Buy pants

A social phenom, wrought by the virus, has rocked real estate. Thus, houses in Woodstock, Kamloops, Windsor and Sechelt have gone nuts. Lots of people think they’ll never have to visit the office again. So they moved to the boonies where real estate was cheap. And that’s made houses everywhere go parabolic.

WFH has been a revolution. Most employees love the lack of supervision, the time flex, the cost savings and the end of the daily commute. With five million people doing it, residential property prices in the sticks have soared while commercial real estate values and downtown businesses have croaked. But now as the Third (and final) Wave of Covid is inevitably crushed by herd dosing, everybody who moved to Armpit must ask: is this the new normal? Or is the staycation over? Also, what have I done?

First, look at what’s happened. It’s stunning.

Last month residential sales in Mississauga, for example, jumped 86%. More amazing is the average home price – it was around $500,000 in 2015, and has now doubled. The average place costs 16% more than year ago, at just over $1 million, and detacheds average just under $1.3 million (a 19% gain). Re/Max, which says this is all just wonderful news, attributes the housing inflation to “a mass exodus of condo-dwellers from downtown Toronto”.

Yup. That’s the WFH effect. Looking for more personal space and thinking they can be spared the soul-sucking commuter GO Train trek into the Big Smoke because ‘it’s different this time’ young buyers poured into the hinterland. Look what happened…

Of course, this is not just a 905 thing. New buyers have flocked into Halifax from Ontario, into Kelowna from Vancouver and into London from Toronto. Year/year prices in lots of places where a buyer used to be lucky to sell at all have jumped 30% amid multiple bids. It’s nuts. And at the very epicenter of this stampede is the way so many have convinced themselves that remote work is now permanent.

Some companies and employers will be happy to shed costly real estate and have a network of colleagues who never work F2F. But a shocking number won’t.

Coincidentally, as I write this a blog dog, Joe, posted this comment:

Just had quarterly company meeting of 300 employees. Expect everyone back in the office , to maintain company culture, collaboration, discussion, bbq’s, mentoring for younger employees.

It’s no surprise surveys find the majority, especially those under 35, want to stay working at their own pace, without pants, from home. Who wouldn’t? What’s odd is that people in this age bracket are usually entering into peak career-aspirational years, looking for advancement, pay increases, serious responsibility and employment security. At least they used to. That was before this life-work-balance nonsense conspired with a global pandemic to rewire the brains of an entire generation.

But the question is: will WFH be ubiquitous? Will it still be here when Covid’s long gone? Will several thousand years of human history and steady urbanization be replaced by Zoom calls and downtown decay?

Answer: Nah. Not a chance.

In the UK there are reports office occupancy rates are back into the 40% range after falling to single digits. NYC has announced the end of pandemic restrictions, effective July 1st. This week JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon told hundreds of thousands of workers they need to plan their return in two months. The memo said, “We would fully expect that by early July, all U.S.-based employees will be in the office on a consistent rotational schedule. With this time frame in mind you should start making any needed arrangements to help with your successful return.”

At competing bank Goldman Sachs Group, WFH is being called “an abearration” in need of correction. Until social distancing rules are fully removed, not everybody will be at their old desk. But the direction forward is crystal. ““We firmly believe that working together in person is important for our culture, clients, businesses and teams, and we know that you’ll do your part to make it a positive experience that reflects our company at its best,” says Dimon.

But wait. The banks may be run by paleo overlord, prehistoric, knuckledragging Boomers, but what about the tech guys? Aren’t they more sympathetic to Millennials and GenZers who want quality time during the day to skateboard and walk the Frenchie?

Well, not Google.

Chief People Officer (yeah, that’s actually a title) Fiona Cicconi says Google will reopen offices on a regional basis as virus cases fade. “If employees want to work remotely after Sept. 1, for more than 14 days per year, they’ll have to formally apply for it,” she told the masses (the company has 150,000 workers). Moreover, (a) Google expects all workers to “live within commuting distance” of the office, and (b) those who want to stay WFH could see incomes reduced. “The company may adjust employees’ salaries based on where they work.”

By the way, Uber and Microsoft have also reopened their offices to employees.

Finally, here’s news that should surprise nobody: WFH people are willfully sacrificing their careers, trading sweat pants and dodgy personal hygiene for advancement. The British Office for National Statistics finds remote workers are less likely to be promoted or receive a bonus. This “could reflect biases in the labor market, with people who worked mainly from home being overlooked for promotions and bonuses due to a lack of visibility at work. It could also reflect a preference for non-monetary benefits, such as flexibility and a shortened commute.”

WFH is the reason ticky-tacky suburban boxes and hick houses few wanted two years ago are sexed-up and worth millions.

When WFH ends, so will that.

About the picture:  “I attach a photo of my nephew-dog, Solo, the galactic adventurer and pomsky who turned out to be more husky than pomeranian (oops),” says Jason in Kelowna. “As shown in the photo, he is an excitable, extroverted, adventurous fluff ball. I think my mom would be thrilled to see a picture of her grandog on this site. Your advice has been extremely helpful – I used it to start investing at the age of 20 and now, 6 years later, my soon-to-be-wife and I have a $100k net worth in balanced portfolios, a beautiful top-floor rental apartment ($1350/mth), and a healthy distrust of the housing market. Thank you.”

169 comments ↓

#1 David Prokop on 04.29.21 at 1:40 pm

Friend of mine succumbed to FOMO and bought a rental, 2 bedroom stackhouse condo in Mississauga for $760k.
New development, mostly scooped up by ‘investors’ since there was at least a dozen units for rent, but all went quite fast.
Friend put down 20%, took 600k mortgage, rented it for $2500 a month plus utilities. Renters..young couple, $60k in student debt, 4 maxed out credit cards with minimum payment only and they were upgrading from 1 to 2 bedroom (they put down 6 months of rent to pass the credit screening) Boy…cost of living is really bloody expensive here, almost 3k for 2 bedrooms, I really don’t know how people do it…

#2 alexinvestor on 04.29.21 at 2:03 pm

If one can make it work, probably the best move would be to flip a suburban MacMansion into a house/townhouse in Toronto proper.

#3 Rainman on 04.29.21 at 2:09 pm

There will be a shift for some to get back to the office, but many companies have benefitted from people working from home which I believe is here to stay. I work for a large telco in RE and the push is to have 90% of our people WFH. The pandemic helped speed this process up.

#4 tbone on 04.29.21 at 2:12 pm

Joe has it right , same thing happening at the company i worked for. Called the sales guys back into the office after wfh for 2 years so they could mentor the young guys.
Then covid hit and it didnt materialize but it will this year.
If i hadnt already quit i would of, as soon as i had to go back in.

#5 Joe Schmoe on 04.29.21 at 2:13 pm

WFH will end.

I work for a sizeable company in Canada…if WFH push continues from administrative employees the outsource opportunity is on the table.

It’s a slippery slope.

#6 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 2:16 pm

The real estate price correction will be a thing to behold….

#7 J on 04.29.21 at 2:18 pm

I can see some companies allowing a small % of employee time allocated to WFH, but employers will require the rest of the time onsite. It’s simply bad for business otherwise.

Will there be a rush to move back to larger centres over the next two years? Should be interesting to watch.

Meanwhile, Canadian realtor shenanigans continue. I’ve lived in Australia, and although their system is by no means perfect, at least they have more transparency when transacting real estate.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/hamilton-real-estate-broken-rules-1.5996591

#8 Immigrant man on 04.29.21 at 2:23 pm

Amazing confidence on those people to think that WFH will last forever. I am just happy that my employer seems comfortable to let me do WFH once in a while (once we are out of lockdown). Super-convenient if you’ve got a doctors appointment or whatnot. Saves one the drive and it’s actually less time wasted for the employer. That’s the silver lining of this pandemic. Maybe the only one.

#9 Shamus on 04.29.21 at 2:24 pm

WFH is here to stay…probably in a 60/40 capacity (which could go either way) and a whole bunch of resistance from old white guys/systems that don’t like change.

Remember back in the 80’s when it was ‘illegal’ to wear a blue collard dress shirt with a suit in an office setting?

Racist, ageist. – Garth

#10 VGRO and chill on 04.29.21 at 2:24 pm

Back in March, management asked everyone to work from home “who was able to do so.” I took my computer home, and interacting with our company server remotely was painfully slow. So I ended up working a grand total of 0 days from home.

A couple months later, everyone returned to the office except for a few stragglers who didn’t feel comfortable returning.

Management said initially WFH seemed to cause a boost in productivity. With fewer distractions (office chatter, printers whirring, etc), and no hard line between work and home life, people seemed to be working hard. Perhaps to prove it was able to continue.

Then management got concerned about the long term effects of it. I think we all know viscerally that face time is invaluable. It’s a fundamental part of the human experience, and helps forge the bonds that business, and our entire society is built upon. Without it, we start to feel anxious, disconnected, forgotten, and of low worth. My boss simply smiling (with his eyes, avec mask) and saying “good morning,” along with some pointless pleasant banter, is enough to elevate my mood for the day, maybe even the week. Something that small and simple makes you feel good about yourself, like you are valued, and not just another cog in the machine.

#11 hwy_str on 04.29.21 at 2:24 pm

I can totally confirm that. I work for a FAANG company with thousands employees in the Big Smoke and the Rain City. Everyone is expected back to the office once lockdowns are over. Permanent WFH is not even an option.

#12 E on 04.29.21 at 2:24 pm

A lot more annoying buying pants now that they’ve closed the clothing store and clothing aisles. Good thing I stocked up.

#13 Tudval on 04.29.21 at 2:29 pm

Well, they’re going to be on the hook for the ‘vacation home’ they thought was permanent. They’ll rent a condo in downtown Toronto and hope for 4th wave. Dumb, but not the end of the world. Ah, they’ll also be mad at the condo investors who bought with both hands and didn’t let prices downtown crash.

#14 Coronation Street on 04.29.21 at 2:32 pm

…Third (and final) Wave of Covid….

I’m calling it Garth. Forth wave coming up – end of Sept.

You see, we’re vaxing now, and in 6 months world will need an immunity refresh. There will be vax shortages again. We’ll maybe get the J&J and AZ that may or may not work against the variants we’ll see in 5 months. While other countries get the good stuff form P and M.

Immunity from these shots given in March and April will wear off by then and new shots will once again be delayed, take time to administer, etc. etc.

Get ready for the FOURTH, and even FIFTH! Watch.

If anyone can screw this up, it is our leaders. Look at the track record to date? I mean…400B spent…and what have we got? What did we buy with that money?

1st and 2nd WAVES.

Buy 2 GET 1 FREE!

Good news? 4th WAVE will be 1/2 price!

#15 Lumber on 04.29.21 at 2:32 pm

I’m not so sure… What with the latest triple mutation B.1618 out of West Bengal, new lexicon like ‘major immune escape variant’ and ‘evades antibodies’ might soon become common. If India goes parabolic (counts reported are more likely to be the capacity of data collection rather than true or accurate), so too most likely will go it’s vaccine industry and 87% of production supply. I’m not county my chickens just yet….

#16 Flounder on 04.29.21 at 2:33 pm

Let’s not forget the speculation driving up real estate. Leveraging equity in gta to buy hic town houses to flip has become a real big thing. What this means is that if their equity shrinks, there’s now 2 properties at risk of default. Meanwhile us renters are losing our homes, rents are increasing, and this investing instead of buying as you profess is no longer viable when inflation is starting to eat away gains. What advise to you give on rent versus owning now Garth?

