coming and those living within their means, will have to bail them out.

Stay tuned Folks…

#125 TurnerNation on 09.02.20 at 9:44 pm

Our global rulers are playing the Long Game. I noted in March that every system has been turned against us. Landlords, Investors, innocent people are targets.
This other blog’s entry sums it up – I read it and the main page, nothing objectionable – work and blog safe:

https://themostbeautifulworld.com/blog/the-long-con

“Think about it. They don’t care about you and I. They care about our kids. They want to screw their social development. They want them to be disconnected from their higher self, reality, others and everything good and sane. They want our kids to be insane, that’s their plan. Below is what is happening in Bangkok, Thailand.”



#73 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 3:26 pm
Further, all social and cultural and sporting events are long gone. Will be cancelled until well into 2021, 2022. By that time people will have simply given up on the Old System.
That will be the Acceptance stage.

#47 TurnerNation on 07.26.20 at 5:07 pm
The global rulers are playing the long game.
Incrementalism . Get to know its creep.

#162 TurnerNation on 05.06.20 at 11:55 pm
Also some say the long game is for us to get so upset over our elected officials behavior that we are left begging for a new world/global government to take it over. I’d give it a year for that.

^^How will they do that? Easy, they are just playing with us now. Letting the A.I. soak up emails and social media responses to see our reaction for the next attack campaign against our culture and way of life. Welcome to WW3 asymetrical warfare guys.
Remember the goal is complete control over our movements, our feeding and of course our breeding:

“@CTVNews
Canada’s top doctor: ‘consider using a mask’ during sexual activity https://ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-s-top-doctor-consider-using-a-mask-during-sexual-activity

#126 fishman on 09.02.20 at 9:57 pm

I am the future of WFH. No cellular, no internet, crappy almost useless satellite connection. What I do have is cameras , sensors, GPS. Everything wired into a locked hard drive. Trip hail out & hail in required. The hatches don’t come off till the offloading Validator is present. The computer Validator unlocks the hard drive & replaces. Checks through the system making sure everything OK.The daily tally log for the trip is handed to the offload Validator before unloading. It better match with the offload tally. It means going over the cameras data, GPS, time & submitted logs & the offload tally. Thats a world of hurt.
I could set up a system & build a boat or a commercial/residential building with just tradesmen & labourers. All the engineers, architects, estimators,experts, Dfers & endless inspectors could be offloaded or in this case,offshored. With 5G (here I don’t mean my portfolio ,thats for us old guys) , a few office girls, couple gophers, one good foreman & its off to the races. For what its worth, if your young ,forget about the office. Run, don’t walk, to mentors, suck up & start learning applied skills. As many & as fast as you can.

#127 TurnerNation on 09.02.20 at 9:59 pm

#8 Attrition at this point anything of what you imagine, is possible. I’m focusing on the empty sports arenas Posted about Skydome on Saturday’s blog. Something is up with them I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Drones are a little ways off and 5G network could assist. Maybe a part-time job for Billy Bob keeping an eye on the fleet ;-) :

https://stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2020/09/01/drone-delivery-canada-announces-update-on-successful-condor-testing

Drone Delivery Canada Corp. has provided an update on the Condor drone from successful testing in Foremost, Alta., Canada.

The company successfully tested numerous critical aspects of the Condor drone, including: triple-redundant communications system (satellite, cellular and 900-megahertz radio frequency); triple-redundant navigational guidance system; triple-redundant autopilot system; monitoring of unmanned flights remotely from Drone Delivery Canada’s operations control centre in Vaughan, Ont.; general flight stability and performance; and fuel consumption characteristics.

#128 Km on 09.02.20 at 10:01 pm

Most people I know with regular careers other than food and beverage are doing fine. Cerb helped cover the losses they had and now back to work as usual, so buying a place is still affordable in their eyes with now free money and rates that will never go up very high it seems is not a worry. Housing is here to stay and stay this high of not higher.

#129 Anonymous on 09.02.20 at 10:05 pm

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

Il send you some pictures from downtown Hamilton soon. There are two city blocks that are homeless campsites.

#130 BayArea on 09.02.20 at 10:33 pm

I enjoy WFH. Most of the tech companies here will ne at home at least till next year. My pay remains the same and should because I haven’t moved. If I moved to Texas or Florida, that woukd change, because the pay bands for lower cost areas are also lower. Quite reasonable.

To those saying companies will hire Indian workers for $10 bucks an hour. Yes they will if they can. Appropriate legislation needs to stop them from doing that and protect North American jobs.

The NORMAL of 12 hour work days because 3 hours is spent commuting and very little time available for family and nurturung was by no means normal. We don’t need to return to that. We need a new normal that provides some balance.

#131 TurnerNation on 09.02.20 at 10:36 pm

#57 Leftover on 09.02.20 at 5:05 pm In a dozens parks near downtown TO, tiny ones to large ones, like clockwork large new tents appeared a few months ago. Who placed them there, who gave permission?
If I didn’t know better a I’d say a shadowy NGO was tasked with invading all our cities and kicking off of the land/public parks.
Seen with my own eyes. Portapotties have been left there.
Even tiny parks have 2-3 tents. Larger ones add a zero.
No laws apply here. People lounge all day.
The New System inversion: but
if you let the parking meter run out they’ll ticket you unmercilessly within minutes.
What does this mean: poor will be given a free pass; rich will be taxed into poverty. Prisoners released. CV did that.

All equal under commmunism. Halting evictions is a first step in ending property rights. Yep CV did that.
Hang on they are coming for our land. What all wars are fought over. This is not over by a long shot, just getting started.

