The Uneven Odds for Promotions With Hybrid Work
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,627,086 (-0.52%)       Melbourne $991,016 (+0.02%)       Brisbane $1,008,247 (+0.57%)       Adelaide $881,757 (-1.94%)       Perth $857,431 (+0.47%)       Hobart $728,683 (+0.15%)       Darwin $650,080 (-2.29%)       Canberra $1,042,488 (+1.17%)       National $1,052,954 (-0.17%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $754,033 (-0.54%)       Melbourne $493,897 (-0.18%)       Brisbane $575,927 (+2.34%)       Adelaide $460,725 (+2.82%)       Perth $451,917 (+0.14%)       Hobart $507,207 (+0.52%)       Darwin $359,807 (+0.61%)       Canberra $486,447 (-2.01%)       National $534,000 (+0.26%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,472 (+43)       Melbourne 14,783 (-132)       Brisbane 7,948 (+15)       Adelaide 2,170 (+81)       Perth 5,836 (+49)       Hobart 1,243 (+2)       Darwin 251 (+7)       Canberra 967 (-21)       National 43,670 (+44)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,699 (+113)       Melbourne 8,259 (+38)       Brisbane 1,637 (+2)       Adelaide 386 (+14)       Perth 1,480 (-37)       Hobart 204 (+6)       Darwin 409 (+5)       Canberra 1,034 (+6)       National 22,108 (+147)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 ($0)       Melbourne $600 ($0)       Brisbane $640 (-$10)       Adelaide $610 (+$10)       Perth $680 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $740 (-$10)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $675 (-$2)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $760 ($0)       Melbourne $595 ($0)       Brisbane $630 (-$10)       Adelaide $500 ($0)       Perth $625 (+$5)       Hobart $460 (+$10)       Darwin $535 (-$5)       Canberra $550 ($0)       National $595 (-$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,053 (+221)       Melbourne 6,376 (+263)       Brisbane 4,431 (+5)       Adelaide 1,566 (+60)       Perth 2,666 (-61)       Hobart 431 (0)       Darwin 102 (+7)       Canberra 621 (+19)       National 22,246 (+514)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,306 (+260)       Melbourne 6,173 (+102)       Brisbane 2,248 (-24)       Adelaide 399 (+26)       Perth 754 (+14)       Hobart 148 (+5)       Darwin 145 (+9)       Canberra 785 (+39)       National 20,958 (+431)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.62% (↑)        Melbourne 3.15% (↓)       Brisbane 3.30% (↓)     Adelaide 3.60% (↑)        Perth 4.12% (↓)       Hobart 3.92% (↓)     Darwin 5.92% (↑)        Canberra 3.39% (↓)       National 3.33% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.24% (↑)      Melbourne 6.26% (↑)        Brisbane 5.69% (↓)       Adelaide 5.64% (↓)     Perth 7.19% (↑)      Hobart 4.72% (↑)        Darwin 7.73% (↓)     Canberra 5.88% (↑)        National 5.79% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)       Brisbane 30.7 (↓)     Adelaide 25.9 (↑)        Perth 35.8 (↓)       Hobart 37.6 (↓)     Darwin 37.0 (↑)      Canberra 28.5 (↑)      National 31.8 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 29.2 (↓)     Melbourne 30.4 (↑)        Brisbane 29.5 (↓)     Adelaide 26.3 (↑)        Perth 36.6 (↓)       Hobart 29.7 (↓)       Darwin 45.0 (↓)     Canberra 39.6 (↑)        National 33.3 (↓)           
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The Uneven Odds for Promotions With Hybrid Work

Those who prefer—or need—to work from home may find co-workers in the office benefiting more.

By RACHEL FEINTZEIG
Tue, Jul 13, 2021 1:55pmGrey Clock 5 min

The playing field at work is shifting.

For more than a year, remote employees at many firms were in good company: Everyone was at home. Now, some colleagues are returning to the office five days a week. Others are testing out a hybrid schedule, or opting not to go back at all. If you’re the one leaning into flexibility, how do you make sure you’re not unintentionally leaning out of your career? And what happens if certain subsets of the workforce, like mothers, are less likely to return to the office?

