Fast Five

SWC’s Fast Five

Companies make more benefits available, but you pay for them. AI tech lets you sit out Zooms while the bot takes notes for you. You like brands that take a stand even when you don’t like the stand. Natural gas is over (sorta). And your hotel may shorten your stay.

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 Batteries may dislodge natural gas as No. 1 power source

The combination of batteries and renewable energy is threatening to upend billions of dollars in natural-gas investments, raising concerns about whether power plants built in the past 10 years—financed with the expectation that they would run for decades— will become “stranded assets,” facilities that retire before they pay for themselves.

2 Pandemic drives employers to offer more benefits

These are voluntary benefits – available but largely unsubsidized – but include coverage against unforeseen health costs and financial planning. Organizations thought employees would choose more money over benefits but are seeing the opposite.

3 Reputation matters

A survey highlights an interesting trend – reputation enhancement of brands that take a stand. Of the survey’s five best U.S. corporate reputations, “Americans praise them for their consistency, even if they don’t agree with their politics.”

4 Sick of Zoom meetings?

Send Otter Assistant to attend your next meeting. The voice-transcription service,, adds an option to transcribe meetings in real time with collaboration, and you don’t even have to show up. Just synchronize your calendar with Otter and it will automatically join the meeting, take notes and share with attendees.

5 Short-staffed hotels may short-change your stay

Failing to hire enough workers risks hotels having to limit guest stays amid rising demand, “There have been weekends where I’ve had to let rooms go vacant because we didn’t have enough people to clean them.”