#132 MF on 09.02.20 at 10:39 pm

22 Vanreal on 09.02.20 at 9:32
#114 Sharon in Salmon Arm on 09.02.20 at

It’s only union jobs that work from home now? Banks are unionized? I did it for a bit and I work in health care (loved it and wish I could do wfh more).

Productivity has been shown to be the same or higher for people working from home.

The office is antiquated and outdated. If you aren’t motivated to work from home and produce that’s your work ethic and lack of motivation. If you can’t focus and you watch Netflix instead of producing reports that’s a matter of willpower.

All workers aren’t created equal. Is this news?

Most people are fat and out of shape because they lack the willpower to wake up at 5 am and go drive in the freezing cold and dark to workout in a gym. It’s not the gym’s fault they are fat though. Got it?

On the topic of automation. Work from home. Work from the office it won’t matter. There is no link there. Many eye surgeries that used to be performed by ophthalmologists are now performed by machines. Did eye surgery involve interpersonal connections?

MF

#133 Shortymac on 09.02.20 at 10:39 pm

Honestly, I wonder if that “afraid” number is less “afraid of the virus” and more “afraid of the Toronto commute” in the workplace surveys.

The few I’ve taken at work have been “Do you believe we should continue WFH due to fear of Corona Y/N”. I’m not afraid but I select yes every time because I like not commuting and working in my PJs.

#134 DON on 09.02.20 at 10:41 pm

Why the extreme thinking on WFH?

It has been around for quite some time, just not every single day. For certain jobs it makes sense to work from home not so much for other jobs where collaboration is required. How about work from home when it makes sense, 2-3 days. Rotate staff.

A friend works from home, IT support with a big company, for the last 4 years. Governments and large companies have had work from home arrangements for the past couple of years. The technology is getting better. Layered on security…and partioning sensitive information from access.

As Garth repeats over and over and over again…Life is lived in the middle.

#135 MF on 09.02.20 at 10:52 pm

#75 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 5:42

School =\ the working world. Children in school absolutely have to learn how to communicate and socialize with others. This is valuable.

A grown adult who has a balanced social life already and can produce at home has zero need to go into the office every single day.

Wfh is here to stay, most likely as a blend with going in to the office for work. Going back to always being in the office every single day is now part of a bygone era though. Work culture will adapt. It always does.

Remember when beards weren’t allowed? Everyone wore suits? Women didn’t work in offices? Everyone worked 9-5?

Things change and improve.

MF

#136 n1tro on 09.02.20 at 10:56 pm

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/wear-a-mask-while-having-sex-canada-s-top-doctor-suggests/ar-BB18DUEO?ocid=msedgntp

^ Canada’s top doctor/”expert”….Wear a mask during sex. Didn’t I say this was going to be advised last month??

#137 millmech on 09.02.20 at 11:08 pm

Our office staff has pushed back hard against coming back to work, was told to show up on the 8th or they would be considered to have quit.
Company has relented and they will be able to work from home for now, all 16 of the original 26 will stay employed, the 16 are now doing the work of the 26 same pay as before just bigger work load.
There is a reason why these big companies want WFH now, no more bad optics of crying employees who have been let go to get the ire of the public, especially when there is record corporate profits. There will be a gradual layoff and none will be the wiser, just like at my work, 40% gone from the office and not a peep.

#138 Mick McClean on 09.02.20 at 11:12 pm

Don’t worry Generation Screwed… pretty sure your boomer or X parents will leave you their home as I will to my kids. Having said that I dunno if they would want to stay here, even though I’m just east of Don Mills and a 20 min commute downtown where the parking can easily be $200 a month. Parking for any theatre, major sports team can be $40 for the evening. The best theatre isn’t even in TO but about 2 hours away in Niagara on the Lake or Stratford. The rapidly expanding Markham/Richmond Hill area is within an hour commute from many smaller desirable towns. I’ve always wondered about the legality of shipping confidential work overseas. How dare a company share your private info with who knows overseas. Perhaps it’s time to take a good hard look at unionization which was at a much higher rate in the 60s and 70s. Mayor Tory was instrumental in asking big downtown employers to have their employees work from home, pretty soon he’ll be putting the bug in their ears to get these people back as the TTC is bleeding red and the $9 billion crosstown transit will be up and running in the not to distant future.

#139 Upenuff on 09.02.20 at 11:27 pm

#56 leftover

Pandora in victoria is downright scary – beacon hill Park tent city – now the city has decreed 9 more parks for tents – my wife actually asked me if I was interested in moving.
_______________________________________
Took a ferry ride to Vcr Island for some leisurely bike riding Sat/Sunday returning in the evening to the lower mainland. A very pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors Covid free.
And Aghast at what I saw on the streets and in the parks of little Victoria… lots of tents with lots of bicycles parked in front of these tents…. too many bikes to mention, obviously young entrepreneurs fixing and selling their bikes…..
Sorry Victoria, your cousins Surrey and Vancouver welcome you to the harsh world of park poverty, and all that comes with it….. Rehab centers run by the province for all the drug addicted will become a necessity in the very near future, that is if fentanyl does not kill all the users…..

#140 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 11:36 pm

@#115 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 8:11 pm

Well, I don’t disagree with ‘ letting him make his own mistakes so long as it isn’t life threatening.’ Can’t say I concur with his analysis that schools will close again in November as that would essentially constitute another lock down which cannot be allowed to happen. Sometimes the most rewarding moments in life occur under circumstances where we are obliged to test our fortitude under less than perfect or comfortable conditions. It can be character building. And all the more exhilarating when experienced with ones peers. Just my opinion, and in no way am I passing judgement on any decision made by any family. It’s good that people are able to have options that fit their circumstances. +++++

#121 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.02.20 at 9:19 pm

Children of Millenials?