“During the pandemic it was, ‘You’re forced to work from home,’ ” says Brian Kropp, who leads human-resources research at Gartner. “Now you’re choosing to work from home. You’re choosing not to be here.”

Many of us have been dutifully plugging away from home, trading time in transit for longer work hours, office coffee breaks for boosted productivity.

But the boss might not see it that way. Managers consistently label in-office workers higher performers and give them bigger raises and promotions, Mr. Kropp says, even though data shows there’s really no difference between the two groups. If anything, remote workers perform slightly better and are more engaged, he says.

A January Gartner survey of 4,258 employees found that 43% of remote workers and 49% of hybrid workers were highly engaged, compared with 35% of on-site workers. Still, many bosses assume off-site employees are doing less.

“There’s still this belief that a lot of senior leaders have which is, ‘I want them in person,’ ” Mr. Kropp says. “It’s not founded in science or data. It’s all founded in personal belief and personal experience.”

Nearly 60% of 581 professionals surveyed by search firm Korn Ferry in April said that it would hurt their career advancement if they admitted to the boss they’d rather keep working remotely.

But given the choice, many employees still want to—especially parents. A McKinsey & Co. survey, conducted in December and January with 5,043 employees, found that employees without children under 18 were nearly three times as likely to prefer on-site work. A January survey from Gartner found some differences by gender, too: 26% of female caretakers preferred to be fully remote, compared with 18% of male caretakers.

Bosses favoring office workers could stall career growth for parents, especially mothers.

“Without intervention, what’s likely to happen is those gender wage gaps are likely to get worse, not better,” Mr. Kropp says. A missed promotion and raise now can snowball in a few years. Companies should start analyzing compensation of home workers and office workers the same way many now examine pay by gender, Mr. Kropp says, to ensure disparities don’t emerge or widen.

Lisa Ervin initially thought increased flexibility sparked by the pandemic would be good for young working mothers, who might be less likely to drop out of the workforce if they could be home when their kids got off the bus or throw in a load of laundry during their lunch break. (Women tend to carry more of the household burden than men.) But now Ms. Ervin, the senior manager of total rewards for an animal-nutrition company in the St. Louis area, worries women might find themselves unable to climb in organizations if everyone else is heading back to the office.

“Are they collaborating without her?” she wonders about her daughter-in-law and other young moms working remotely. “Are they really going to have a video call every time they need to meet and discuss things?”

Some working parents of both genders told me they know going remote is a risk—and they’re OK with that. Jessamyn Edwards, a product designer with a tech company, described moving from a cramped two-bedroom apartment in Mountain View, Calif., last March to a house in rural Spring Grove, Va., as a revelation. She can easily breast-feed her youngest daughter during the day, and is close to her parents and nature. She took our call outside, noting when a snake slithered past.

“I know the remote part isn’t going to help me, but I’m willing to sacrifice it right now,” she says.

The 43-year-old has adjusted her work style to try to make up for the fact that she’s now across the country. She likens herself to a court transcriptionist, recording every scrap of feedback and stray action item during meetings. A meticulous labelling and filing system ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

“I want them to feel that reassurance that I’m not just off doing whatever,” she says. “I’m somebody you can count on.”

Joy Lin, a career coach based in Los Angeles, says remote workers must be more direct about their career goals and accomplishments, since bosses aren’t just going to pick up on those things by osmosis from the next desk over. Don’t gloat, but don’t be shy about mentioning the obstacles you overcame to persevere with a project.

“You become known as a problem-solver,” she says.

Some companies are testing out initiatives aimed at keeping everyone equal. Citrix, which makes software for remote work, has long offered some employees location flexibility. But being remote came with disadvantages, says Traci Palmer, the company’s vice president of people and organization capability.

“Those individuals who were remote, they’d be left out of sidebar conversations,” she says. “Meeting’s over and by the way, they keep talking, and decisions are made.”

She would know. After moving to Reno, Nev., to help care for her mother a few years ago, Ms. Palmer found herself unable to get a word in during a virtual meeting with staffers at the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., headquarters. She also noticed that remote employees were often skipped over when it came time to assign big new projects.