#17 45north on 04.29.21 at 2:42 pm

Finally, here’s news that should surprise nobody: WFH people are willfully sacrificing their careers, trading sweat pants and dodgy personal hygiene for advancement. The British Office for National Statistics finds remote workers are less likely to be promoted or receive a bonus. This “could reflect biases in the labor market, with people who worked mainly from home being overlooked for promotions and bonuses due to a lack of visibility at work. It could also reflect a preference for non-monetary benefits, such as flexibility and a shortened commute.”

If you’re working from home you’re not going to see the new technology. You complete your assignments using the old technology – after all you’re good at it. If you’re in the office you see things you’re not going to see at home. At Agriculture Canada, I learned Digital’s VAX technology. Then we moved into satellite image analysis. Because I was in the office, they asked me to buy the equipment. Performance of the unix systems was twice that of the VAX systems. At least twice. I learned unix. A year later all our work was on unix. A year after that I cancelled all our VAX accounts.

#18 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 2:45 pm

Self-actualization.

Social needs.

We herd.

There will be loners.

———————

Predictable outcome.

Time immemorial.

#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 3:00 pm

@#9 Shameless
“Remember back in the 80’s when it was ‘illegal’ to wear a blue collard dress shirt with a suit in an office setting?”

++++

Did you wear a collard green collared shirt while at work?

#20 Leftover on 04.29.21 at 3:05 pm

As a part-time angel investor and supporter of the local tech accelerator community, I was involved in the creation of a shared workspace environment for early stage start-ups. You know, bright kids with good ideas, no cash, and a desire to exchange knowledge and resources with kindred spirits.

Great success. Common workspace became a hotbed for growth, some have gone full cycle to IPO and, even if individuals didn’t get traction for their own idea, they made connections and are set for life with purposeful work.

You’d think these folks would be the woke, WFH idealists that currently dominate the airwaves (is that still a word?).

Anyway, no. While the common office space was initially de-populated, things are getting back to normal and the smart motivated people that occupy it couldn’t wait to get back. They’re doing it on their own initiative. Some may create their own hybrid, that’s up to them, they’ll do what it takes to be successful.

Makes you wonder what actually motivates the WFH brigade. It obviously isn’t a desire to succeed.

#21 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 04.29.21 at 3:06 pm

I think it is all good karma. The former renters who bought into the bunnies will now have to rent out these places so they can move back closer to work; they will be able to enjoy being a landlord and see the things from that opposite perspective…I am sure quite eye opening it will be.
Now of course if you bought in Kelowna or Sechelt no biggie as you can AirBnB’it easily during the spring an summer and rent it out quite easily ,however if you chose say Hope or Agassiz or whatever the On equivalent is there will be though times again.
Many people forgot that RE is all about Location,location,location.

#22 SunShowers on 04.29.21 at 3:07 pm

“life-work-balance nonsense”

Really? Nonsense, huh?

Well Garth, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but given the choice, almost everyone will choose “life” over “work.” I don’t care how many anecdotal cases you point out of people who “love their jobs”, the fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of people on the planet from the beginning of the industrial revolution until today “hate Mondays”, and I think you know the reason.

Let’s face it, the only reason most people “agree” to devote literally half (or more) of their waking hours to doing something they don’t want to do is because they live under the yoke of an economic system where the penalty for not doing so is starvation and homelessness.

In the 1930s, Keynes predicted that because of automation, we’d have a 15 hour work week by now. I think we would indeed have it, if the benefits of automation during that time were socialized instead of privatized. Centuries ago, working days used to be 16 hours, then, as technology went forward and productivity increased, it went down to 12, then 9, and finally 8. But that was over 100 years ago, and we’ve been stalled ever since. So, what gives? Has nothing changed in the last 100 years? No increases in automation, productivity or profitability? Baloney.

The way I see it, people asking for more “life” in their work-life balance aren’t being unreasonable, they’re simply asking for what they are owed.

They should ask significantly more forcefully, in my opinion.

Just get back to work. Sheesh. Such bleating. – Garth

#23 JacqueShellacque on 04.29.21 at 3:09 pm

Something that was initially supposed to last only 2 weeks, but is worse today over a year later than it’s ever been, isn’t almost over.

It’s impossible to generalize over WFH, data can’t be aggregated like that over so many different industries to make any meaningful prediction. Some will be changed forever, some will go right back to the old ways as soon as they can. Like Mao supposedly when asked about the impact of the French Revolution saying it’s too early to say.

What’ll really be interesting in the years (yes, years) to come are what things are gone forever, and what new things will come along in the wake of the virus. Some of these will be good, but I suspect for many maybe even most people they’ll perceive their lives on say Jan 1, 2024 as being worse than on Jan 1, 2020. For some people, much worse.

#24 Armpit on 04.29.21 at 3:12 pm

Two comments –

There will be some WFH, some CTW ( Commuting to Work,) and then… wait for it… Working while Commuting (WWC).

Yes Folks… in time, after this Reset (as in the 80’s), We will have Self driving electric cars outnumbering the Petrol Fueled hands on the wheel kind.

These Vehicles will second as an Office, equipped with all the amenities needed, with a water cooler and mini keurig , allowing you to catch up with the latest gossip while interact with co-workers with zoom meetings during your 100km commute. Just in time for your lunch break. But It’s okay… you have “worked” 4 hours. Three hours later, you’re back on the road – this time with your Spouse/Friend-Friend/Mistress .. until you arrive home.

Folks… this is not a pipe dream.

Second Comment –
“everybody who moved to Armpit must ask: is this the new normal”

Hey,
don’t look at me… I didn’t create this Mess!!!! But you’re welcome to the party!!

#25 ogdoad on 04.29.21 at 3:13 pm

Offices…

Hack the system kiddoes…invest while you’re young (if you can) otherwise, for 30+/- years, be subject to, probably, the worst form of earning a paycheck in the 1st world -And then DIE!!!!!!…about as soul sucking as commuting…

Hugs!

Og

#26 TurnerNation on 04.29.21 at 3:16 pm

Point of order. Clothing is a NON Essential good for purchase in most of the provinces.
It is irrisponsible of this weblog to promote unhealthy buying choices, this is a matter of pubic health, you know!! ;-)

………

Economic Lockdowns not going away in Kanada.
They found…Covid 21!!
Endless resetting. PS stop testing healthy people using a amped test.
Chop chop get tested – we need those numbers to keep the economy shut down (and health restored).

https://globalnews.ca/news/7784039/ns-covid-tests-skyrocket/
Dr. Barrett is once again stressing the importance of getting tested in order to get ahead of the virus.
“I’ve taken to calling it instead of COVID-19, COVID-21,” said Dr. Barrett. “(The variants) move faster, they move harder and in younger people. A lot of people don’t know where they’ve gotten this virus, so I hope people see the difference.”

….because…it’s based on junk science…these are ECONOMIC lockdowns.

The (Three Month) Dutch Curfew Had No Effect on Hospitalisations (nu.nl)
Kuipers: Curfew has had no effect on hospital admissions
April 28, 2021 11:21 PM
https://www.nu.nl/coronavirus/6130398/kuipers-avondklok-heeft-geen-effect-gehad-op-ziekenhuisopnames.html?redirect=1

——
Kanada and Australia seems to be test zones for this NWO madness. North Korea is laughing at us now.

.Australia plugs NZ travel bubble loophole that gave residents ‘escape route’ to other countries(straitstimes.com)

#27 Phil on 04.29.21 at 3:19 pm

#21 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 04.29.21 at 3:06 pm

I think it is all good karma. The former renters who bought into the bunnies
————————————
Dogs, cats and now rabbits?

#28 TheDood on 04.29.21 at 3:23 pm

I don’t think WFH is here to stay forever, but anyone who thinks its going to end anytime soon (say, before mid-2022), should consider a few things.

A vaccine in your arm does not prevent the spread of COVID, it only lowers the risk of a person getting really sick if they do contract the virus. The speed at which Canadians are receiving the vaccine is quite pathetic, not alot we can do there. I would guess majority might have it in their arms by end of the year, but maybe not. We’re importing the vaccines so we’re at the mercy of exporters and its out of our control. There is no way we should assume we’re going to continue to receive vaccine at regular intervals going forward. A 4th wave could be on the horizon, we just don’t know at this point. If the exporters experience a 4th wave, you think they wouldn’t stop exporting? Guess again. JT telling the masses he’s secured vaccines for everyone in Canada by such and such a date is useless drivel that could go sideways at any minute.

Then there’s the question of how effective the current vaccines are against the variants. If they work, great. But if they don’t, then what? It’s back to the drawing board for the vaccine makers isn’t it, which means WFH is in play longer.

Complicating all of this is what’s happening in poorer countries like India and Brazil, where the virus is running rampant and mutating. Who’s to say a more transmissible and deadly variant won’t come out as a result. It might, which could put the vaccine makers back at square one AGAIN. And with our leadership’s lackadaisical approach to protecting Canadians, you can bet the farm that flight bans will be lifted long before its safe to do so, which means the WFH phenom is extended even further.

My guess? There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we all see it, but its a long tunnel. We’re in this for another 2-3 years at least.

#29 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 3:24 pm

A Commenter yesterday wondered why the variants are given country names but not Covid-19. Fair enough question.

Went on Wikipedia’s List of Epidemics page to see if a country name was prevalent in epidemic naming conventions and:

1. ASIDE – Covid-19 now #9 of worst epidemics in human history, in just over 1 year and…it’s not done with us yet (well, its spawn isn’t). SOME FLU this turned out to be. Like when was the last Cdn flu season that had 1 MILLION cases in a year?

2. The other Top 8 incl. duration were:

1. Black Death, 1346–1353
2. Spanish flu, 1918–1920
3. Plague of Justinian, 541–549
4. HIV/AIDS, 1981–present
5. Third plague pandemic, 1855–1960
6. Cocoliztli Epidemic, 1545–1548 (Cocoliztli = pestilence in the Nahuatl language)
7. Antonine Plague, 165–180 (possibly up to 190)
8. 1520 Mexico smallpox epidemic, 1519–1520

Thus naming conventions:

Country + bug = 2
Number + bug = 1
Guy Names = 2
Color & Consequence (I like Jane Austen) = 1
Weird Medical Acronyms = 1
Bug name in different language = 1

Country names in only 25% of 8 worst epidemics in human history (+ bug).

So COVID-19 a hybrid naming convention = Weird Medical Acronyms + Number.

———————

If you look at the Top 8 epidemic durations,

#14 Coronation Street

may have a point if history repeats and Covid-19’s Spawn/Love Children continue to show no signs of relenting.

In fact some of them have already figured out how to bypass a previously Covid-19 infected immune system or bypass one that’s been vax’d.

When oh when will the robust lady sing?

#30 Dropping the Hammer on 04.29.21 at 3:27 pm

We are dropping the hammer on staff at the end of the summer as technically the vaccine rollout will be complete.

We will allow a maximum of two days a week at home, but don’t think you can have set days off to schedule your kids hockey practice, Fridays off so you can have a super 3 day weekend, or that all staff get this flexibility. And if we need you, you better come in when you ask regardless of your day off. And it will be a six month trial, as we know employers have been softer on their employees during the pandemic and unsure whether productivity levels will rise again.
Also this mixed office/WFH model is there because no one wants to be the callous employer that brings everyone back first. But, we all know how the trial period will end :)

We polled some of our partners and already the stories are arising of people who moved away and are crying that they should still be able to work from home. People sold houses, gave up apartments, and moved families for ‘cheaper housing’ and a better lifestyle in the burbs and stix.