Parents are early 40’s, one with a northern european background and extremely strong financially. Other kids in the school likely from a similar background. That’s why I was so surprised to have him tell me of the anxiety disorders, etc. One would think these kids, aged 6 or 8, etc wouldn’t have a care in the world. I guess I am out of touch with reality. Maybe others have some knowledge of these issues.

#141 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 11:43 pm

Added note: While some think the entry into the fall ‘flu season’ will complicate things, I am of the opinion that society has been so severely ‘tuned up’ on the importance of frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizers, keeping a distance from high touch surfaces, clammy people, and every other damn danger that the ‘Flu’ won’t stand a chance this winter. We are all on ‘Full Alert”. Enough said.

#142 PastThePeak on 09.02.20 at 11:45 pm

If a job can be done 100% remotely from the 905 instead of the 416…then it can be done 100% remotely from India, or any other nation that with a labour cost a fraction of Canada’s.

Be careful what you advocate for…

#143 PastThePeak on 09.03.20 at 12:02 am

#119 45north on 09.02.20 at 8:37 pm
ElGatoNerodeYVR

Rarely is there any creativity happening in a vacuum or with screaming children and demanding spouses around. Most creative, analytical types I worked with loved the office even when given the opportunity to work-from-home before. Also no Citrix / VPN connection is ever fast enough for the same types . In any job you constantly need to learn and learning only truly happens in person. There is very limited opportunity for career advancement when you cannot build personal relationships ;internal job opportunities go to the best connected and liked, always.

the best explanation I’ve seen
+++++++++++++++++++++++

Indeed, quite good. I am **really** looking forward to going back to the office (OK – maybe for 3 days a week on average instead of 5). There is just something missing in WFH. Productive, camaraderie, interest. Maybe just delineating the work time from home time.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling this won’t happen until late 2021…

#144 SoggyShorts on 09.03.20 at 12:06 am

#120 Scotchy scotch scotch on 09.02.20 at 8:52 pm
Garth, how do you rationalize the buy and hold (patience) strategy for the stock market, but not housing?
********************
This one’s simple: Garth would also tell you not to invest your entire savings at 20x leverage into a single stock.

Ask anyone in Alberta who bought a home in the last decade how they made out.

#145 SoggyShorts on 09.03.20 at 12:10 am

#123 Generation Screwed on 09.02.20 at 9:36 pm
Thanks boomers!

https://financialpost.com/opinion/millennials-will-pay-the-price-for-their-parents-luck-and-self-indulgence/wcm/fa6c8b26-933e-4298-be70-a63b9c80bde4/
**************************
BAHAHAHAHAH!
Nice article:
“Hard work, perseverance, risk-taking and sacrifice may be only a minor part of the equation — reflecting baby boomers’ sense of entitlement.”

LSHIDMTAMSFO!

#146 Bingo McDermitt on 09.03.20 at 12:25 am

DELETED

#147 Roscoe Stiffready on 09.03.20 at 12:28 am

I disagree, Garth. The pandemic itself is indeed temporary, but the agenda of economic and societal devolution — for the schmucks in developed countries only, by the way — that conveniently capitalized on the timing of this pandemic, is The New Normal. They keep telling us. What more proof you need?

#148 majik on 09.03.20 at 12:30 am

It’s not working from home, it’s living at work.

#149 Don Guillermo on 09.03.20 at 12:36 am

#109 Flop… on 09.02.20 at 7:58 pm
As a construction worker I have been working from home the last 30 years.

Unfortunately for me it’s someone else’s home though…

M46BC

************************************

Hahahaha, that’s a good one.

*************************************

#115 Nonplused on 09.02.20 at 8:11 pm

**************************************

Wow, I actually thought you were one of the smarter posters on here. Then I saw this ” Well, no actually. My son is 14 so we left the decision to him … ” Yikes!

#150 Dr V on 09.03.20 at 12:41 am

99 Tarot card

“BMO and RBC offered me five year fixed 1,94 percent.
10 year 4.48”

I got 7% from CIBC 5 months ago. I took it.

Oops. Sorry. That’s what they pay ME. My bad.

Rub tummy.

#151 DON on 09.03.20 at 1:18 am

On the subject of sending kids back to school.

As a parent, I liked having options like home schooling, in class and online at home under the supervision of whichever parent can work from home till this COVID makes its way through society.

At least get thru the upcoming flu season and all the potential upcoming emotions and erratic roller coaster ride.

The only game plan while we wait for a much touted vaccine is to not overload our health care system. Spread the infection out and use resources to help protect those that are more at risk of death.

Besides this is temporary and the kids will survive the at home learning experience ( they are still playing with their friends. But they will go back to school knowing they sat down and did their school work diligently while at home.

To each their own. Temporay pendemic just like throughout history.

#152 Shiraz Pahlavi on 09.03.20 at 1:19 am

DELETED

#153 Nonplused on 09.03.20 at 1:42 am

#105 Ponzius Pilatus on 09.02.20 at 7:51 pm
#102 Nonplused
Things always evolve towards efficiency.
—————–
Typical rookie statement.
Efficiency = maximum output at minimum input.
Effectiveness = optimum output at optimum input.
Efficiency produces crap, i.e. Made in China
Effectiveness = produces top quality, i.e Made in Germany.

———————–

Umm, I think you a splitting hairs. I didn’t say efficiency meant crap products. Actually I didn’t say anything about the quality of the products or services. So how about if I change what I said to include that efficiency includes improving the product while at the same time accomplishing it for less cost? For example I have a 52 inch LED TV that inflation adjusted probably didn’t cost more than my 32 inch tube TV, and it uses less power. So is that not improving efficiency and effectiveness?

