Companies Are Discriminating Against Remote Workers: Time-Zone Prejudice

People are being asked to work longer hours and pick up other teams' slack, all because of their time zone. Tyler Le/Insider 

When interviewing for a job at a creative agency based on the West Coast, Jane was assured she could work East Coast hours. But almost immediately after she started the job, the expectations shifted. Jane, whose name has been changed since she still works in the same industry and fears being blacklisted for negative comments, said coworkers expected her to respond to Slack messages in the morning and late at night and she was invited to meetings well after her working hours ended, she told me. “I was expected to be responsive 24/7,” she said.

In the age of remote work, many people have left coastal hubs for more affordable cities across America. This means many more workers are in different time zones from their coworkers, bosses, and companies. And some employees have felt they have been exploited because of their differing time zones, being expected to take on extra work.

Other employees I spoke with said it felt as if working hours had no meaning in the remote world and that they were “on call” more than before, often because of their time-zone difference. While working remotely offers benefits that often weren’t available in a pre-pandemic world, such as living in less busy or less expensive cities, working flexible hours, or getting to wear sweatpants instead of business slacks, the issue of time zones is already causing confusion, miscommunication, and even prejudice against employees working on a different clock.

Unintentional bias

Globally, by one estimate, 16% of companies are now fully remote. And a Gallup survey from late 2021 found that 45% of the US workforce was remote at least some of the time and that most planned to stay that way. A survey from 2022 found that 56% of full-time jobs are “remote capable.” While many jobs have requirements on which states or countries employees can work from, some do not.

Employees and freelancers who are able to have spread out across the US and the globe — creating large time differences between them and the people they work with. But while the coronavirus pandemic created a surge in remote work, it isn’t a pandemic novelty for companies to have a global reach. Businesses have been navigating time zones as long as “telecommuting” has been in the lexicon. While remote is all the rage now, Gallup figures indicate 39% of Americans worked remotely in some capacity in 2012, too.

But the shift in which companies are now offering remote work options provides a clue to why time-zone bias is becoming worse. Previously, most of the businesses that hired international and across states were bigger companies with bigger infrastructure. They are more likely to have software that can handle scheduling, videoconferencing, and accommodating larger groups of people in different time zones.

Smaller companies may not be able to afford scheduling software or dedicated staff members to manage scheduling, leaving the onus of navigating time zones to managers and employees. With a surge in how many people are working remotely and from where, more people than before are navigating large time differences. As with any shift, there is a learning curve.

Some employees I spoke with felt that their companies were just careless and didn’t realize or remember differences in time zones. After a US-based company he worked for was purchased by a company based in Europe, R. Karl Hebenstreit noticed that “all of our team meetings were scheduled around European time zones and holidays, while the US employees and the Asia-based employees were afterthoughts.”

Katrina, whose last name has been withheld so she wouldn’t get in trouble for speaking about her job, is a customer-service associate for a nationwide telecommunications company. She often didn’t have a supervisor at the end of the day because of the time-zone difference. In one case, she said, she was “admonished” for not handling a situation with a customer the same way the supervisor, who wasn’t reachable, would have.

For Hebenstreit, the bias toward a European schedule caused more work to fall on his shoulders. “Meetings were scheduled on and without regard to US holidays (even though we have automatic calendars that inform us of these details),” he told me. “And due to Europe’s more generous vacation, part-time schedule, and holiday schedules, the US employees were expected to pick up the slack for their European counterparts by taking on their clients as well.”

John, who worked for a company in Texas and lives on the West Coast, also had to pick up other teams’ slack because of his time zone. (His name has been changed to avoid retaliation since he still works in the same industry.) Because he was the last to log on for the day, “end-of-day deliverables like coverage reports, rapid commentary, etc. often got handed over to me,” John told me.

Managers are often not trying to exploit; they’re simply not able to remember everyone’s time zones when managing a large team. But often, that unintentional bias can lead to full-on prejudice….Read more….

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Source: Companies Are Discriminating Against Remote Workers: Time-Zone Prejudice

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While recording and publishing your own podcast may sound simple enough, there are actually a lot of things that happen behind the scenes.  Planning and creating content, editing your podcast audio files, marketing, and promoting your show will take their toll on you if you don’t know what you’re doing.

AudioBooks Profit Secrets is a step-by-step blueprint for launching a profitable Podcast. If you are a blogger, online business owner or niche marketer, tapping to other niche market would be a good idea to make more money online. Many people publish their podcasts for free, and that is good for marketing purposes so you can get your name and brand in front of a wider audience and sell more products and services. But there are also a number of ways to make money directly from your podcasts. 