“The thought is, ‘Oh, they’re remote. I’m not sure they’re going to be able to do that, since they can’t be in person,’ ” she says.

As Citrix transitions to a hybrid model this summer, it’s rolling out an internal application that teams will use to set rules around things like decision-making and meeting etiquette. The hope is that workers will build team contracts—everyone has to sign off on the agreements—that put remote and in-person workers on equal footing.

For example, the company’s Costa Rica-based customer-service team, which piloted the app this spring, opted to always begin meetings by calling on remote participants first to ensure they have a chance to speak. Other groups might require all employees to turn on their own camera for meetings, even if some folks are in a conference room together.

The goal is to avoid regressing to pre-pandemic norms, Ms. Palmer says.

“How are we going to make sure everyone has a voice?” she asks. “For once in our life we were all equal.”

Level Up

How remote employees can make sure they’re not forgotten—and how bosses can keep things equal, according to career and human resources experts.

Tips for remote workers

Establish an in-office ally on your team, someone who will remind the group to dial you in when impromptu decisions start being made.

Stay in the flow. Catch up with colleagues and keep your boss abreast of your agenda and accomplishments.

If you’re interviewing for a new job and want to work remotely, ask which senior leaders work from home. That will give you a sense of whether the company really values flexible work, and what career paths are possible without coming into the office.

Tips for managers

Test out hybrid work yourself. You’ll build empathy for remote workers.

Analyze pay and promotions in your department to ensure you don’t have a gap between remote and in-office workers.

Let tech help you. Some companies are experimenting with covering meeting room walls with 36-inch screens, so everyone dialling in appears life-size.



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How the Middle East Became the Latest ‘Gold Rush’ in Marketing

The Middle East is set to be the fastest-growing marketing region in the world, driven by momentum in countries such as Saudi Arabia

By MEGAN GRAHAM
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 5 min

Saudi Arabia’s fledgling advertising industry and continued growth in the sector in the United Arab Emirates are helping to make the marketing business in the Middle East the fastest-growing in the world.

Ad spending in the Middle East is projected to increase 8.1% to $6.6 billion this year, up from 3.5% last year, according to advertising research firm WARC.

That expansion is building from a much smaller base than in many other ad markets. The Netherlands alone will generate $6 billion in ad spending in 2024, up about 2.3%, WARC said. But it is also enough to outpace every other region in 2024, the firm said.

“It reminds me almost of the gold rush,” said Reda Raad , chief executive of TBWA\Raad Group, an ad agency based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, that is part of the U.S.-based ad holding company Omnicom Group . “I don’t think we’re going to see this type of growth again in our lifetime.” TBWA\Raad has won eight new clients over the past year, with an increase in head count of 17% to accommodate the new work, Raad said.

Some international brands have long maintained a presence in the region. PepsiCo has considered the area a strategic market for decades, said Karim Elfiqi , senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Africa, Middle East and South Asia. Sponsorship deals with local stars such as Mohamed Salah , a soccer player from Egypt, “are a testimony of how over time, we have been part of the cultural fabric of the region,” Elfiqi said.

Other major brands have formed a more recent focus on the Middle East. The Lego Group opened a Middle East and Africa headquarters in Dubai in 2019, citing the size of the region’s young population. That office has developed work such as a Ramadan-themed campaign that ran in the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, among other locations.

‘Massive growth’

The Middle East’s ad market has lagged behind regions such as North America and Europe partly because of stricter cultural norms and regulations that affected business, as did a more limited media landscape and economic instability, according to Raad.

But marketing growth in the region is now being driven in part by newfound marketing interest in Saudi Arabia, where ad spending this year is expected to reach $2.1 billion, nearly double its level in 2019, according to WARC. Growth is also coming from the U.A.E., whose ad market is expected to reach $1.7 billion in 2024. Smaller contributors include Qatar and Kuwait.

The landscape has changed now because of economic diversification, increased connectivity and a move into the digital world, leading international brands to enter and invest in campaigns tailored to the region, Raad said.

Four years ago, Saudi Arabia made up a small proportion of business at Lightblue, a creative experience and tech agency based in Dubai. These days, 40% of its business comes from the country, says co-founder David Balfour , who opened an office in Riyadh last month as a result.