And actually if you’ve ever owned a BMW before you are now a devoted Toyota owner. German cars are the best you can lease.

#154 Howard on 09.03.20 at 4:01 am

#104 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 09.02.20 at 7:46 pm

My opinion having done both WFH and office in big enterprise and smaller companies:
Rarely is there any creativity happening in a vacuum or with screaming children and demanding spouses around. Most creative, analytical types I worked with loved the office even when given the opportunity to wfh before.

—————————————

I am certain that no introvert ever told you that he/she “loves” an open space office. If they have private offices with actual doors, yes perhaps, but how many people below senior Director or even VP level have that nowadays? At my old company, a German-based multinational, they got rid of offices for EVEYRONE, including the division head.

So if the choice is between open space areas with employees coughing, snorting, sneezing, and yelling at their kids over the phone all around you, and a WFH arrangement, any introverted employee will choose the latter 99 times out of 100.

Dinosaur companies that value meaningless face time over actual results will lose their most productive workers unless WFH is eliminated everywhere such that nobody has a choice, and I don’t think it will be.

#155 Toronto_CA on 09.03.20 at 4:12 am

Exaggerate much? What downtown homeless encampments? – Garth

Have to agree with others Garth; my friends in downtown Toronto have been sending me pictures of tent cities in parks that were never there before. They’re growing. It’s sad to see.

It’s no exaggeration, honestly. And not limited to the West Coast, which due to better year-round climate and more drugs has always been a magnet for homelessness.

#156 Toronto_CA on 09.03.20 at 4:20 am

Here’s a video of the tent city in Trinity Bellwoods park in downtown Toronto:

https://youtu.be/9dFlFBSyiZs

And an article at the start of the pandemic from the Star about it:

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/05/14/tents-housing-the-homeless-are-popping-up-around-toronto-heres-what-the-city-is-doing-about-it.html

Maybe they’ll go away as the virus does, and the homeless move back to shelters when they aren’t as afraid of catching the virus and the weather gets too cold.

#157 calgaryPhantom on 09.03.20 at 4:33 am

All this RE on fire, yet REITs are burried in dirt.

Buy good assets when they are on sale. – Garth

#158 Do we have all the facts on 09.03.20 at 6:22 am

In the past I worked for all levels of government in four different Provinces before deciding to become self employed. What I found interesting is that salary levels were often linked to supervisory responsibilities. As a result tasks that could be performed by one employee were divided into a number of positions with the objective of justifying an increase in salary.

An interesting consequence of dividing tasks was that a major portion of the job description for supervisory positions involved monitoring activity of the individuals performing the necessary tasks. The end result was often a chain of supervisory positions devoted to the provision of reports that confirmed that the necessary work had been performed.

The shift to working from home may lead to a rationalization of how the necessary work is performed in the same way that many retailers shifted from expensive bricks and mortar stores to on-line sales.

Computer programs can monitor the productivity of hundreds if not thousands of remote employees and can generate all the necessary reports for the top echelon of managers in a matter of seconds.

We live in a very competitive world that is reducing the need for face to face interaction with each passing day. Cashiers, bank tellers, receptionists, retail clerks, stock room workers, factory workers, machinists, designers, clerks, accountants, etc, etc, are all being replaced by some form of automation.

All I hear these days is software, software and more software. Technology companies are booming but once computers are programmed to generate better programs even software programmers may be looking for work.

Where will this race to eliminate human involvement in work end?

#159 Chequered on 09.03.20 at 7:17 am

DELETED

#160 Toronto_CA on 09.03.20 at 7:22 am

#142 PastThePeak on 09.02.20 at 11:45 pm
If a job can be done 100% remotely from the 905 instead of the 416…then it can be done 100% remotely from India, or any other nation that with a labour cost a fraction of Canada’s.

Be careful what you advocate for…
___________________

My experience with outsourcing to Bangalore is mixed at best; and I’ve done this at quite a few large multi-nationals (Aon for one).

The service levels are constantly fluctuating, staff turnover is a major problem, costs rise, and obviously there are issues with language and time zones when working with a foreign country on the other side of the planet.

I don’t think outsourcing to India (or the Phillipines) is the risk to white collar jobs in Toronto that you think it is. HOWEVER – I would easily see jobs moving to rural Canada. Moncton has bilingual, time-zone appropriate Canadian employees eager to work. TD bank moved a whole section of financial reporting there recently.

#161 Kevin on 09.03.20 at 7:28 am

Productivity while WFH, might be good while still in early stages, but people get lazy when nobody is watching. Take any group of people, train them, then turn them lose. Its good for awhile but eventually there own personal work ethic kicks in, and you get huge disparaties in productivity.
WFH will be a success for a few companies but a disaster for others.

#162 McSteve on 09.03.20 at 7:40 am

If my employer decides to pay me less because I work at home, I plan to start charging them rent/utilities.

#163 BillyBob on 09.03.20 at 7:52 am

#135 MF on 09.02.20 at 10:52 pm
#75 the Jaguar on 09.02.20 at 5:42

School =\ the working world. Children in school absolutely have to learn how to communicate and socialize with others. This is valuable.

A grown adult who has a balanced social life already and can produce at home has zero need to go into the office every single day.

Wfh is here to stay, most likely as a blend with going in to the office for work. Going back to always being in the office every single day is now part of a bygone era though. Work culture will adapt. It always does.

Remember when beards weren’t allowed? Everyone wore suits? Women didn’t work in offices? Everyone worked 9-5?

Things change and improve.