The challenge is that if you are not familiar with the topic of the profitable niche that you choose, you may find it difficult where to look for relevant content especially in the podcasting niche! For as long as you’re a Audika member, you get UNLIMITED Email Support. We’re talking about whatever issues you may have, questions that arise, and most importantly getting clarity on how you should run specific areas of your business.

If we are unable to answer your question via email we will provide additional FB Messenger support so that you are always focused on scaling your Business.

Source: https://getaudika.com/

.

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Oil Prices Plummet As Dollar Soars And Global Recession Fears Grow

Crude oil prices hit their lowest levels since January on Monday. Getty Images

Oil prices continued to plummet on Monday, plunging to their lowest levels since January and continuing weeks of decline as fears of a looming global recession mount, inflation rates remain historically high and the strong performance of the U.S. dollar dampens demand.

The price of international benchmark Brent crude slipped below $85 a barrel for the first time since January on Monday morning. Brent futures for November slipped more than 1.5% to around $84.51 during early trading, recovering $85.34 at 9.44 a.m. London time.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark, dropped as low as $77.22 a barrel early Monday morning—its lowest level since early January—though it recovered and was trading at $78.57 4:52 a.m. Eastern time. The drop continues weeks of straight declines in oil prices, which caused both benchmarks to fall to their lowest levels since January last Friday.

Widespread fears of a recession and the strong performance of the U.S. dollar have dampened global demand for oil. The Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. dollar’s value against six other major currencies, hit a 20-year high on Wednesday and buyers using other currencies will have to spend more to buy the same dollar amount of crude oil.

Multiple factors have contributed to declining oil prices. As well as the dollar’s strong performance, soaring inflation rates and fears of a global economic downturn have dampened demand. Ongoing strict Covid curbs in China, the world’s largest energy consumer, has also pushed demand down. The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused energy prices to skyrocket, has served to buffer oil prices against recession fears, though these fears now appear to be the key force driving the market.

I am a senior reporter for the Forbes breaking news team, covering health and science from the London office.

Source: Oil Prices Plummet As Dollar Soars And Global Recession Fears Grow

Critics by

Oil prices plunged about 5% to an eight-month low on Friday as the U.S. dollar hit its strongest level in more than two decades and on fears rising interest rates will tip major economies into recession, cutting demand for oil.

Brent futures fell $4.31, or 4.8%, to settle at $86.15 a barrel, down about 6% for the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell $4.75, or 5.7%, to settle at $78.74, down about 7% for the week.

It was the fourth straight week of declines for both benchmarks, the first time this has happened since December. Both were in technically oversold territory, with WTI on track for its lowest settlement since Jan. 10 and Brent for its lowest since Jan. 14. U.S. gasoline and diesel futures were also down more than 5%.

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a hefty 75 basis points on Wednesday. Central banks around the world followed suit with their own hikes, raising the risk of economic slowdowns.

“Oil tanks as global growth concerns hit panic mode given a chorus of central bank commitments to fight inflation. It seems central banks are poised to remain aggressive with rate hikes and that will weaken both economic activity and the short-term crude demand outlook,” aid Edward Moya, senior market analyst at data and analytics firm OANDA.

The U.S. dollar was on track for its highest close against a basket of other currencies since May 2002. A strong dollar reduces demand for oil by making the fuel more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

“We had the dollar exploding higher and pushing down dollar-denominated commodities like oil and growing fears over the looming global recession that is coming as the central banks raise interest rates,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

The euro zone’s downturn in business activity deepened in September, a survey showed, suggesting a recession looms as consumers rein in spending and as governments urge energy conservation following Russia’s moves to cut off European supply.

Wall Street’s main indexes slid more than 2% on Friday as investors feared the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy actions to quell inflation could trigger a recession and dent corporate earnings.The dollar <.DXY> index reached its highest in over two decades, pressuring oil prices. Russia launched referendums aimed at annexing four occupied regions of Ukraine, raising stakes of the war in what Kyiv called a sham.

