Things are tough in K-E workworld. XYZ Group are not happy with the way that our UK company is forecasting and wants us to sort it out or else! The problem isn't really with the London business unit but with business units in other parts of the country eg Glasgow, Birmingham and so on.
Just to explain, XYZ Group is a PLC and we answer to shareholders and the market. The number one thing that shareholders want is reliability i.e. no surprises. So if you are forecasting 5% profit, you must make 5% profit. If you are forecasting 2% loss, OK that's not good...but if you actually produce 5% loss, that's very bad news. On the other hand, if you forecast a 2% loss, then declare a 10% profit, that doesn't send good signals because either a) you have no understanding of the market that you are operating in; b) you are cooking the books or c) both.
Anyway, the forecasting has been flip-flopping all over the place in the UK business mainly because no-one really knows what will happen in the next 6 months. All we can say is that things are looking dire in some parts of the country. All temporary staff have been laid off in some offices.
In London, we are under a lot of pressure to let freelancers go and support the other offices around the UK. Frankly, we are hardly in a position ourselves to give work away.
On another note, the last time there was a recession in our industry was after 9/11 and it lasted for about 18 months, I think. At the time, I was a junior member of staff and most of the management stuff just went over my head. This time round, I sit in on the resourcing meetings and know who are people next in line to be laid off. It's very strange. I've realised that the more senior I get, the more careful I have to be about what I say to more junior staff.