MF

================================================

Equating changes in facial hair and dress codes to the wholesale behaviour modification of WFH is pretty dumb, even for you. Let’s give this experiment more than 5 minutes before forming conclusions shall we?

Unfortunately, your opinion of WFH holds as much weight as you felt mine did: none. Whether it is adopted permanently will be based solely on whether it is more profitable for businesses and the”why shouldn’t I be compensated the same working from home?”folks are dreaming. Of course companies will offer less pay for you to work from home – didn’t you just express how much better you like it? The only outcome of a poll like that is handing leverage to employers to decrease wages.

I mean you’ve gotta be pretty naive to believe that offloading their office costs onto their remote workforce is the only way employers will look to maximize THEIR benefits of WFH. They’re not letting you work in your pyjamas with greasy hair out of altruism.

#164 Captain Uppa on 09.03.20 at 8:02 am

I think your age is showing on this one, Garth. I say that with all due respect.

You’re not quite Clint Eastwood, but catch yourself if you yell at someone to get off your lawn.

The age that may be showing is among those who think something which has been with us for six months will determine the entire future. You will learn. – Garth

#165 Steven Rowlandson on 09.03.20 at 8:06 am

To all realtors and real estate profiteers. All glory is fleeting and you are mortal.

#166 Justin S on 09.03.20 at 8:06 am

Thank you for the post Garth. I agree completely with it, and with most of the posters on here.

Some very good points raised by the blog dogs re: outsourcing jobs to much cheaper countries if WFH becomes permanent for specific companies. It’s a no-brainer.

#167 Dharma Bum on 09.03.20 at 8:19 am

#72 Bernie

You are a prime target— White, hetero-male, rich, handsome and married.
——————————————————————–

Oh well…I guess 4 outta 5 ain’t bad!

Does that mean I’m off the hook?

#168 MF on 09.03.20 at 8:19 am

63 BillyBob on 09.03.20 at 7:52

Lol the experiment has already been happening for decades. It’s just been accelerated due to the pandemic.

Your entire premise is based on an outdated model where an employee shows up to office, greets his boss, then goes to work.

All work is not the same. Not even close.

What about the self employed? They’ve been working from home for ages. Realtors (our favourite), lawyers, people who deal with online business are some examples. They don’t have salaries they just have to produce.

Salaries for employees “should” be related to their productivity more than anything else. Employer savings in reduced office space will outweigh what they save in salaries. Besides, like I said earlier, for these people expect a blend of wfh and office work when needed. Zero chance it will go back to the way it was though. No point. Whether you like it or not.

MF

#169 Howard on 09.03.20 at 8:27 am

#160 Toronto_CA on 09.03.20 at 7:22 am
#142 PastThePeak on 09.02.20 at 11:45 pm
If a job can be done 100% remotely from the 905 instead of the 416…then it can be done 100% remotely from India, or any other nation that with a labour cost a fraction of Canada’s.

Be careful what you advocate for…
___________________

My experience with outsourcing to Bangalore is mixed at best; and I’ve done this at quite a few large multi-nationals (Aon for one).

The service levels are constantly fluctuating, staff turnover is a major problem, costs rise, and obviously there are issues with language and time zones when working with a foreign country on the other side of the planet.

I don’t think outsourcing to India (or the Phillipines) is the risk to white collar jobs in Toronto that you think it is. HOWEVER – I would easily see jobs moving to rural Canada. Moncton has bilingual, time-zone appropriate Canadian employees eager to work. TD bank moved a whole section of financial reporting there recently.

————————————-

Yeah it’s funny from some of the comments here, people seem to think that outsourcing work to India is a new thing lol. Evidently they’ve never worked for a large multinational at any time in the past 20 years.

If every single white collar job in a typical Western office could be done as effectively in India, for a fifth the cost, such mass outsourcing of white collar jobs would have happened long ago. Companies are not in the habit of keeping jobs local just to be nice.

#170 Dharma Bum on 09.03.20 at 8:28 am

#9 Sunshower

“Why shouldn’t remote work come with full compensation?”
——————————————————————–

Because WFH = Effing the Dee

#171 Dharma Bum on 09.03.20 at 8:30 am

“Now it means a Leave-it-to-Beaver, leafy street with detached houses and minivans…” – Garth
——————————————————————–

For those too young to remember:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgtiPOk83Ek

#172 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.03.20 at 8:39 am

@ Screwed Millenials
“Thanks Boomers!”

++++
You…… are…… welcome.

#173 Captain Uppa on 09.03.20 at 9:01 am

The age that may be showing is among those who think something which has been with us for six months will determine the entire future. You will learn. – Garth

———————————————

Game on.

Full disclosure; I am 38 years old and the time is coming to look in the mirror.

#174 IHCTD9 on 09.03.20 at 9:34 am

#160 Toronto_CA on 09.03.20 at 7:22 am

…I don’t think outsourcing to India (or the Phillipines) is the risk to white collar jobs in Toronto that you think it is. HOWEVER – I would easily see jobs moving to rural Canada. Moncton has bilingual, time-zone appropriate Canadian employees eager to work. TD bank moved a whole section of financial reporting there recently.
____

Same experience here. Time zone and language issues. Tons of errors. Zero knowledge of North American drawing standards, steel grades and sizes, welding and Imperial measurement.

This was over 15 years ago so maybe things have improved, but back then subcontracting out engineering work to India was a great way to lose customers. We stuck with local engineering companies from there on in.

#175 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.03.20 at 9:35 am

@#170 Dharma Bum.