On the supply side, efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have stalled as Tehran insists on closure of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s investigations, a senior U.S. State Department official said, easing expectations of a resurgence of Iranian crude oil exports

Related News:

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MarketsSantos agrees to sell 5% stake in PNG LNG to state-owned Kumul – report, article with imageMarketsEastward gas flows via Yamal-Europe pipeline resume on Sunday, article with image

WorldAbout 746,000 still without power in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona, article with imageOil Plunges To Lowest Level Since January—Here’s Why Experts Say Low Prices Won’t Last (Forbes)

Denmark warns on danger of spills from tankers carrying Russian oil (FT)Dollar Hits 20-Year High After Putin Mobilizes Troops And Threatens Nuclear War (Forbes)Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – Crushed by Strong Dollar, Recession Concerns FX Empire

19:32 Fri, 23 SepGlencore ordered to pay almost $500m in oil price manipulation case Financial Mail19:05 Fri, 23 Sep
18:02 Fri, 23 Sep
Oil price: Russia irked with G-7 The Telegraph, Calcutta
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17:32 Thu, 22 SepMalcy’s Blog – Oil price, JOG, Longboat, Getech. And finally… Proactive Investors (UK)16:55 Thu, 22 Sep
13:56 Thu, 22 Sep

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Here’s How Long It Takes For Stocks To Recover From Bear Markets

With the stock market on one of its worst losing streaks in decades amid a relentless selloff that has pushed the S&P 500 nearly 20% below its record highs, recession risks are rising—but history shows that not all bear markets lead to long-term downturns and stocks can often rebound over the next year.

The benchmark S&P 500 index briefly fell into a bear market last Friday—at one point down over 20% from its peak in January—and continues to hover near that territory as surging inflation and rising rates lead to recession fears.

The last bear market was in March 2020, when coronavirus pandemic lockdowns sent the U.S. economy into a recession, but that downturn was uncharacteristically brief compared to others in the past (the bear market between 2007 and 2009 lasted for 546 days).

“No two bear markets are exactly alike,” notes Bespoke Investment Group, pointing out that 8 out of 14 prior bear markets since World War II have preceded recessions, while the other 6 did not.

Once the S&P 500 does hit the 20% threshold, stocks typically fall by another 12% and it takes the index an average of 95 days to hit the end of a bear market, according to Bespoke data.

In more than half of the 14 bear markets since 1945, the S&P 500 hit a low point within two months of initially falling below the 20% threshold—and forward returns were largely positive, Bespoke points out, with the index rising an average of 7% and nearly 18%, respectively, over 6- and 12-month periods.

If the U.S. economy can avoid falling into a recession, then stocks would be in a better position going forward: Bear markets that occur before a recession are more prolonged (lasting 449 days compared to 198 days with no recession) with steeper losses (an average decline of 35% compared to 28%), according to Bespoke.

It has been several decades since the stock market has had such a long streak of heavy losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently posted its eighth down week—its longest losing streak since around the time of the Great Depression in 1932, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite have moved lower for seven straight weeks, their longest losing streaks since the dot-com crash in 2001.

The last four times the Nasdaq posted such a streak of weekly losses of 1% or more was in 1973, 1980, 1990 and 2001, according to Bespoke data. In every instance, those streaks occurred “either right before or very early into a recession.”

The S&P 500 has only posted a losing streak of seven weeks or more three times—in 1970, 1980 and 2001, according to Nationwide’s chief of investment research, Mark Hackett. “Unfortunately, the index was negative over the next 12 months each time,” he says. The index could tank by between 11% and 24% if the economy falls into a recession in the near-term future, major Wall Street firms have warned.

“Persistent inflation, another Fed policy mistake and recession fears have unnerved investors,” with the S&P 500 briefly falling into bear market territory, says Edward Moya, senior market analyst for Oanda. The widespread selling will likely “only accelerate” as investors will remain wary until the Fed “starts to show signs that they are worried about financial conditions and that they may stop tightening so aggressively.”

I am a senior reporter at Forbes covering markets and business news. Previously, I worked on the wealth team at Forbes covering billionaires

Source: Here’s How Long It Takes For Stocks To Recover From Bear Markets

Critics:

A chaotic day on Wall Street extended the longest period of market turmoil since 2001, with stocks on Friday briefly descending into bear market territory, a symbolic marker of investors’ deep pessimism about the health of the global economy and the buying power of the American consumer.

The S&P 500 has fallen for seven consecutive weeks, its worst stretch since the dot-com bubble burst more than two decades ago. After a 3 percent drop this week, the index is down 14 percent since early April.

Friday afternoon, the S&P 500 crossed the bear market threshold of a 20 percent decline from its peak on Jan. 3. But with less than 30 minutes left before trading ended, after hours of churn and a drop of as much as 2.3 percent, the market rallied and ended a hair above where it had started the day.

That was little consolation for investors, many of whom have grown accustomed to years of robust returns and have never seen a market upheaval like this.

With this week’s relentless slide and Friday’s wild swing was a constant worry on Wall Street that rising inflation, compounded by the war in Ukraine, might tip the economy into a recession. At the heart of those fears was fresh evidence reported this week from retailers like Walmart and Target that rising costs were now hitting corporate America.