There is going to be some serious buyer’s remorse as people get to ‘enjoy’ their long commutes for a least 3 days a week while justifying their million dollar purchase in the burbs and stix without any real amenities or good schools.

The majority of them will still rationalize that they made a smart lifestyle choice, but the reality is that the same people had no interest in the stix and burbs before the pandemic and mocked those that lived there. There is a reason whey people live in the core and others live in the stix – and it’s about lifestyle and not the price of a house.

Mind you, Best Buy with their 1400 employees in BC will be downsizing into smaller regional officers closer to where their workers are in the burbs.

So it will likely be a mixed bag going forward – but one thing is certain – there will not be 5 million Canadians working from home in a year from now!

#31 Wuhan we got y'all in check on 04.29.21 at 3:27 pm

if your employer tells you that you can continue to work from home chances are you are not that important and your job is going to eventually be done by someone in India. Where I work the rewards go to those who show up and have a seat at the table.

#32 Dave on 04.29.21 at 3:30 pm

It’s funny how you don’t mention that what’s driving the price increase is trade up buyers and the offhsore money. These are reported as averages so when someone buys a 4 million dollar home in Point Grey it lifts the averages. First time buyers are buying $700K homes.

#33 Guelph Guru on 04.29.21 at 3:32 pm

Friend bit the bullet and purchased a 650k condo in a bidding war. Expectation is that they will make 65k on their investment every year while staying for free. A modest 10%. Wished them luck.
Me thinks, office will open in Sept. Getting ready for a nice summer and looking fwd to go to work and talk to real people.

#34 Dan in Nanaimo on 04.29.21 at 3:33 pm

For most people, WFH is definitely dinosaur status going forward.

People are social and Business is people.

If you can afford the living space in “the burbs” and maintain business ties and cash flows generated from larger population bases, then you’re ahead of the game. It’s always the same old story…

#35 Dave on 04.29.21 at 3:34 pm

Twitter has allowed their entire staff to work from home indefinitely. Shopify’s staff works from home. Besides, who wants the shallow goal of climbing the ladder just so you can work longer hours and get a bit more pay. Hmmm what will it be, a crappy 700 sqr foot condo in TO or a 2000 sqr foot house a hour away?

#36 Stone on 04.29.21 at 3:36 pm

#12 E on 04.29.21 at 2:24 pm
A lot more annoying buying pants now that they’ve closed the clothing store and clothing aisles. Good thing I stocked up.

———

Here’s a very important question though. When the time comes, will they actually fit?

#37 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 3:37 pm

#26 TurnerNation

“Dr. Barrett. “(The variants) move faster, they move harder and in younger people…”

No Dung Sherlock.

So I’ve been posting charts, numbers, updates for the past what, at least a MONTH if not longer saying that (and more that you don’t get on TV ’cause they can’t do basic Math & have ADD), but oh no you have to wait for Dr. Barrett for your receiving of The 10 Commandments + Fiery Bush moment.

If there were a spark plug handy I’d relieve myself on it.

#38 Dave on 04.29.21 at 3:39 pm

How much can companies save by reducing their leasing costs? Cleaning costs? Maintenance Costs? Security Costs? Instead of renting 8 floors of expensive real estate having people work from home could save them lots of money.

#39 The West on 04.29.21 at 3:41 pm

I am an agent. I don’t really have an “office” (my house since 2014) or “branch” to work from so this past 412 days has only been a blip for me. I have noticed there is a lot of push back from my age category on the “they’re making us go back to the office” – and they’re not happy about it!

Here’s the thing though: what WILL happen if the kids don’t want to go back to their offices to nurture career advancement and growth – they will be outsourced. One of the companies I contract to is already having this discussion. They paid “Joe” in the city $85,000 a year and now find out they didn’t really need him at the office – he hasn’t been there in true spirit for over a year now. Can they outsource his position to a remote place in the world (even offshore it, perhaps) for less (salary, benefits and overhead)?? As the feds begin to unwind the direct government aid to big business to “keep people employed” watch for these trends to accelerate.

As I’ve said before, this is going to be another kick in the teeth for the entitled, white shoed office jockeys who thought they lived in their parents’ world. Technology only benefits those who are the helm of it. Tech is the personification of anti-human autocracy. Perhaps our Dear Leaders see this writing on the wall and this is why “UBI” is being added to our Lexicon.

It is in our nature to hang on to optimism but, I’m not sure that is grounded moving into the Brave New World. Your assessment of a “big boom” coming when the kennel doors open is accurate however, artificial at best. Who’s paying the bill? Governments, banks and Mom and Dad do not have an infinite amount of money. There may be a “party” this summer but there is going to be crippling stagflation as a consequence of this passed year. It’s already setting in.

In Alberta we float between $1.24 / $1.35 a liter (depending on where you are). Oh yes, you greenies – “save the world” LOL

“If you bought it, a truck brought it” Do some math and tell me “it’s all in my head”. We are a long ways (if it even happens) from recovering from what COVID did to our economy.

PS: What a beautiful dog! That picture is worth a frame in a nice living room!

#40 SunShowers on 04.29.21 at 3:41 pm

“Just get back to work. Sheesh. Such bleating. – Garth”

I imagine foremen said the same thing to the 11 year old boys working 12 hour shifts in their coal mines 100+ years ago.

How is it that we can progress from that ghastly history to what we have now, and somehow think that we’re done? That we’ve done all that we can?

There’s a heartbreaking and illogical myopia amongst conservatives that the progress we’ve made up until now should be celebrated, but any FURTHER progress is unnecessary and should be stymied, as if we got things perfectly right ~100 years ago, and that the socioeconomic system that (ostensibly) worked at that time will continue to work for all eternity from thence.

Well I don’t buy it. Better things are possible.

#41 Shamus on 04.29.21 at 3:44 pm

DELETED

#42 Rook on 04.29.21 at 3:50 pm

Did you really just drop a Malvina Reynolds quote on us?

#43 Shortymac on 04.29.21 at 3:57 pm

I used to be anti-WFH before this pandemic, but now I’ve completely embraced it. I’m way more productive as I don’t have to deal with a daily commute and I am in a much more comfortable desk setup situation.

I sat in front of my PC 90% of my time anyway using e-mail and teleconferences to communicate and collaborate while in the office, so there isn’t much of a difference.

However, I wouldn’t move super far away from the office unless the company committed to 100% WFH future. I suspect most companies would want you in 1 to 3 days a week.

#44 Brian Ripley on 04.29.21 at 4:00 pm

On my monthly total sales and inventory data chart: http://www.chpc.biz/sales-listings.html I have the 10 year changes (March 2011/March 2021):

SALES
Vancouver +40%
Calgary +24%
Edmonton +73%
Toronto +69%
Ottawa +83%
Montreal +22%

INVENTORY
Vancouver -30%
Calgary -46%
Edmonton +16%
Toronto -31%
Ottawa -76%
Montreal -54%

The collapse of inventory and super low mortgage rates and a global pandemic fueled the exodus out of dense urban areas…yes.

Perhaps this is a once in a generation brew of events.

But I think work from home people are going to think twice about returning to office tower environments, crowded underfunded schools, vehicle congestion, million dollar bottom-end houses and crappy condos.

Sacrificing oneself to the almighty dollar is a choice that many may want to withdraw from in exchange for a less stressful lifestyle.

#45 James on 04.29.21 at 4:04 pm

#5 Joe Schmoe on 04.29.21 at 2:13 pm

WFH will end.

I work for a sizeable company in Canada…if WFH push continues from administrative employees the outsource opportunity is on the table.

It’s a slippery slope.
___________________________________________
Outsourcing is not really a good team maker for certain companies IMHO. I have been working from home for 6 months now other than a few trips to the main office for really important conferences. It is not as conducive to mentoring our younger staff and grooming them to take over higher responsibilities. Covid has hit home for me with the loss of my mother to it at the end of last year. It sort of took the wind out of my sail. I for one will be glad when this pandemic ends.

#46 Coronation Street on 04.29.21 at 4:05 pm

#29 Dolce Vita

may have a point if history repeats and Covid-19’s Spawn/Love Children continue to show no signs of relenting.

In fact some of them have already figured out how to bypass a previously Covid-19 infected immune system or bypass one that’s been vax’d.

When oh when will the robust lady sing?

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

In all seriousness, how amazing is nature?

Look at this little virus? Invisible for all accounts and purposes. Yet it has humanity shaking in its boots.

I think only a comedian can bring perspective on this whole thing. And who better than George Carlin (RIP) in this classic rant on Environment and Nature…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53h4

#47 NOSTRADAMUS on 04.29.21 at 4:06 pm

GHOST BANKRUPTCIES.
Have so far been limited by hundred of billions in support measures to keep both households and zombie companies alive, artificially depressing the true failure numbers. The specter of “Ghost Bankruptcies” is hanging over Canada with thousands under serious threat when the Covid-19 lifelines are ended. When they sink under the debt waves, the ripple effect will leave the economy with permanent scars from the pandemic. Reported bankruptcies may remain ghosts for now, but longer term economic scaring may be waiting just around the corner. Movie “ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD”. Fletcher Chase, ” I mean what would it take for you to feel secure? J. Paul Getty, More.

#48 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 4:07 pm

@#37 Dolce
“If there were a spark plug handy I’d relieve myself on it.”

++++

In this Tesla Car world?

Just check the ditch before relieving yourself.

https://www.electriciantalk.com/threads/wash-man-electrocuted-by-urinating-on-power-line.12104/

#49 Pylot Project on 04.29.21 at 4:08 pm

I have been commuting to the office every single day during COVID. When and if WFH ends I will be disappointed. I’ve truly enjoyed the near empty SkyTrain, and the solo bus rides during “rush hour”.

#50 VladTor on 04.29.21 at 4:08 pm

Main problem is not WFH by itself. The matter is that very small amount of people can work without supervising. I mean direct supervising – not online. No self-discipline! As result WFH has very bad productivity.

Second, what will happens (I mention about this in my previous posts) – VWFH (virus WFH) helped companies to test which kind of jobs will be effectively moved from general office and will be moved as outsource jobs in countries with chip labor – not only to India or Asia, also Russia, Ukraine and East Europe.

#51 Adam Smith on 04.29.21 at 4:08 pm

I may have flinched and bought near the peak (we *actually* did need the space), but no one can accuse me of thinking this would last forever.

It’s funny, WFM fever has meant the places in Langford, Colwood and everywhere else on the wrong side of the daily traffic jam have been going for roughly the same prices as the places near downtown. They do tend to be newer but screw that, traffic will resume, the geological chokepoints aren’t going anywhere, and I am not fighting that every day.

A seven minute bus ride or 10 minute bike ride to work is worth having slightly older countertops.

#52 Mithan on 04.29.21 at 4:12 pm

I am employed at a Canadian Telecom. I have been working from home since March of last year and expect this to continue for the next 2-4 months.

Being an IT person, I am able to do 100% of my job from Home, all of the time, in my current position at least. I put about 4 weeks into the office in the last 14 months though, “just cause”.

When Covid is over, our company plans to allow continued work from home, but NOT at a 100% rate. It will be at most, a 50/50 thing, with some people in certain positions maybe pushing it to 75/25.

Permanent work from home is actually bad for the company.