“Because WFH = Effing the Dee”

+++

True story.
A friend of mine worked in BC for a large Canadian Company with most of the clients based in Ontario.
He decided to stop working from his cubicle in downtown van and work from home full time ( this was 7 years ago) to avoid the commute, the cost, the soul sucking lazy drones sitting next to him in the cube farm.
He expected to get caught within a few weeks or at the most months.
He would get up early and answer emails and phone messages ( 6am) which he typically wouldnt read or deal with until 9am Vancouver time at the cube farm.
The custmers loved it.
After 6 months of flawless work a buddy called him with a golf junket to Virginai.
He didnt apply for vacation he took his computor and cellphone with him and ….was even MORE productive. Up at 6am answer a few emails, off to the links, played 18. Back to the hotel checked emails and messages, cranked off a few emails and calls, Lunch, a bit more work, Another 18 in the early afternoon…..
Long story short.
The customers were raving about his productivity, his response time, etc.

Lightbulb went off in his head.
he stayed home for two years and went on sevreal golf trips.( most in the same approx time zone as Toronto).

When he finally went back to work downtown for a meeting………. the other sheeple in the cube farm were shocked.
The rumors were he had died or was fired.
He switched the two year old calender with a new one and kept doing what he was doing until he retired…….

Work From Home was predicted by Alvin Toffler ……40 years ago in the book The Third Wave…….

#176 Toronto_CA on 09.03.20 at 9:45 am

If people were saying they aren’t going back to how things were after 6 days or 6 weeks, I’d scream recency bias and tell them to get real.

But we’re at 6 months, and a lot of very big tech firms are saying the office is never going back to how it was. 1-3 days a week in office and 1-3 days a week at home is the new normal for many office workers, if they choose.

For some they’ll want 5 days a week at office, and some will want 5 days at home. I imagine both will be possible. It doesn’t need to be extreme for all or even most. This is a false dichotomy.

But it will be different, and those employers who refuse to adapt will lose talent to the many employers who allow the flexibility of working from home to stay on after the virus has left our doors.

#177 Ubul on 09.03.20 at 9:48 am

#142 PastThePeak on 09.02.20 at 11:45 pm
If a job can be done 100% remotely from the 905 instead of the 416…then it can be done 100% remotely from India, or any other nation that with a labour cost a fraction of Canada’s.

Be careful what you advocate for…

—-

Get the work done cheaper in an other country has been done for a long time, most broadly in the US. It got Trump elected.

People working in China, India won’t pay for Trudeau’s debt, rent, property tax or shop in the much more expensive Canadian stores. They won’t use Turner Investment services. Neither the Canadians, who’s jobs are outsourced. The too poor to tax headcount is already mind blowing. What Canadians – with or without work – do though, is casting vote.

#178 jal on 09.03.20 at 10:02 am

Tomorrow, white collar workers will do more of …

Work sharing
Flex-time
Gig work
Self employed
Work from home

Does Garth do any of the above?

#179 jal on 09.03.20 at 10:08 am

It’s difficult to WFH from a tent park living.
Its easier to WFH from an RV in the company parking lot. (Ie. security guard)

#180 millmech on 09.03.20 at 10:12 am

The people who hope that the government will legislate job protection for them need to wake up, as many people who have posted here are clueless. If they would not do this for our manufacturing sector why would they do it for our technology, finance, office jobs.
I guess if one can see the pattern coming they would be wise to move to one of the up and coming third world countries and get in first as a local hire.

#181 David Hawke on 09.03.20 at 10:41 am

Can Canuckistanians really be silly enough to believe this advce?

https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/coronavirus/2020/9/2/1_5090359.amp.html

#182 Howard on 09.03.20 at 10:56 am

Here’s how accustomed everyone is getting to remote work.

I happen to be in the office today, and coincidentally, for a particular meeting today everyone else in the meeting is physically in the office as well.

We conducted through Microsoft Teams anyway! Why bother booking a meeting room, etc. Let everyone stay at their desks and dial in.

It’s a new world.

#183 Mattl on 09.03.20 at 11:04 am

WFH and how effective it will be depends on the company culture. There are still a lot of old school managers that need to see their employees to believe they are working. Manager walks by, everyone picks up the phone or gets into the CRM and start typing.

Our culture was already WFH friendly so we had no problem moving people home and a large number will be staying home. We saw a productivity increase, and we have the tools to measure how productive our employees are. We also have expectations around what WFH entails – quiet dedicated space, video etc. I still see my employees daily.

My personal experience is offices are a complete drain on productivity. Smoke break, water coolers, late starts / early leave to beat traffic. Colds being spread, absenteeism. Cubicle farms are sad places, not creative places.

The model that is going to emerge is hybrid. Space that teams can go to, part time, to be creative, maintain rapport. WFH has been growing at a double digit pace pre Covid so it’s not like this is all Covid related, this movement was already well under way.

Oh, and Homes on Acreage up 30% YOY in my area. Nice little 200K pop.

#184 Mattl on 09.03.20 at 11:13 am

The age that may be showing is among those who think something which has been with us for six months will determine the entire future. You will learn. – Garth

—————————————————————
But it hasn’t been with us for just six months. Employers have been moving people home the past decade, WFH has seen double digit growth YOY. Look at Shopify – the decision to terminate that lease would have been made pre Covid. Very likely they would have vacated at the end of the lease anyways.

You are underestimating how excited large corps are about saving on RE expense. Any well run org has the tools to be able to manage employee productivity remotely. Of course lots of businesses require in office staff. But when large orgs like Shopify and JP Morgan are signalling big moves to WFH I’d say we should take notice.

#185 MF on 09.03.20 at 11:18 am

Where’s that screwed Canadian millennial poster when you her/him/it?

