Meeting rooms colluding in a culture of “wellness” that sacrifices business Business

That’s not a great record, especially considering how successful rivals such as Zara (with profits up 80% this week) have been in mid-market fashion. Either way, it’s clearly not long hours, at least from the managers’ point of view. Instead, the company seems to be celebrating the fact that it is working less rather than more.

M&S is not alone in this case. There are absolutely no signs that the leaders of Britain’s major companies are driving a return to work. This week some of the biggest organizations in the UK tested a four-day week. You can look as closely as you like, and you’ll find very few quotes from senior FTSE 100 executives about the importance of getting back to the office, focusing on work as much as the life part of it.” balance”, or to make sure that the customer comes first, as well as the organization.

Instead, there is an endless series of commitments to flexibility, hybrid working and well-being, as if the purpose of the organization is simply to ensure that staff feel good about themselves. skin. No one would argue that this shouldn’t be part of its purpose, in addition to serving all stakeholders. But since the pandemic, he’s been elevated to the whole purpose – and it is surely dangerous.

A handful of entrepreneurs began to fight back. Elon Musk, the Tesla founder who spends so much time stirring up controversy it’s hard to understand how he manages to make cars, told his staff earlier this month that if they weren’t in the offices five days a week, they should consider themselves laid off.

James Dyson, the UK’s most successful manufacturer by far, said last year that ‘working from home doesn’t work. I only did this when I couldn’t afford an office or employees. People need to interact and exchange views”. And Alan Sugar, who admittedly spends more time these days talking about businesses than running them, condemned it as a waste of time. The handful of people who have started and built great businesses seem to have a good appreciation of how much effort it takes to keep a business growing.

But right now, a lot of big business is part of the problem, not the solution. It is a collusion with a culture that rejects enterprise and devalues ​​initiative. Eventually, they will be crushed by a hungrier and more ambitious start-up. A free market economy is very good at exposing and punishing complacency. Yet it will take time. And customers will experience terrible service for a long time until then.

In the meantime, we’ll see how M&S fares with its part-time and job-sharing bosses. Perhaps in a few years we will all celebrate its return to the FTSE 100 Index and watch it in awe as it reclaims the high street and begins to expand into the global market. But if that’s not the case, then the question may have to be asked whether officials need to try harder – and so do the rest of Britain’s major companies.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-10 13:58:39

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