Funny enough, the majority of people appear to prefer the office in my department.

#53 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 4:13 pm

Garth, I think 2021 is going to be a LONG year notwithstanding WFH, I hate RE, a Gov that actually makes money grow on trees, etc.

I think Health Canada is sick and tired of it all like everyone else on Planet Earth. On their very excellent “COVID-19 daily epidemiology update” page they have not made an update since Apr 23. Hopefully by tomorrow they will.

Draw your own conclusions, for the record, the weeks leading up to Apr 23:

The Young —> Paleos, Neolithics. Numbers & Chart Apr 16-23

https://i.imgur.com/JgaE8F7.png
https://i.imgur.com/Uzc7Wsz.png

Hospitalizations Apr 9-16 vs. Apr 16-23

https://i.imgur.com/oCQiiTM.png

ICU Apr 9-16 vs. Apr 16-23

https://i.imgur.com/1PFDfKz.png

Only conclusion, of many a person can make, is that VAX Canada having NO effect so far.

Compare Hospitalization & ICU #’s for the Paleo, Neolithics either worse or no change at all.

The kids…my oh my.

——————-

Start singing Robust Lady, like now.

Going to be a LONG year Garth* for a lot of reasons. Keep Blogging good advice.

PS:

Garth, I love your Premier. $1000 fines or so for partiers. They post citations on Social Media like its some joke. He doubles the fines.

My kinda guy. I was hoping they would repost to see what he would do.

#54 Squire on 04.29.21 at 4:13 pm

DELETED

#55 Coronation Street on 04.29.21 at 4:14 pm

#29 Dolce Vita

Oh that George Carlin…he’s so timeless…

“So the plastic planet earth wanted is here now, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that’s really started already, don’t you?

I mean to be fair, the planet probably sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. The planet will probably defend itself in a manner of a large organism. The planet will probably think of something.

What would you do if you were the planet trying to defend yourself against this pesky troublesome species.

Viruses! Viruses might be good! The seem vulnerable to viruses. Viruses are tricky. Always mutating and forming new strains whenever vaccines are developed.”

#56 Peter pickles on 04.29.21 at 4:19 pm

Wondering what these people who have moved and are wfh will do if they want to make lateral moves or are laid off.

Local options will be severely limited compared to Toronto and competing against a country wide pool of candidates for a wfh positions will be grim. At the same time they are gleefully opening up their jobs to be outsourced.

Don’t think this is going to end well.

#57 Rando1 on 04.29.21 at 4:24 pm

I think some people forget that not all office workers have colleagues in the same physical office or province or country.

I work with global teams and it has been a godsend to be able to WFH. Not more schlepping into the office for 6:00-9:00 am calls with Europe or staying late into the evening to talk with people in APAC – because “it’s more professional” looking. A zoom background covers all sins.

WFH has encouraged my colleges to split shift or adapt as needed to get work done and gotten them off the “Sorry, can’t meet, I’ll get stuck in traffic” mindset. That should be the kind of thing that is rewarded.

Will a lot of us go back to the office? Sure, face time is a good thing. But I would hope that employers think hard about what’s possible when more flexibility is provided to their workforce.

#58 Gen Z on 04.29.21 at 4:25 pm

Canada will make it illegal for Google employees to be forced to work at the office.

#59 Inequity on 04.29.21 at 4:26 pm

#22 SunShowers

Yes, most will choose “life” over “work”…. but which one pays your mortgage? Good for you if you have the ability to choose.

#60 BillinBC on 04.29.21 at 4:29 pm

#26 TurnerNation

“So I’ve been posting charts, numbers, updates for the past what, at least a MONTH if not longer saying that (and more that you don’t get on TV ’cause they can’t do basic Math & have ADD), but oh no you have to wait for Dr. Barrett for your receiving of The 10 Commandments + Fiery Bush moment.”
——————————————————————Whatever would we do without you?

#61 Earlybird on 04.29.21 at 4:35 pm

#22 Sunshower
Great comment!!
Work/life balance is extremely important…we would
have better health…better environment…less stress…less mental health issues etc…
Isnt that why we have worked so hard and long to achieve?
Wasn’t that the point?
Automate the crap out of everything and evolve already…

#62 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 4:38 pm

As of today on Twitter and Indian MSM, KUDOS to these countries for sending life saving equipment and supplies to poor India:

USA*
UK
France
Italy
Germany, 1st supplies delivered by Lufthansa, made NDTV news today
Austria
Finland
Ireland
Belgium
Romania
Luxembourg
Portugal
Sweden
Russia

Canada: $10M go buy stuff.

I was beginning to think the wealthy nations didn’t give a damn about India and just themselves.

Redemption. So very good to see.

Ursula says best:

https://twitter.com/vonderleyen/status/1387703638596927489

*Hoping they pony up and send India 10M AZ doses + 50M WIP doses of AZ. Right now, India’s SII, the World’s Largest VAX Mfr, cannot meet their own country VAX demand for at least 3 weeks to come. Staggering.

———————

‘Gonna be a long year Garth.

#63 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 4:39 pm

#147 Wrk.dover on 04.29.21 at 1:45 pm
#128 IHCTD9 on 04.29.21 at 9:12 am
A few years we ran into overdraft almost every month.

______________________________

Never ran OD here but, Dog I was good at kiting cheques!

Some over a week, never failed….
————–
I remember guys like you.
In the 80s I worked for a Credit Union when we started the have a lot of kiters.
We started to track them and closed their accounts.
What is/was kiting cheques?
In the times before computers, many bank customers took advantage of the fact that it took a few days for personal cheques to clear.
So, they open a few account at different banks/credit unions, and would only keep the minimum required in the accounts.
Then they would would write a cheque against bank x, and deposit it to bank y.
Then they would write a cheque against bank y, and deposit it to bank x, and so on, and so on.
This all stopped when cheques started to clear overnight.

#64 Another Deckchair on 04.29.21 at 4:44 pm

@35 Dave:

“Shopify’s staff works from home.”

I’ve been watching the announcements about what’s going on at Shopify at the top levels.

Lots of changes at the top; no plebs in the offices, going for world domination of their niche; easy peasy to move the development/operations to other locales.

WFH? You then have no idea what the gossip around the kitchen area is. (as bright sparks here have already stated)

Anybody who thinks different is not thinking, or has never had a clue how “the office” really works. (I’ve worked in many in a few places around the world; all the same once you get to be good at the local language) (and, all in high-tech)

#65 Adam Smith on 04.29.21 at 4:46 pm

#54 Coronation Street on 04.29.21 at 4:14 pm

What does your body do when it’s fighting off invaders? Run a fever…

#66 S.Bby on 04.29.21 at 4:47 pm

Why would Google not want to continue saving one Billion dollars a year on WFH?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-28/google-is-saving-over-1-billion-a-year-by-working-from-home

#67 Pete on 04.29.21 at 4:50 pm

Coworker (close to retirement) came to office every workday. His drive is over 1 hour each way. 80% of the other office staff (mostly below 35 years of age) worked from home. Older coworker asked boss if he was planning to give him a raise because he’s spending money on gas while others don’t have to. OR reduce WFH groups pay. Boss said he can do better. By moving WFH groups jobs to India.

#68 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 4:52 pm

#54 Coronation Street

THAT is my favorite Carlin monologue!

When I first saw it, I just could not stop laughing.

Wasn’t he prescient?

Covid’s Spawn/Love Children figuring out how to elude our immune systems whether from a prior infection or a VAX.

VAX people say efficacy “may” be lower but there should be NO deaths.

Medical people last year kept telling us that Covid-19 is a VERY SLOW mutating virus. THAT went well now didn’t it?

Hope they haven’t SNAFU’d the no death part when vax’d this time around.

————————–

Hope. Last to die.

If Carlin’s correct, it may be us instead.

#69 Don Guillermo on 04.29.21 at 4:53 pm

#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 3:00 pm
@#9 Shameless
“Remember back in the 80’s when it was ‘illegal’ to wear a blue collard dress shirt with a suit in an office setting?”

++++

Did you wear a collard green collared shirt while at work?#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 3:00 pm
@#9 Shameless
“Remember back in the 80’s when it was ‘illegal’ to wear a blue collard dress shirt with a suit in an office setting?”

++++

Did you wear a collard green collared shirt while at work?
****************************************
In 1988 I went for an interview with Partec Lavalin in downtown Calgary 909 5th Ave SW (later SNC Lavalin). A senior Civil Engineer/friend from New Brunswick mentored me on what to wear. Navy blue sports coat, crisp white shirt, red tie, grey slacks and black shoes. I looked like every other guy in the building. I got my first office job and was thrilled. I could never thank him enough. Changed my life.

#70 T on 04.29.21 at 4:53 pm

Public servants which make up the largest number of workers(1.8 million in Ontario alone)have been told not to expect to return in 2021.The US may be getting off the couch in July but not Canada.Who knows many in the public sector may continue to work from home–it would be no big shock to me.

#71 S.Bby on 04.29.21 at 4:53 pm

WFH is here to stay:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/11/one-year-into-covid-working-from-home-is-here-to-stay.html

It’s time that companies join the 21st century. We have technology now.

#72 Tony on 04.29.21 at 4:55 pm

I’ll gladly take a pay cut to WFH all of the time. I already WFH periodically but all of the time has made me even richer than I was before and given me sooooo much more time. There is a reason to be in the office due to culture but I work at a technology company and we will be hybrid going forward. I’ve been offered a promotion but turned it down. Life over work!!!

#73 Ok, Doomer on 04.29.21 at 4:57 pm

Bill Maher recently commented that the 18 – 35 consumer demographic is the most sought after for one reason: They’re the most gullible.

Just look at what our education system produces these days:

#9 Shamus on 04.29.21 at 2:24 pm
WFH is here to stay…probably in a 60/40 capacity (which could go either way) and a whole bunch of resistance from old white guys/systems that don’t like change.

The saddest part is that people like Shamus can’t understand that they’re the ones breathing life into systemic racism. It was breathing it’s death rattle until cynical and ruthless activists and politicians realized that it was a path to power and started CPR. Now we’re told that it’s everywhere, and that people like Shamus can read your mind and tell your most inner thoughts and end your career and you should be thankful to them.

Sounds like the Chinese Cultural Revolution to me. And that ended so well…

#74 PC Load Letter on 04.29.21 at 5:00 pm

WFH is basically over at our office already, outside of a few stragglers. A surprising number requested to come back to the office early.

#75 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 5:01 pm

#59 BillinBC

…and?

Only reason I do it is to find out on my own when the damn pandemic is nearing an end & figured others might want to know as well.

No more giving, caring, sharing from me and couldn’t care less if that makes you and others happy.

Nope. Not even an iota, less than zero.

Still going to do it for myself and post the odd time on Twitter, where they seem to be grateful…even some in the Cdn MSM.

#76 S.Bby on 04.29.21 at 5:05 pm

To people who think outsourcing to India is inevitable if workers continue to WFH I have news for you: this only works for certain types of low level jobs. It does not work for higher level more involved positions where we need people in the same or close time zones or who have the ability to speak English fluently and understand the work culture. If you’ve ever tried to deal with someone in India for some technical work related issue you’ll know what I mean.