Why couldn’t TurnerNation, our oracle of truth, pick up on this?

As Garth coined it: The Baby Boomer central banker conspiracy:

https://financialpost.com/opinion/millennials-will-pay-the-price-for-their-parents-luck-and-self-indulgence/wcm/fa6c8b26-933e-4298-be70-a63b9c80bde4/

-Nothing new here. All the central banks, and many policy makers are baby boomers whose policies are designed to look out for other baby boomers. Never ending low interest rates and weird bond buying programs are keeping asset values (and current asset holders -boomers generally) happy. Of course it’s distorting the economies of the world and setting us up for disaster but they don’t seem to care. Someone else can deal with it (that would be the younger generations). I said it before, but I pity the poor central banker who has to raise the interest rate and administer the painful medicine at some point in the future.

MF

#186 Scotchy scotch scotch on 09.03.20 at 11:24 am

#144 SoggyShorts
This one’s simple: Garth would also tell you not to invest your entire savings at 20x leverage into a single stock.

Ask anyone in Alberta who bought a home in the last decade how they made out.
***************

Sure that makes sense. Although what if you have the full purchase price of a SFH sitting in cash? Does it make sense to put down 10% deposit on a primary residence and invest the rest as an inflation hedge? The crux of whether it’s a good or bad idea seems to depend on whether there’s a collapse in house prices and as I mentioned in my last post, they have lots of tools left to postpone that event probably by a many years.

#187 SOS on 09.03.20 at 11:34 am

Two and a half years before my mortgage is up for renewal. I called my bank and asked about blending and extending. Advisor has never heard of this. Advisor said the only option is an early renewal. Is early renewal the same as blending and extending? A quick google search indicates they are separate things so maybe I need to speak with a different advisor?

#188 George S on 09.03.20 at 11:36 am

My children and their spouses (actually adults but you never hear anyone say “my adults”) are all working from home. Sometimes they go into the office for meetings and go on field trips but they mostly are at home. They work their regular hours, take coffee and lunch breaks and have adapted well to this new way of working. Their jobs are such that they are able to WFH and they have nice sunny and pleasant home offices. The people that don’t have nice home offices that are sunny and pleasant to be in are starting to go back to the office now that C19 has wound down a bit in our province.
There are some jobs that do not require any face to face appearance at the office that may be possible to replace by outsourcing but I can imagine that those jobs have been replaced already if it is possible especially by companies that operate internationally. Occasionally I would read in the newspaper about the excitement surrounding the building of a call centre in some impoverished rural community in Canada. So they do build them here too in places with a low enough minimum wage so they can staff them cheaply.

As for home schooling, I think it will eventually lead to social problems if it continues for very long. Keeping young people isolated from the rest of the world under tight parental control of what they see and learn about the world can lead to a very strange society. Especially with all the bias in social media and internet reports of what is going on in the world. In a face to face unmasked school world young people learn about real world social interactions with all people by having those interactions. When you consider how important proper socialization is for young dogs in order to ensure that they don’t develop relationship problems when they get older why would we want to have our children improperly socialized by keeping them isolated at home.

A lot of people don’t seem to understand that trends in various things don’t go on forever. It is a folly to extrapolate graphs out to infinity. Nothing can go on forever because ultimately you reach some kind of limit. You can’t get more efficient than 100% no matter how hard you try. Things will slowly drift back to some sort of middle ground once C19 is under control. There will be more working from home in jobs where it can be done and less where it is inconvenient. Some of the jobs in the hospitality and fitness industries will come back but not all of them, especially in marginal businesses.

Probably what one should expect is that everyone is going to have less disposable income in the near to long future once consumption and income taxes go up to help pay for the C19 measures. This will adversely affect the retail and unnecessary luxury industries especially if inflation is allowed to proceed unhindered. If you suddenly have a few hundred thousand in home equity you can harvest it with a HELOC and have a great time. But we all know how that ends…

#189 Damifino on 09.03.20 at 11:41 am

I wonder how many are CFH (commenting from home) while being paid to do something productive.

#190 Ace Goodheart on 09.03.20 at 11:45 am

I can’t see this ending well.

Ultra low interest rates have increased home prices in popular areas so far past fundamentals, that even a minor increase in interest rates will result in a massive shock to people’s budgets.

If someone puts a 1.2 million dollar mortgage on a house at 1.5%, then tries to renew at 4% five years later, their monthly payments will be insane.

Fundamentals are just being completely trashed.

There is no way that people earning in the low six figure family income brackets should be putting mortgages for north of a million dollars onto houses. The interest rate shock risk is just massive if you do this.

#191 Captain Uppa on 09.03.20 at 11:51 am

I saw three residential moving trucks headed north on the 400 yesterday from Toronto.

Coincidence? Sure. But I have never seen that before as odd as it sounds.

#192 CB71 on 09.03.20 at 12:08 pm

Re: #187 SOS

I hold a mortgage with one of the Big 6 banks. I asked my advisor about blending and extending a lower interest rate. I received a reply back within minutes (surprise, surprise lol). Yes, the bank will lower the interest rate. Yes, the bank will blend the lower rate and extend the term. I kept my payments the same and knocked 4 months off the total amortization. Hope that helps – good luck!
PS MSU…I love this blog, keep up the good work GT! And if you want to share the code for the delete button – I’ll happily assist you – things are drifting towards the event horizon around here these days ;)

#193 Looking up on 09.03.20 at 12:18 pm

#190 Ace Goodheart on 09.03.20 at 11:45 am
I can’t see this ending well.

Ultra low interest rates have increased home prices in popular areas so far past fundamentals, that even a minor increase in interest rates will result in a massive shock to people’s budgets.