“The conversation used to be, ‘We’re going to do this in Dubai.’ Now, it’s ‘We’re going to do this in Dubai—and in Saudi.’” Balfour said. “We’re seeing massive growth in that region.”

There have been speed bumps. As government spending reaches huge levels , Saudi Arabia experienced a rare economic contraction in 2023.

But the country’s efforts to expand its economic pursuits beyond oil have led to the creation of new brands, which are seeking the help of marketing agencies to get the word out.

Marketers in the region are seeking help to stay on-trend in areas such as generative artificial intelligence and social media, said Greg Paull , principal of R3, a consulting firm that helps match advertisers with agencies.

“U.A.E. has been a magnet for the region for 20 years as more investment has come in—but with the new leadership in Saudi since 2017 [when Mohammed bin Salman was named crown prince ], this market has gone through remarkable growth,” Paull said.

Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for its human-rights record under the crown prince, the day-to-day ruler of the kingdom, especially over the 2018 killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the more recent jailing of women’s rights activists.

Mohammed has outlasted the international isolation that followed Khashoggi’s killing, however, and continues to pursue an economic diversification plan dubbed Vision 2030. The country last year unveiled plans for a new international airline called Riyadh Air, is investing billions of dollars to build its tourism and videogame industries, and in March hosted a golf tournament in Jeddah under the auspices of LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed league that has both challenged the PGA Tour and struck a deal to unify with it.

Changing tides

Vision 2030 also calls women’s empowerment a top social priority and seeks to increase the country’s employment rate of women.

Nada Hakeem , CEO and co-founder of Saudi creative agency Wetheloft, said the perceptions of hardships for women in the marketing and advertising industry are outdated and inaccurate.

“As a Saudi woman who founded my company in 2012, I’ve always felt supported by the creative community and the industry as a whole,” Hakeem said. “While every society may have its challenges, I can confidently say that these challenges have not hindered our growth.”

A progression of new laws, policies and incentives are making the industry in Saudi Arabia more inclusive and supportive for women, she added.

In certain parts of the Middle East, “absolutely, it’s still challenging, but they are making the right strides, and they have the right quotas and ambitions in place,” said Rebecca Bezzina , CEO for the EMEA region at R/GA, an agency owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.

“They’ve got wealth, they’ve got world-class ambition, world-class budget. They’re not shy of doing things in the right way,” Bezzina added, speaking of the region overall. “But they still have a talent shortage, especially from a creative and design and product point of view. So often what we’ve found our success has been that they’ve come to us and said, ‘Oh, we want a world-class agency to help us launch this new venture or do this new brand.’”

R/GA said it sees 69% more requests for agency work from marketers in the region today than it did five years ago. It recently handled a brand redesign for Banque Saudi Fransi, which wanted to reaffirm its Saudi roots with a modern identity, and created Weyay, the brand for a new digital bank from the National Bank of Kuwait.

The agency hasn’t notably increased its regional workforce, but it has made changes to facilitate working across Europe and the Middle East.

Other Western players are making moves to capture a piece of the growth. Advertising giant WPP has long worked in Saudi Arabia through units such as Ogilvy and GroupM, but in 2021 established a joint venture with a local company to create ICG Saudi Arabia, a communications and media company based in Saudi Arabia. Ad holding company Stagwell opened new offices for its media agency Assembly in Riyadh in 2021 and in Cairo in 2022.

Regional hospitality

Some executives said certain facets of business dealings in the Middle East are different than in other parts of the world.

Bertrand Morin, a group account director for R/GA who is based in London and works often with Middle Eastern clients, said he spends much more time speaking about personal lives and families with those clients than those in the U.K. or U.S. He has been invited to Middle Eastern clients’ homes to join their families for dinner, something that has never happened with clients elsewhere.

But others say it can feel surprisingly familiar.

Balfour, the Lightblue co-founder, said he was struck by the number of ad-agency workers recently having dinner at the Riyadh location of steakhouse chain Beefbar, and the scene’s similarity to far-off locations.

“The staff are from everywhere in the world. The service and the food is unbelievable. There’s a DJ playing,” Balfour said. “Apart from not having alcohol, you could be anywhere in the world.”

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