#77 Doug t on 04.29.21 at 5:06 pm

My Brother-in-law works for World Bank – lives in B.C with a rental in D.C. – he was living there for 1.5 years and then Covid hit – hasn’t been to Washington since May ‘20 – he usually travels the globe almost nonstop but for the last year working out of his basement – says business as usual (except travel) – believes they will get back to the office someday but doesn’t miss it –

#78 Trojan House on 04.29.21 at 5:06 pm

Interesting to read some of the comments referencing “because of the pandemic.” Is it really because of the pandemic or is it governments’ policy responses due to the pandemic? Remember, the virus didn’t lock us in our homes, the government did.

#79 Rogerhomeinspector on 04.29.21 at 5:17 pm

So just thinking.

A lot of the euphoria we seem to be experiencing of late seems to stem from the idea that pretty soon things will be back to normal.

But what if we don’t get there?

India is absolutely on fire with covid cases and they appear to be trying to contain a double mutation outbreak in China. If this continues on and on, at what point to governments say it’s just too risky- no one comes in, no one goes out. What happens if that continues for a number of years and further beyond that as no one wants to risk doing this to their economy again.

What if this continues on say for a few years? Do we get to a point where people pretty much are afraid to ever go anywhere else? My grandfather was born in 1903. Depression era farmer. Till his death he’d never waste food no matter how moldy or spoiled it was. He suffered a period where hunger was a real thing. Could this end up being a similar situation? We get so afraid of contracting or spreading disease that everyone is simply content to stay in their own bubble. To that end- would it be a bad thing? Less travel means less pollution, less waste, fewer resources consumed and potentially a decline in the potential for another outbreak.

I’d be curious if anyone else thinks about this.

As for WFH- we do a ton of millwork for the insurance companies headquartered in Kitchener/Waterloo. While the buildings have been empty they’ve been doing major refitting work. Trust me- you’re going back to work lol. They wouldn’t spend all that cash for nothing.

#80 Bob Weiss on 04.29.21 at 5:18 pm

Regarding Jason, the photo provider. He says “ I used it to start investing at the age of 20 and now, 6 years later, my soon-to-be-wife and I have a $100k net worth in balanced portfolios, a beautiful top-floor rental apartment ($1350/mth), and a healthy distrust of the housing market. Thank you.”

So sad. Imagine what his net worth would have been if we bought a condo unit in 2015. It would be up about 175% by now, tax free! His net worth would be much more that 100k. Such a shame.

Such an asshole comment. The kid’s doing great. No debt, getting married, happy. Buzz off. – Garth

#81 Don Guillermo on 04.29.21 at 5:24 pm

#60 Earlybird on 04.29.21 at 4:35 pm
#22 Sunshower
Great comment!!
Work/life balance is extremely important…we would
have better health…better environment…less stress…less mental health issues etc…
Isnt that why we have worked so hard and long to achieve?
Wasn’t that the point?
Automate the crap out of everything and evolve already…
****************************************
My discipline was Instrumentation and Controls. Sometime just referred to as Automation. Principles apply to every industry but for me O&G was the most challenging and always jumped at the latest technologies. The biggest complaints were we were automating people out of jobs which we were. We were also making things more efficient, more cost effective and with that more environment friendly. How many time have you heard people complain about how the automatic checkouts in box stores are killing jobs.

#82 Michael in-north-york on 04.29.21 at 5:25 pm

“Some companies and employers will be happy to shed costly real estate and have a network of colleagues who never work F2F. But a shocking number won’t.”

And some will embrace part-WFH, when you have to spend minimum 2 or 3 days a week in the office, but not all 5 days.

All of that is great; let Mr. Market decide which companies will attract best employees and make best use of their time. The answer may vary from one industry to another. WFH may become a de-facto standard in some industries, while others will mostly stick to the old way.

#83 Yacine Brahimi on 04.29.21 at 5:28 pm

Garth, you don’t get it. Google/facebook/amazon/netflix don’t need to hire remotely. Everyone else is priced out in tech hubs so they HAVE to hire remote. Tech companies are hiring remotely not because of Covid, but because Goog/FB/Amazon/Netflix are pricing them out.

You’re right, remote was always a compromise.

#84 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 5:40 pm

@#69 T
“The US may be getting off the couch in July but not Canada.Who knows many in the public sector may continue to work from home–it would be no big shock to me.”

++++

Will Public Works employees be able to claim Workman’s(persons?) Comp if they get bedsores lying on the couch?

#85 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 5:43 pm

@#79 Booby
“Imagine what his net worth would have been if we bought a condo unit in 2015. It would be up about 175% by now, tax free! His net worth would be much more that 100k.”
+++

That 26 year old kid is waaaaay ahead of the curve with $100k .
I should have been so smart/disciplined.

Talk to us in a year when the housing correction is in full swing and mortgages everywhere are underwater.

#86 Coronation Street on 04.29.21 at 5:57 pm

#67 Dolce Vita

On the scale of trustworthiness, in my book, scientists are right in there with politicians now. It really makes me sad.

There are so many lies and deceptions with this thing, I can’t keep track of them all. I’ll write a few here, submit, then remember how many I forgot. That’s how bad it is.

From the clear and decisive science on mask that was completely ignored, twisted up and wrong advice given to general population, to the models that were all over the place to sensationalize things, to the surface transmission claims that were just wrong to “Covid lives on your phone screen for 30 days” scare mongering fixed experiments to the slow mutation claims as you note.

The slow mutation is a real stickler for me, I’ll tell you why.

You see, these new strains were there in September already. They knew about them. When they told us in December along with that came out that the knew about it for 3 months but let the planes keep flying! They let this thing fly around for 3 months, then told us there are mutations, they knew about it for 3 months, we should stop flights from UK for 72 hours. Can you believe this?

I mean, are we serious about this, or are we just paying this thing lip service? And since it has been clear that it is lip service, the only thing left is to ask – why. Why such level of total incompetence? And none of the answers are really palatable, so I won’t theorize here.

Makes you want to listen to George Carlin about voting.

“I believe if you vote you have no right to complain, people like to twist that around, I know. They say if you don’t vote you have no right to complain but where is the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest and incompetent people and they get into office and they screw everything up, well you are responsible for what they have done, you caused the problem, you voted them in, You have no right to complain, I on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, Is no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain as loud as I wanted at the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.” – George Carlin

#87 islander on 04.29.21 at 5:59 pm

Let’s hope you’re right Garth.
That is unless everyone’s willing to accept that the world is an employer’s oyster if WFH is here to stay.
Why limit your workforce to a bunch of demanding “locals” within commuting distance?
Think of “international call centers” and extrapolate.

#88 Millennial Realist on 04.29.21 at 6:00 pm

Paleo Boomers are soooooooooooo CUTE!

Don’t forget to bring your flip-phone with you when you go back to your empty offices ;)

Huge change is coming.

Be part of it.

Or be run over by it.

#89 @Anti-Asian Violence on 04.29.21 at 6:03 pm

DELETED

#90 Yorkville renter on 04.29.21 at 6:03 pm

out of sight, out of mind… WFH is toast.

I have a new employee and her progress is noticeably slowerasI cant sit with her to train her… my people want to come in to the office.

#91 S.Bby on 04.29.21 at 6:05 pm

#79

This is typical of a smug Canadian’s attitude towards real estate. We have really lost our way.

#92 Babyshark on 04.29.21 at 6:07 pm

I remember the good old days of Garths prediction of the future when a ginger haired Floridian passed himself off as the next POTUS. I’m sure the new and improved crystal orb you’ve bought at Amazon has amplified your fortune telling ways.

#93 greaterfool on 04.29.21 at 6:16 pm

There will be more waves, our government is simply not capable. Canadians are at mercy of lucks, the past 400+ days have approved this.

WFH or not will be depends, on the industry, on your job roles, on management of individual companies. Doubt this will have serious impacts to housing price, even of burbs (is Mississauga a burbs?)

So far, those insane bidding war winners are right, those sellers are losers, it’s been almost 10 years…

#94 willworkforpickles on 04.29.21 at 6:17 pm

So if the current thinking with RE isn’t that of pure delusion created through the premeditated deception by the many charlatans and con artists with a voice out there, then it has to be a matter of pure reckless abandon by many other current buyers.
I won’t go into the numerous factors as to why interest rates will normalize in the next 3 to 5 years again as i have often enough here already, (and the reasons are numerous and far reaching) but the latter of the 2 types of buyers above have got to be throwing caution to the wind in that a few years from now they will be renewing their mortgages at likely 5 times or higher the rate they are locked into now. And also the ones who’ve factored in the possibility of simply having to walk away from those properties come then.
Massively devaluating properties in tumultuous times to come and so off they’ll go to declare bankruptcy.
All in a – good while it lasts – approach to home ownership until costs become unaffordable.
The real in the know set of what’s to come buyers.

#95 willworkforpickles on 04.29.21 at 6:22 pm

Correction to that last post…should have said 5 times the cost of current mortgages.

#96 Graphics Girl on 04.29.21 at 6:27 pm

Realtor.ca had houses in Cornwall that were holding back offers. Cornwall! You know the end is near when…

#97 willworkforpickles on 04.29.21 at 6:32 pm

Big business and Corporations are happy to pay gov. imposed higher taxes. They are even happier to pass every dollar down to the last penny of those raised taxes on to the consumer raising the price of goods and products.
Just one more driver of the multi headed beast…Inflation.
There are those that carry about the erroneous belief that inflation is good. Inflation they believe will eventually bring us out of debt.
The truth in that is far from what they assume.
Its a long shot at best that even good inflation, the kind backed to the hilt with low unemployment, rising wages and real positive growth could get us there eventually. Not with national debt levels where they are now.
Today… with high unemployment, stagnant wages, endless QE (stimulus) and projected anemic real growth at best tagging along for the foreseeable future you get negative inflation.
What is equally bizarre in the belief rising inflation (especially this kind of inflation) could ever raise this sinking ship is the thinking (non-thinking assumption) that debt creation to infinity with no end in sight is a good thing and will float this boat forever.
The debt today alone make it impossible for inflation to ever float us up and out of national debt levels and they will add and add and add on until spooked primary holders outside of the internal facade of debt mismanagement demand normalized rates. Rates that will add to the growing debt monster conundrum just servicing it.
Factor in a destabilized and deflating dollar with an ever rising negative inflation nightmare to go with it.
The assumptions about endless rising debt creation and this coming negative inflation being good will prove in time to be our ultimate undoing. Personal debt levels will too continue to skyrocket with the fallout.
For now, the expected growth (imminent) will be short lived. I’ve listed the many reasons why to go through them again here.
As for inflation, I listed the many different cause and effect scenarios that will drive it.
And interest rates, I’ve gone through numerous different angles that can and more than likely (eventually) will run them up…all too much to combine the lot into one post without starting a book. I have seen over time that some get the picture while most need to see it all unfold before them first. Projections can backfire especially along timelines and always will…but then the time cometh – then they don’t.

#98 Annek on 04.29.21 at 6:35 pm

If working from home is profitable for a company, then for sure the next step would be to look at higher profits that can be made by outsourcing to another country that has much lower wages. I do not see why people do not get this. This WFH is opening up a window for outsourcing There are lots of people in other poorer countries with high education levels, perhaps even higher than those presently working from home. Plus, they probably have a better work ethic, as they are desperate for a job. Canadians are too spoiled and too confident.
Lol. Don’t forget their housing costs are much less, so they can afford to work for less.

#99 Phylis on 04.29.21 at 6:36 pm

Milgram agrees with you too. Or is it the other way around?

#100 Ustabe on 04.29.21 at 6:41 pm

This WFH versus WFO “debate” has me pondering stuff.