During the darkest days of the pandemic, the American economy was propelled by consumers. Even as the costs of goods, transportation and labor increased, companies were able to pocket record profits by raising prices, confident that people would continue buying. But this week brought indications that some consumers may have reached their limit, and profits have started to shrink.

“What the companies are telling us is that they are starting to notice that their consumer is responding to inflation,” said Jay Sole, a retail analyst at UBS. “We were worried about this moment and we were waiting for this moment, and now it’s here.”

Recessions have often followed bear markets, though one does not necessarily cause the other. A bear market occurred in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but it was the shortest on record, lasting just 33 days before stocks began to rally. Less than six months later, the S&P 500 began hitting new highs again, climbing 42 percent above its prepandemic level before starting to slide in January. Now the index is down more than 18 percent from its high point.

Friday’s turbulent trading came after months of investors fretting about how serious and long-lasting inflation would be and how aggressively the Federal Reserve would have to raise rates to slow the rising cost of living.

James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said during an interview on Fox Business on Friday that raising interest rates by half a point at coming central bank meetings was “a good plan for now.”

Mr. Bullard struck a relatively unconcerned tone about markets, despite the day’s volatility. “You would expect with the Fed raising rates, that all of these assets — trillions of dollars worldwide — would have to be repriced,” Mr. Bullard said.

What set this week apart was a grim earnings report on Tuesday from Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, which confirmed many investors’ worst fears about inflation.

For the first time in many years, Walmart said its quarterly profits had fallen, a sign to many analysts that the retailer could not pass along many of its rising costs to consumers without risking a slowdown in sales. Target and Kohl’s also said quarterly profits had plunged, adding to Wall Street’s unease.

Walmart said that some of its customers were buying less-expensive meats and other food items as costs soared, and that sales of certain discretionary goods like clothing had slowed, as budget-conscious shoppers focused instead on buying necessities like groceries. The company’s executives said they saw no signs of inflation starting to abate.

“There is a lot of uncertainty moving forward,” Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday. “Things are very fluid.”

Globally, investors can find little comfort. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the response from other countries has disrupted crucial supplies of energy, wheat and other staples. Poor countries face a gathering catastrophe over hunger and debt.

Janet L. Yellen, the Treasury secretary, said high food and energy prices were creating “stagflationary effects” — the combination of high inflation and a stagnating economy. China’s economy, the world’s second-largest after that of the United States, is laboring under the government’s strict pandemic lockdowns. Before the war in Ukraine and Covid’s resurgence in China, the International Monetary Fund was projecting global growth of 4.4 percent this year. Now its forecast is 3.6 percent.

Wall Street had been expecting that torrid consumer demand would have to slow at some point. Government stimulus checks that provided Americans with billions in spending money during the pandemic stopped long ago. The hope of both the Trump and Biden administrations was that the economy could eventually be weaned off the stimulus and that consumer demand would stay relatively strong.

But inflation, which has risen faster and remained more persistent than many investors and even the Fed initially expected, has thrown the recovery into doubt.

Unemployment is approaching the lowest rate in decades, and the economy has regained nearly 95 percent of the 22 million jobs lost at the height of coronavirus lockdowns. Average hourly earnings in the U.S. rose 5.5 percent in the year through April, but many of those gains are being eroded by inflation. Over that same period, prices rose 8.3 percent.

“The government just turbocharged the economy, and we were partying on buying goods,” said Scott Mushkin, the founder of R5 Capital, a retail-focused consulting and financial research firm. “People wondered what the hangover would be like. We have never seen anything like this.”

To be sure, some retailers said that not every consumer was pulling back or shifting spending. Walmart said better-off shoppers continued to spend freely on bigger-ticket items like patio furniture, and Target said it was not seeing a broad retreat in spending, either. Home Depot, which has benefited from a pandemic remodeling boom, said it was seeing no big slowdown in business.

But Mr. Sole of UBS worries that if prices continue to climb, higher-income consumers will eventually shift their spending, too. “Right now, lower-income consumers are feeling inflation more acutely,” he said. “The worry is, what if it affects all income and demographic groups?”For months, the mixed signals have been confounding Wall Street as it tries to forecast future profits and how high interest rates will climb.

The current conditions are also confusing to even the most experienced executives, who are finding it difficult to plan their inventory and staffing. Walmart, which is known for successfully navigating the last period of persistently high inflation, in the 1970s, acknowledged this week that it had too many employees in the first quarter and that it had not anticipated how rapidly the increase in gasoline prices would inflate costs in its supply chain. The company’s 25 percent decline in profit from the previous year was a big surprise to analysts.