If someone puts a 1.2 million dollar mortgage on a house at 1.5%, then tries to renew at 4% five years later, their monthly payments will be insane.

Fundamentals are just being completely trashed.

There is no way that people earning in the low six figure family income brackets should be putting mortgages for north of a million dollars onto houses. The interest rate shock risk is just massive if you do this.

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Also, it is self fulfilling destruction to the economy. People are paying an inordinate amount for housing so they can’t afford to go to restaurants, buy cars, overall they cut back. The overall economy eventually corrects including housing.

#194 Brian Wesley Hanson on 09.03.20 at 1:23 pm

I know I am waiting on my employer to formally say wfh is permanent. Then I get to move to a my oasis 2 hours away from the office for half the price.

#195 Bob Dog on 09.03.20 at 1:35 pm

DELETED

#196 BillyBob on 09.03.20 at 1:51 pm

#168 MF on 09.03.20 at 8:19 am
63 BillyBob on 09.03.20 at 7:52

Lol the experiment has already been happening for decades. It’s just been accelerated due to the pandemic.

Your entire premise is based on an outdated model where an employee shows up to office, greets his boss, then goes to work.

All work is not the same. Not even close.

What about the self employed? They’ve been working from home for ages. Realtors (our favourite), lawyers, people who deal with online business are some examples. They don’t have salaries they just have to produce.

Salaries for employees “should” be related to their productivity more than anything else. Employer savings in reduced office space will outweigh what they save in salaries. Besides, like I said earlier, for these people expect a blend of wfh and office work when needed. Zero chance it will go back to the way it was though. No point. Whether you like it or not.

MF

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lol

If you want my premise, it’s that you are literally incapable of anything but the most simplistic, binary arguments.

First of all I don’t have to work, period, and if I do go back, it will be neither from home OR an office. Your comments about my “model” are completely inapplicable: I’ve never worked a day in my life in a conventional office, anything remotely like a 9 to 5 schedule, or greeted a boss as you describe. I’ve stayed as far away from that as humanly possible.

Maybe you’d feel better if I told you that I would dislike working in an office as much as I’d hate WFH?

I have also never said there was “no future” for working from home or that “things were going back to the way they were”. Just another straw man argument with yourself. Kind tiring tbh.

As I said, give it some time. The only constant is change and no doubt the pendulum will swing hard one way before it swings back – it always does.

What I do know is that WFH does not cure the human condition ie the need for collaboration, and like all “solutions” will have negative unintended consequences like every one before it. I’m just glad I won’t have to deal with them.

#197 Steerage Multi-tasking on 09.03.20 at 2:05 pm

#189 Damifino on 09.03.20 at 11:41 am

I wonder how many are CFH (commenting from home) while being paid to do something productive.
..
The same amount that commented from the office………

#198 TurnerNation on 09.03.20 at 2:20 pm

Here is is. New System not going away. You traded your rights for Two More weeks. There will be two classes of people – those with COVID pass (allowed to travel, work) and those without. Nobody is sick at all…but rights are never given back. Vote anyone?

https://www.cp24.com/news/covid-19-rules-to-remain-until-effective-vaccine-is-found-dr-eileen-de-villa-answers-your-coronavirus-related-questions-1.5090543

#199 TurnerNation on 09.03.20 at 2:24 pm

Ah-ha so this is what is really was about. Early this year every other page in each section of newspaper had a climate change angled article. It wasn’t working so they shut down the world.
FOOD and TRAVEL will be major targets:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/21/who-warns-a-coronavirus-vaccine-alone-will-not-end-pandemic.html

“In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change,” he said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers.”

#200 Pizzaguy on 09.03.20 at 2:38 pm

This morning I went to Toronto King St to solve an issue with my RRSP as I’m trying to transfer money over between institutions. They keep loosing cheques ! After a 10 min discussion with a supervisor from one big 5 he told me next Tuesday some of their operation team is coming back on site. It’s a mess! Clients are frustrated as they need to wait 2 hours over the phone, nothing gets resolved, problems keep pilling up. Apparently not everything can be worked from home.

#201 TheDood on 09.03.20 at 3:37 pm

#15 Ubul on 09.02.20 at 3:36 pm
How about companies, which insist to go back to the office and do the same amount of hours, work – with a 25% pay cut indefinitely? Naturally.
________________________________

This is the way company’s behave in recession/high unemployment environments. It’s a real dirtball approach but an easy way for senior management to make themselves look good to shareholders and collect a big bonus at the end of the year. The bottom line is the only one that counts.

#202 steve on 09.03.20 at 6:25 pm

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#142 PastThePeak on 09.02.20 at 11:45 pm
If a job can be done 100% remotely from the 905 instead of the 416…then it can be done 100% remotely from India, or any other nation that with a labour cost a fraction of Canada’s.

Be careful what you advocate for…
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My experience with outsourcing to Bangalore is mixed at best; and I’ve done this at quite a few large multi-nationals (Aon for one).

The service levels are constantly fluctuating, staff turnover is a major problem, costs rise, and obviously there are issues with language and time zones when working with a foreign country on the other side of the planet.

I don’t think outsourcing to India (or the Phillipines) is the risk to white collar jobs in Toronto that you think it is. HOWEVER – I would easily see jobs moving to rural Canada. Moncton has bilingual, time-zone appropriate Canadian employees eager to work. TD bank moved a whole section of financial reporting there recently.

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This is very accurate. Our company works very closely with AON.

Our India outsourcing is going bad, very bad.

Our business moved to Eastern Canada is going very well.

If we could do it again (we cannot, we are under contract) we would not have outsourced anything to India.