Go back a week or three and re-read all the inflamed comments on the latest budget. Soak in the predictions, parse the inflammatory posits and compare it to the soft thud as that turd of a budget plopped onto the floor.

Now apply that same process to this (or any really) current or historical discussion.

Legalization of marijuana, non election of Harper…the track record is not good. Kenny…sorry Alberta but not a shining example of conservative leadership when his own sitting MPs are writing letters urging him to resign.
Ford? The human thumb? Who would you propose to replace what we have?

I get it, you distrust your government, the health authorities, Mills, libtards, Justin. Some of you go beyond distrust and venture into hate.

So I wonder….do you ever think of the life you are not leading by allowing yourself to be consumed by distrust and envy? Cynicism, suspicion, skepticism.

Its not healthy to stew in your own juices, to focus on what you perceive to be problems instead of working on solutions. Its not healthy to blame others for housing prices while thinking you and you alone are responsible for your B&D portfolio. Both are products of society.

Our society. Canadian society.

#101 Stone on 04.29.21 at 6:46 pm

#38 Dave on 04.29.21 at 3:39 pm
How much can companies save by reducing their leasing costs? Cleaning costs? Maintenance Costs? Security Costs? Instead of renting 8 floors of expensive real estate having people work from home could save them lots of money.

———

You can only squeeze the expenses nut so far. And anyways, it’s all about top line and bottom line growth. Only focusing on expense reduction is a race to the bottom.

#102 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 6:50 pm

@#87 Millennial Delusionist
“Don’t forget to bring your flip-phone with you ”

++++

I would trade my $1000 “smarter than me” phone with its endless useless apps for a crappy old blackberry that takes calls, texts, and pictures, …..the rest is time wasting garbage.

Just one question.

When we go to war with China in the next few years and you’re conscripted….will you wish you were a Boomer?

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/05/01/the-most-dangerous-place-on-earth

#103 Garth's Son Drake on 04.29.21 at 6:51 pm

Work from home is inefficient and a waste of time.

Now that it is proven to be done you have to wonder about the employee who is forced back. I am sure morale will be high among employees who are “owned” and must ask “how high?” when asked to jump.

This would be a pretty good reason to send in resignation and go self employed.

The only people that should have to be in person, on site are those who have to put their hands on something in roles that require hands on in person in order to complete their work.

Everything else is redundant and the whole culture thing, social requirement for mental stability is a falsehood determined by employers – let the employee decide if that is what they need.

#104 Wrk.dover on 04.29.21 at 6:52 pm

#62 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 4:39 pm
#147 Wrk.dover on 04.29.21 at 1:45 pm
#128 IHCTD9 on 04.29.21 at 9:12 am
A few years we ran into overdraft almost every month.

______________________________

Never ran OD here but, Dog I was good at kiting cheques!

Some over a week, never failed….
————–
I remember guys like you.
In the 80s I worked for a Credit Union when we started the have a lot of kiters.

________________________________

I remember guys like you charging me $150/yr. rent per $1000 borrowed to buy equipment to eke a living with. I had a different payment each week of the month equal to a good weeks net.

You never wondered why the kite had to be flown?

Waiving one payment on each loan per year was a Dog send too.

And readers wonder why I dropped out after the final payment in 1987! I wonder about the puppies that owe a million now for a place to pass out from fatigue. Why bother owe that for that?

#105 Flip the Script on 04.29.21 at 6:58 pm

House prices are only going up in fiat currency, which is being debased.

This isn’t a house price increase story. This is a CAD price decrease story.

There are many options to hedge this problem. If you play in CAD you deserve to pay the price. Not smart.

#106 Faron on 04.29.21 at 7:04 pm

Extremely tired of work from home. Have been since, oh, June of last year. It works for some, it doesn’t work for me and productivity is down across the board wherever I look.

Nice photo today. Looks like he’s watching for the first snowflakes of fall. Hope he gets lake time in the hot hot kelowna summer.

#107 ogdoad on 04.29.21 at 7:07 pm

# 76

-Og-

Mr. Bookman?

Og

#108 BillinBC on 04.29.21 at 7:22 pm

#74 Dolce Vita

“Still going to do it for myself and post the odd time on Twitter, where they seem to be grateful…even some in the Cdn MSM.”

Obviously, you’re not getting the level of recognition you need.

#109 Shamus on 04.29.21 at 7:26 pm

DELETED

#110 Yorkville renter on 04.29.21 at 7:27 pm

#96 – I dunno, but the USD is being printed like crazy too… CAD closed strong today

#111 Hilroy on 04.29.21 at 7:34 pm

One major concern with WFH is data protection. How do you control who’s accessing personal data / trade secrets etc? You don’t know who’s looking over the shoulder of the WFH’er. Junior might think it’s fun to sneak a pic of your medical records his Mom is looking at and share it on social media.
Corporate espionage is also a threat. It’s only a matter of time before some compromise surfaces.

Prepare for the second coming of Water Cooler Guy….

#112 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 7:42 pm

103 Wrk.dover on 04.29.21 at 6:52 pm
#62 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 4:39 pm
#147 Wrk.dover on 04.29.21 at 1:45 pm
#128 IHCTD9 on 04.29.21 at 9:12 am
A few years we ran into overdraft almost every month.

______________________________

Never ran OD here but, Dog I was good at kiting cheques!

Some over a week, never failed….
————–
I remember guys like you.
In the 80s I worked for a Credit Union when we started the have a lot of kiters.

________________________________

I remember guys like you charging me $150/yr. rent per $1000 borrowed to buy equipment to eke a living with. I had a different payment each week of the month equal to a good weeks net.

You never wondered why the kite had to be flown?
————————
I worked for the Credit Union, but my mortgage interest at that time was 18% just like all other customers.
We let a lot of borrowers delay their payments, and some walked and we did not go after them.
Those were crazy days for sure.

#113 Andrew on 04.29.21 at 7:43 pm

Parts of this entry seem to be predicated on the idea that 35-year olds would seek career advancement at their current companies. This assumption is badly flawed. Why on Earth would I want a promotion? More work, a meatless title, and a raise that amounts to almost nothing.

Instead, I’ll do what everyone my age does who cares about a better wage or career advancement: change jobs every 24-36 months. Good for a 10% raise at a minimum and at least some of the perks Boomers dimly remember from their own working days back when (minus any sort of loyalty on either side, of course).

Happily, you will never work for me. – Garth

#114 Toronto_CA on 04.29.21 at 7:43 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56888615

The City of London is planning to convert empty offices into housing in a bid to revive the area after the Covid crisis.

The City of London Corporation, which looks after the Square Mile, is aiming for at least 1,500 new homes by 2030.

“Firms have told us that they remain committed to retaining a central London hub but how they operate will inevitably change to reflect post-pandemic trends, such as hybrid and flexible working.

___

Yep. WFH is a total fad. Or maybe you’re wrong and a hybrid WFO/WFH approach will come out of the pandemic. Which is what most of us have said since “three weeks to flatten the curve” became 3 months and then a year and now indefinite.

No one says offices will be obsolete. Stop presenting a false dichotomy. What will happen is people will on balance WFH 2-3 days a week and WFO 2-3 days a week, with more working at home 5 days a week than in the office 5 days a week. This is white collar jobs obviously for people who have been working remotely for the last year.

This is the future Garth. Businesses that serve city centres will need to adapt to less commuters than they had pre March-2020. Maybe the cities will reinvent themselves to be just as busy as before without commuters at the same level. I don’t know. But I do know that 20-40% less people will be commuting to the office than they did before the pandemic. This is not a fad going away.

If a grumpy git CEO tries to make it happen, they’ll lose talent to competitors who allow flexibility. Reduce office costs, staff happier with less commuting costs and more time with the kids.

Also knocking work life balance? Why?

#115 Earlybird on 04.29.21 at 7:48 pm

#Don Guillermo
The tech in O&G has automated out many jobs including many of my friends and myself as well. That is the downside….however it will be a messy transition to a super automated world, and should happen for all the reasons you mentioned. We need to find an economic system that supports this…This is my hope for the younger generations…only if the dinos would get out of the way. As a dinosaur myself…I run top speed through the self check out and have adapted and now prefer it after many year of waiting in line to justify someones job….likely that person has better potential anyways…

#116 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 7:50 pm

My house is my castle and no boss tells me what to do while at home.
Advice:
Never bring work home.
The bed room should only be used for sleeping, and oh .. forgot the other one.

#117 Jake on 04.29.21 at 7:51 pm

That chart shows that worst case anyone buying today will be breakeven in a few years. Should go back to at least the last market top of 1989 to show the recovery time post bubble is more than a few years.

#118 UmiouiuS on 04.29.21 at 7:52 pm

Short story:

In the early 2000’s as an H.O. regional head, I lead a WFH staff in various provinces, and had to listen to my colleagues who’s staffs assembled in the bldg each day, say to me: ” so, your people are probably all at home in their p.j.s watching Oprah.”

BUT for us, it proved out over time, that indeed:
some people DID need an office environ, while others DID well adapt and evolve, to strongly prefer WFH ..!!

BUT, .. it DID soon affect how and who we recruited, and how we ‘managed, coached, and consulted’ them.

We grew to be thrilled with the performance and the productivity, but not always with the WFH dress codes.

(So beware tmi video sessions & unmuted pee-breaks) Ha. Cheers ..

#119 Work from Work on 04.29.21 at 7:58 pm

#116 Ponzius Pilatus

My house is my castle and no boss tells me what to do while at home.
Advice:
Never bring work home.

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

Well, that “unsold” WFH quite well.

#120 Dolce Vita on 04.29.21 at 8:14 pm

108 BillinBC

What part of couldn’t care less did you not understand?

Thick as a…

#121 Doug t on 04.29.21 at 8:15 pm

#102 fartz

Yup – seems like a war with China is a growing possibility in the near future – hows that gonna effect the millennials and their “plans”

#122 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 8:24 pm

@#69 Donny G
“In 1988 I went for an interview with Partec Lavalin in downtown Calgary 909 5th Ave SW (later SNC Lavalin)”

+++

Hilarious.
We have something in common. 20 years later the company I worked for was purchased by SNC Lavalin…
Unfortunately.
I was less than thrilled.

#123 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 8:26 pm

@#116 Ponzie’s perverted porn
“The bed room should only be used for sleeping, and oh .. forgot the other one.”

+++++

Yodeling?

#124 Drill Baby Drill on 04.29.21 at 8:27 pm

The WFH concept is about to get a major wake up call. Many companies have huge investments into the office real estate spaces they currently occupy. I know that they will demand a return to normal very soon as in this year.

#125 TurnerNation on 04.29.21 at 8:34 pm

How permanent are these Economic Lockdowns?
When the city hires permanent, unionized positions?
Comrade things will go much easier for you and your family if you Just Follow The Rules.

https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/10382066–rising-tensions-town-of-oakville-hires-more-bylaw-officers-to-deal-with-influx-of-covid-19-rule-breakers/
Rising tensions’: Town of Oakville hires more bylaw officers to deal with influx of COVID-19 rule breakers
Bylaw enforcement officers will patrol parks to disperse gatherings


— CURFEWS coming to Alberta. We are under attack in this WW3. This is a multi year war. Nothing will be allowed back to normal. Don’t call it a ‘reset’…

https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=780533DBB6ECD-FF17-9907-23EBE287AE9BB6A7
Curfew
The government will implement a curfew where case rates are significantly high, specifically case rates above 1,000 per 100,000, and if a municipality or region requests it. Details will be announced prior to any curfew being implemented.