“If these companies can’t handle this, it tells you something really unusual is afoot,” Mr. Mushkin said.

By:

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Could a Stronger Euro Bring Relief To Global Markets

This is generally regarded as the global “risk-free” rate. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that every other asset in the world is priced with reference to this slab of US government debt. But a close runner up is the US dollar.

A strong US dollar sucks money out of risk assets

The US dollar is one of the most important prices in the world. It’s the global reserve currency – everyone needs US dollars. As a result, when the price of US dollars goes up, you can view it as monetary policy getting tighter around the world (that’s an oversimplification, but it’s quite a useful one).

This is at least one reason markets have struggled in recent months; the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, has been ahead of other economies in terms of raising interest rates, while the US economy has also looked relatively resilient. The US dollar is also a “safe haven” asset, which means that it benefits when investors are feeling jittery.

As a result of all this, the dollar has shot up in value against other major currencies. And risk assets don’t like that one tiny bit. As my colleague Dominic pointed out earlier this month, “if the US dollar keeps rising from here, it’s going to hurt”.

The good news is that after a burst higher, the dollar is now a little lower than it was when Dominic wrote that piece. One key reason for that is the European Central Bank (ECB) – we’ll explain why in a minute. First, what’s the ECB done?

Well, yesterday, ECB chief Christine Lagarde came out with a blog post in which she – unusually for a central banker – was really quite clear about what the central bank will be doing over the next couple of quarters.

To summarise, she said that the ECB will stop printing money soon, it will start raising interest rates in July, and by the start of October rates will be back to 0% (ie, out of negative territory).

That’s quite an emphatic change for the ECB. As Marcus Ashworth says on Bloomberg, “I struggle to recall any central banker, certainly not one from the ECB, ever having been this definitive about the monetary policy outlook.”

There are probably two reasons for it. One is that the ECB has been lagging somewhat. Inflation has taken off in the eurozone too, but unlike the US, the economy has looked weaker so it’s been a tougher juggling act. But now it looks as though the hawks (for want of a better word) have won.

The second reason is that the euro was threatening to hit parity with the US dollar. In pure market terms, parity is just another number, no more or less significant than 1.01 or 0.99. But of course, it’s not actually just another number; it’s a big scary round number and one that grabs headlines. It’s probably best avoided if possible.

Part of a central bank’s role is to act as the guardian of the currency. That’s even more important in the eurozone than elsewhere because the euro is young and the lack of full political union between all of its member countries means there are still serious fault lines that could threaten its existence.

This risk has retreated greatly. During the sovereign bond crisis of the 2010s, the ECB, under Mario Draghi, effectively won the right to print money to suppress national bond yields – and thus underwrite the solvency of individual eurozone nations – where necessary.

But it’s better not to get to the point where markets decide to test your resolve on that front.

Why a stronger euro might be good news for markets

So why is this good news from a strong dollar front? Because the euro is the “other” global reserve currency. It’s miles behind the dollar in terms of being stockpiled by central banks around the world, but it is the biggest component in the “DXY” index which measures the dollar’s strength against a basket of rival currencies. It is probably the most widely-watched barometer of dollar strength.

As a result, when the euro bounces against the dollar, DXY tends to fall. And what with this being quite a hawkish turn for the ECB, the euro rallied from falling as low as $1.03-ish last Friday, to heading above $1.07 now.

Meanwhile, on top of that, it helped that one of the monetary policy setters at the Fed – Raphael Bostic, the head of the Federal Reserve bank of Atlanta – said that it might make sense for the Fed to pause for breath in September on interest-rate rises.

That’s hardly a wildly dovish statement (it implies half-point increases in both June and July), but with the market currently sweating that Fed boss Jerome Powell hopes to inherit the mantle of inflation destroyer from Paul Volcker, any sign that the central bank might relent is welcome to investors.

A weaker dollar would be good news for investors, as it implies that the rush for safe havens will ease and investors will start seeking risk again.

That doesn’t mean it’ll happen. However, one feasible scenario in which this might continue is one in which inflation ebbs (even while remaining high) and other central bank policies start to converge with that of the Fed.

That’s certainly possible over the coming months. Does that mean you should be piling in as if everything is back to the tech bubble days? Not at all; the environment has changed and the winners over the next phase will differ from those of the last. But it does imply that the “crash-y” behaviour we’ve seen since the start of this year might be due a breather. Fingers crossed.

By: John Stepek

Source: Could a stronger euro bring relief to global markets? | MoneyWeek

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