……
… What will replace your friendly local pub (now closed) you hung out in for decades? And those Mom & Pop stores now closed? Big global or US chains.
Remember, under globalism Minimum Wage = Maximum Wage. $15 is what it will be.
Wingstop Signs 100-Restaurant Agreement for Canada
Hungry Canadians can get their hands on that signature Wingstop “flavour” beginning early 2022
Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING) – Today, the brand announced plans to extend its global reach by expanding into Canada through an agreement with JPK Capital to develop 100 Wingstop locations across Canada in the next 10 years, with the first set to open in Toronto.

“Globe says Dollarama plans 600-store expansion”

#126 LoserT on 04.29.21 at 8:37 pm

You have to love loser “T” now, with Bill C-10. People voted and loved this clown in a suit.

#127 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 8:43 pm

Speaking of “morality”
Some fascinating Canadian statistics…

https://www.burnabynow.com/opinion/pandemic-fails-to-move-public-opinion-needle-on-morality-poll-3670971

#128 Looking up on 04.29.21 at 8:50 pm

#105 Flip the Script on 04.29.21 at 6:58 pm
House prices are only going up in fiat currency, which is being debased.

This isn’t a house price increase story. This is a CAD price decrease story.

There are many options to hedge this problem. If you play in CAD you deserve to pay the price. Not smart.

———

Not sure what you’re talking about. The CDN dollar has been in a trading range against the USD and EUR for quite some time. I have to buy EUR and USD every 2 weeks for my business so I watch it pretty closely. If anything it’s gotten stronger than it’s been for a while.

Besides it’s Canadians buying and selling houses to each other who of course get paid in CDN dollars. This housing correction due to the Canadian dollar stuff is just nonsense.

#129 espressobob on 04.29.21 at 9:06 pm

A box is a box regardless of how one lives in it. Humility is a better mindset since we all leave this planet the way we entered.

Aquisition as a life goal is pointless for the purpose of wealth. So OK, your smarter and better than I am. Knock yourself out.

There are better endeavours. I’m better with that. Way more fun…

#130 the Jaguar on 04.29.21 at 9:11 pm

“..The banks may be run by paleo overlord, prehistoric, knuckledragging Boomers,……” GT

Say what? Three of the big five CEO’s are ‘GenX’. One of the three is only 48 years old. Just out of short pants, for Pete’s sake. Only Porter (ScotiaBank) and Bharat Masrani (CIBC) are outside that GenX range at 61 and 64. And if ’50 is the new 40′, then the same must apply to those in their sixties. One thing is for certain, none of them became ‘top of the heap’ by sitting home in their sweatpants watching reruns of ‘The Golden Girls’.

WFH is an interesting topic. Smart companies will exercise caution and not make too many long term decisions on how to rearrange their current footprint in the middle of a world crisis. As the world makes progress taming the Covid beast, double trouble lurks nearby with supply chain issues and dog knows whatnot.
The people in city planning departments who ponder where to put transit lines, sport complexes, and what to do with aging suburban neighbourhoods and dense city centers littered with vacant office towers will be burning the midnight oil trying to figure it all out. Mercy.

Jaguar’s advice to them and everybody else hitting the panic button can be summed up in two little words…..’Whoa Nelly’.

#131 LP on 04.29.21 at 9:15 pm

All these comments and no one else has asked: what the heck is F2F?

Face-to-face. – Garth

#132 1255 on 04.29.21 at 9:31 pm

Why should work define a person? Maybe these people have had enough of work and are more interested in enjoying life.

I applaud them for choosing a different path in life. I hope they don’t think that they can commute every day from their new location. They are in for a rude awakening. Commuting is a soul sucking, life diminishing daily struggle. Especially in the GTA. Good luck!

#133 rgeezie on 04.29.21 at 9:35 pm

Garth I think you may have missed the mark with WFH post pandemic. I know of several mid sized tech companies ( my employer included) that plan to make 80% of roles permanently remote. We’ve shown zero (that’s right zero) drop in productivity plus it’s a fabulous employee sat and retention tool. We won’t have to compete with the FAANG companies on employee compensation, because most have expressed they would take less money and continue to work from home. This is a win-win, Garth this time it really is different.

#134 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 9:55 pm

Biden says:
The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.
—————-
Completely agree with him.

#135 Big Bear on 04.29.21 at 9:56 pm

To be fair, some are seeing productivity gains from WFH: https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tech-auto/technology/recent-study-suggests-working-from-home-has-made-employees-more-productive-266858/

#136 Vanreal on 04.29.21 at 10:00 pm

Personally I hate WFH as do the vast majority of my colleagues. I really feel sorry for “Sunshowers”. It sounds like you hate your job a lot. Too bad considering how much time we spend at work either in person or WFH.

#137 Nonplused on 04.29.21 at 10:07 pm

Ad yet, despite 1.4 million doses, Alberta set a new record for cases. Mayor Nenshi of Calgary claims the infection rate is twice that of India. Why isn’t the vaccine at least reducing these rates?

One problem of course is that the vaccines don’t seem to work too good on the so-called “variants”. Does that mean we need 5 vaccines? What if it keeps mutating?

We might not be out of the woods yet.

And of course the misinformation continues. Biden took credit for 100,000,000 vaccinations in his first 100 days. Of course he forgot to mention that Trump was already vaccinating 1,000,000 people a day by the time he left office. In other words Biden hasn’t really done anything. But that is politics.

#138 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 10:10 pm

@#134 Pandemic Placebos
Re Biden; “The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.”

++++
Well.
After Trump, the people need a placebo as the pandemic rages.

Even the poorest of the population….. dont….. like …..taxes….
2 Trillion dollars in handouts after 1.9 trillion in handouts………. taxes, taxes,taxes, uppa,uppa,uppa……

#139 Nonplused on 04.29.21 at 10:24 pm

#134 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 9:55 pm
Biden says:
The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.
—————-
Completely agree with him.

——————————

I continue to be nonplussed about the trickle down or the wealth gap. These are all just numbers. Fact is we live in a society where the “poor” drive their cars to the protest rallies which they organize on their smartphones.

There clearly are problems to be addressed when it comes to homelessness, drug abuse, crime, and other issues, but if you could pick a time and place to be alive going all the way back to the dawn of man today is the day and this is the place.

Even the dreaded covid is no match for the number of women and babies that died during childbirth 200 years ago.

But the human mind is largely a differential machine. We look at Bill Gates’ mansion on the hill and then our modest $1,000,000 bungalow and assume something is deeply unfair. Or we see some dude at Costco loading up a 70 inch TV and suddenly our 52 inch isn’t good enough anymore. Or we notice that that dude’s wife is prettier than ours and feel angst about that too, even though we have no idea what it is like to live with her.

#140 whotwhot on 04.29.21 at 11:05 pm

I agree with you today me boy garth. Having been work from home and gone back, there is nothing like a work life balance that only leaving your house can make.

#141 SI2K on 04.29.21 at 11:06 pm

People will go back to the megacities if they’re desperate for work, highly ambitious, or really enjoy Mirvish, but frankly even highly ambitious people under 50 wound up with gig work, moldy basements, and renovictions in our major cities, with no opportunities for advancement or raises in sight. Defined benefit pension plans at gold-plated corps have recently been eliminated for new hires. Highly highly ambitious Gen X have already been in California 20 years. Economic migrations normally don’t reverse themselves, no. I think what we just saw was a dam break more than anything else.

The offshoring panic is always funny to me, too, since Canada is a primary offshore labour source to a certain behemoth down south. We would stand to benefit (if our dollar stays low).

#142 Nonplused on 04.29.21 at 11:11 pm

#98 Annek on 04.29.21 at 6:35 pm

If working from home is profitable for a company, then for sure the next step would be to look at higher profits that can be made by outsourcing to another country that has much lower wages. I do not see why people do not get this. This WFH is opening up a window for outsourcing There are lots of people in other poorer countries with high education levels, perhaps even higher than those presently working from home. Plus, they probably have a better work ethic, as they are desperate for a job. Canadians are too spoiled and too confident.
Lol. Don’t forget their housing costs are much less, so they can afford to work for less.

——————————–

Outsourcing depends largely on the availability of skilled labor in the selected country. That’s why it was mostly manufacturing that got outsourced first, it did not require skilled labor.

The US has typically been more likely to import STEM folks directly to the US rather than try to outsource. The skilled labor tends to come here. Well, to the US anyway.

Most of the attempts I am aware of that tried to offshore suffered from a lack of quality, delayed responses, and security issues. No sane manager wants his mission critical software to be located on a server in India. Heck after Amazon bounced Parler I think a lot of companies don’t even want to use the cloud. They want their servers in the building. But with VPN and broadband, the IT manager doesn’t always have to be there.

#143 meslippery on 04.29.21 at 11:16 pm

#134 Ponzius Pilatus
Biden says:
The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.
—————-
Completely agree with him.

————–
me too.
No reason not to do things in house (read in Canada)
we did at one time.
Time we made the rule if you want to sell it here with
out high tariff make it here.

“There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing,” Mr. Biden declared, prompting another of the nonstop standing ovations in a socially distanced U.S. House chamber. “No reason. None. No reason.”

#144 kommykim on 04.29.21 at 11:26 pm

RE: #51 Adam Smith on 04.29.21 at 4:08 pm
They do tend to be newer but screw that, traffic will resume, the geological chokepoints aren’t going anywhere, and I am not fighting that every day.
A seven minute bus ride or 10 minute bike ride to work is worth having slightly older countertops.

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

Not to mention the fact that you can probably reduce to a single vehicle. The savings over a working career in gas, insurance, depreciation, and maintenance easily offset the higher price of a home close to work.
Plus, if you’re like me, I absolutely HATE commuting and I’m sure the reduced stress of not having to do it will add a few years to my lifespan.

#145 Al on 04.30.21 at 1:12 am

“life-work-balance nonsense”

If there was ever any doubt…

#146 Don Guillermo on 04.30.21 at 1:21 am

#115 Earlybird on 04.29.21 at 7:48 pm
#Don Guillermo
The tech in O&G has automated out many jobs including many of my friends and myself as well. That is the downside….however it will be a messy transition to a super automated world, and should happen for all the reasons you mentioned. We need to find an economic system that supports this…This is my hope for the younger generations…only if the dinos would get out of the way. As a dinosaur myself…I run top speed through the self check out and have adapted and now prefer it after many year of waiting in line to justify someones job….likely that person has better potential anyways…
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I hear you. It’s a tough transition. My father moved to Trail in 1946 with a grade 8 education and worked at the smelter (CM&S, later called Cominco and who knows what now … Tech?). When he started there were over 5000 employees. When he retired there were just over 1000 and with higher production. Its been going on for ever. Henry Ford?
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#122 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.21 at 8:24 pm
@#69 Donny G
“In 1988 I went for an interview with Partec Lavalin in downtown Calgary 909 5th Ave SW (later SNC Lavalin)”

+++

Hilarious.
We have something in common. 20 years later the company I worked for was purchased by SNC Lavalin…
Unfortunately.
I was less than thrilled.
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Lavalin was the best company I ever worked for. SNC took over in the 90s and it was the worst. I was less than thrilled as well. I left SNC in 1996 to work on a power generation project (JPPC) in Kingston Jamaica and never looked back. It was so much fun. I think we do have something in common although I tend to stay away from elevators and take the stairs. Cheers.

#147 Maths are hard on 04.30.21 at 1:34 am

Here is a neat little 5 minute video from Nicholas Taleb where in he explains “fat tails”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7Fr6iGhmBM

I have to admit I mistakenly assumed a fat tail meant there were more occurrences at the tail than the distribution would suggest, but it turns out it is less occurrences but they are greater consequences.

The example he uses, if you take a sample of 1 million people and 999,999 of them have little wealth, but the other 1 is Jeff Bezos, the average and standard deviation tell you almost nothing of the sample. The rarest of the events, Jeff Bezos, has all of the consequences.

So I am just starting to get my head around the idea, but I think it means something like the Texas power outage was a “fat tail” event. The weather itself wasn’t that many standard deviations from the curve, but when measured in economic impact and what it did to power prices it was truly rare but of great consequence. So if you tried to do a statistical analysis of Texas power prices with that event in the data, it would give you misleading information. Most of the time nothing happens and your power bill is $200 a month. Then in one event you get a power bill for $20,000 assuming you had power. The average doesn’t really help you plan for that, nor does median.

I wonder to what extent this sort of Pareto type distribution also affects housing stats? Say for example the $12 million dollar home featured a few days ago? If that house sells, what does it do to the “average” price in Kelowna for the month? And let’s say in the same month another 99 houses sell for an “average” of $500,000? A quick little excel shows the “average” for the month was $507,000, up 14%! So what do the plebs do? They panic bid up the prices of the $500,000 houses and a positive feedback loop occurs.

So what to do, what to do….

For starters, if it is not already being done, only average houses should be considered in average prices. Alternatively the median would be a better measure. (The median would determine the price at which half the houses sold for more and half sold for less, but wouldn’t really average in both low and high priced homes. The median is also a better measure for the wealth example that Talib used, as the halfway point would still be zero even with Bezos in the data.)

There are 3 types of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Maths are hard.

#148 Kate on 04.30.21 at 3:48 am

WFH was inevitable…covid going to be part of regular flu season now.
1. It’s been proven business can carry on in many jobs
2. Hybrid models will be commonplace
3. Daycare policies on sick kids are stricter. And schools
4. Disability legislation requires removing barriers to employment. WFH opens up options for people
5. Part of globalization and tech innovation

#149 Wrk.dover on 04.30.21 at 6:36 am

#134 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 9:55 pm
Biden says:
The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.
—————-

The term was coined by Mr. Read My Lips No New Taxes.

Code for flow up.

Biden simply exposed the code.

Same old arrangement for the top end gleaner crew.

#150 Peter pickle on 04.30.21 at 7:00 am

Re

Most of the attempts I am aware of that tried to offshore suffered from a lack of quality, delayed responses, and security issues. No sane manager wants his mission critical software to be located on a server in India. Heck after Amazon bounced Parler I think a lot of companies don’t even want to use the cloud. They want their servers in the building. But with VPN and broadband, the IT manager doesn’t always have to be there

————–+

I recall many of these arguments being used in the 70, 80s, 90s, about why certain manufacturing couldn’t be offshored. Turned out, profit will motivate companies to figure out solutions, and quality is much less important than you think. Now those jobs are gone.

This won’t happen overnight, but by encouraging wfh, employees are encouraging companies to invest in solutions to figure this out. The technology is there now to do it. Buyer beware.

#151 Tri state pat on 04.30.21 at 7:28 am

You can’t flirt at home. End of discussion.

#152 Justin S on 04.30.21 at 7:53 am

Great post Garth. I’ll give credit when credit is due – you were right all along about WFH. Despite what most of the blog dogs on here thought, WFH was never going to become permanent for most. I fully agreed with you all along.

I feel truly sorry for anyone who bought in hicksville, only to be called back into the Toronto office shortly once herd immunity is achieved. Hope they like commuting!

#153 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 8:17 am

#143 meslippery on 04.29.21 at 11:16 pm
#134 Ponzius Pilatus
Biden says:
The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.
—————-
Completely agree with him.

————–
me too.
No reason not to do things in house (read in Canada)
we did at one time.
Time we made the rule if you want to sell it here with
out high tariff make it here.

“There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing,” Mr. Biden declared, prompting another of the nonstop standing ovations in a socially distanced U.S. House chamber. “No reason. None. No reason.”
____

No reason other than the whole job could be done in China for probably the cost of the material in the USA. Globalized manufacturing did not happen in a vacuum. Biden is either dumb as a brick, or a willfully ignorant and manipulative ideologue.

#154 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 8:22 am

I hope Mr. T is correct about WFH ending, but I’m going to watch what happens in the USA a little longer before I hang my hat on anything.

As much as I’d like to see the specuvestors who bought in my area get a good spanking – there are a ton of folks moving out of big cities in the USA, and so many of the companies operating up here in Canada are American.

#155 Earlybird on 04.30.21 at 8:37 am

#151 Tri state pat
You can’t flirt at home. End of discussion.
Lol…soo true…its just not the same!

#136 VanReal
Personally I hate WFH as do the vast majority of my colleagues. I really feel sorry for “Sunshowers”. It sounds like you hate your job a lot. Too bad considering how much time we spend at work either in person or WFH.

Nice assumption….may I say that you don’t like your home life? Thanks for adding nothing…

#156 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 9:28 am

#134 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.29.21 at 9:55 pm
Biden says:
The trickle down economy has never worked.
It’s time to build the economy from the bottom and the middle up.
—————-

Completely agree with him.
___

I like the Canadian version of that idea better: “Let’s grow the economy from the heart out”.

It was super hard not to laugh while typing that.

#157 Joseph R. on 04.30.21 at 9:34 am

#153 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 8:17 am

No reason other than the whole job could be done in China for probably the cost of the material in the USA. Globalized manufacturing did not happen in a vacuum. Biden is either dumb as a brick, or a willfully ignorant and manipulative ideologue.
——————————————————————-
You are accusing Biden of being like his predecessor?

#158 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 9:46 am

I always have plans for a project or two around the bunker complex come spring time. Last year I redid the driveway, the year before that I shingled the roof.

This year, I’ve cancelled all the larger projects. I had planned on some nice fancy skirt boards for the front and rear decks, plus a brand new small deck to the West of about ‘8×8’. Forget it, the cost of everything connected to making these is through the roof.

I’m not going to pay a 4-500% premium for materials, all of it can wait.

#159 DonCarlos on 04.30.21 at 9:50 am

“What’s odd is that people in this age bracket are usually entering into peak career-aspirational years, looking for advancement, pay increases, serious responsibility and employment security. At least they used to.”

This age bracket has also been taught that buying the largest possible house regardless of location and putting any leftover money into crypto is far more lucrative than slugging it out in the working world. The scary part is, how long will it last, with an entire generation convinced that this is where we’re going? What will be left when the reset button gets hit?

#160 Joseph R. on 04.30.21 at 9:53 am

#124 Drill Baby Drill on 04.29.21 at 8:27 pm
The WFH concept is about to get a major wake up call. Many companies have huge investments into the office real estate spaces they currently occupy. I know that they will demand a return to normal very soon as in this year.
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The majority will require their employees to be vaccinated before cutting down on WFH.

#161 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 10:07 am

#157 Joseph R. on 04.30.21 at 9:34 am
#153 IHCTD9 on 04.30.21 at 8:17 am

No reason other than the whole job could be done in China for probably the cost of the material in the USA. Globalized manufacturing did not happen in a vacuum. Biden is either dumb as a brick, or a willfully ignorant and manipulative ideologue.
——————————————————————-
You are accusing Biden of being like his predecessor?
_____

I am saying there are some very good reasons as to why wind turbine blades would be made in Beijing instead of Pittsburgh, and the most significant of said reasons is understood by your typical elementary school student.

#162 Phylis on 04.30.21 at 10:30 am

Seems like the idea of a starter home is obsolete. What we have now are ender homes.

#163 enthalpy on 04.30.21 at 10:48 am

Most people at my company are chomping at the bit, to get back into the office. WFH is not permanent at all based on my own non scientific evidence.

#164 Damifino on 04.30.21 at 11:02 am

#153 IHCTD9

No reason other than the whole job could be done in China for probably the cost of the material in the USA. Globalized manufacturing did not happen in a vacuum. Biden is either dumb as a brick, or a willfully ignorant and manipulative ideologue.
———————————–

Biden is certainly not a vindictive sociopath like his predecessor. He’s a pleasant enough old dude but really, not the sharpest tool in the box. I give him credit for decades of gamesmanship in the cutthroat arena of American politics. Now he’s the last democrat standing.

Joe is a congenial enough fellow but he’s deeply misguided having adopted the “Jane Fonda” stance that we have offend Gaia and stand at the brink of ecological collapse. It’s a “Chicken Little” thing, out of Scranton.

China does not labor under such misconceptions. They’ll be happy to burn whatever hydrocarbons are available to them, and to mine rare earths (a dirty business) to produce for the west all the cheap solar panels and wind turbines that stimulus money can buy. Those in turn will generate far less reliable power to the great determent of America’s industry. Foolish doesn’t begin to describe it.

The Chinese will not be so stupid. Nor will Russia and probably not India. Joe is aware of none of the above. He’s a politician. He doesn’t have to be.

#165 meslippery on 04.30.21 at 11:49 am

#153 IHCTD9
No reason other than the whole job could be done in China for probably the cost of the material in the USA. Globalized manufacturing did not happen in a vacuum. Biden is either dumb as a brick, or a willfully ignorant and manipulative ideologue.
——-
So it costs more but you have your citizens gainfully employed and that has no value ?? I think it dose.

#166 BillinBC on 04.30.21 at 12:22 pm

#139 Nonplused

“but if you could pick a time and place to be alive going all the way back to the dawn of man today is the day and this is the place.”
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Thanks NP…I needed that reminder. Feel better already!

#167 brm2000 on 04.30.21 at 12:31 pm

WFH will last as long as there are varients of Covid 19 around. Imagine the law suits that will happen if people get Covid from being forced to work in the office if they could work from home. Unless governments indemnified corporation from this, but it would violate safe working provisions. I think a see-saw will occur as people go from coming in to WFH. Look to the banks, I think they are using regional offices for people to “hot desk” in. Time will tell, as it does all things. I do think those that bought in the boonies will regret it as social events, (concerts, good restaurants etc. networking) come back. Especially in the depths of winter…

#168 Louis on 04.30.21 at 1:33 pm

I work in IT for a 20k employe company. I’m senior management so I have access to the details on how we will proceed going forward :

– Office workers have already been advised that they will WFH till the end of the year.
– We have given notification to end the lease on 3/5 of our downtown office space
– People are called on schedule to go empty their desks
– The remaining of 2/5 of the office space if being rebuilt as ‘floating offices’ and in person conferance room
– As of 2022 no one up to C-Suite level will have a fixed office. People are expected to WFH 60%-80% of the time… going to the office more often will require a justification.

So while I do expect some company to try to push back to in person work, some firm will use their WFH policy to attract candidates… In specialised tech field the worker drive the market. In less specialised field, like selling insurance, I only care how successfull you are at selling, not where you work from.

#169 Tbone on 04.30.21 at 2:04 pm

I’m glad I had the opportunity to work in an office environment as I have met many wonderful people during that time .
At the end when all those people either left or retired it wasn’t so appealing anymore . So I quit .
I couldn’t imagine a lifetime of wfh .