Sweet Reality, Oct, 2023- Inflation Hits Nostalgia While WFH Declines
Inflation, a silent force affecting everything from gas prices to grocery bills; now has made presence in an unexpected place: our beloved Girl Scout cookies.
Many regional councils of the Girl Scouts of the USA are raising the prices of their iconic cookies in order to offset the rising costs at commercial bakeries- leaving cookie lovers to grapple with the bitter truth. Our favorite treats are getting a little pricier.
According to Wendy Lou, the chief revenue officer for Girl Scouts of the USA, the price hike reflects the real challenges of running a business in today’s economic landscape. On the brighter side, It’s a valuable lesson for young entrepreneurs; teaching them about the pressures of managing costs while still providing quality.
For many troops, explaining the price increase to customers has been a daunting task. But, despite initial concerns, most customers have been understanding, realizing that this is the first price increase in years and a necessary step to support the Girl Scouts programs.
While we cookie aficionados come to terms with the new prices, there’s an important lesson here. Inflation impacts businesses big and small, and even the cherished traditions of childhood aren’t immune. The next time you savor those Adventurefuls or Samoas, remember that you’re not just enjoying a cookie; you’re also contributing to the growth and development of young entrepreneurs in your community.
Moreover, as the Girl Scouts and the consumers grapple with inflation, the landscape of remote work in the U.S. is shifting.
The latest U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey reveals that the rate of remote work in American households has hit its lowest point since the pandemic began. About 26% of U.S. households reported having someone working remotely at least one day a week, a decline from the peak of 37% in early 2021.
This shift highlights the success of some companies’ efforts to get more employees back into the office. The return to in-person work has been especially pronounced in states like Colorado, Maryland, Utah, Massachusetts, and Minnesota,
Despite the decline, WFH/hybrid work environments continue to be a trending perk job seekers favor. 98% of people surveyed by Forbes want to at least work remotely some of the time, but only 16% of companies offer full-remote opportunities. It is also worth noting that the current remote work rate, while lower than the 2021 peak, still exceeds pre-pandemic levels. Before COVID-19, only 5.7% of people primarily worked from home; in 2021, that number more than tripled to 17.9%.
This return-to-office push among companies has sparked discussions about workplace flexibility. It’s had implications for workforce participation, including a record-low gender gap, where hybrid work schedules have enabled more women with young children to enter or remain in the workforce.
Both businesses and consumers are facing challenges and adjusting to our shifting landscape, from adapting to new work environments to understanding the broader economic context: which unfortunately affects even our favorite treats. These shifts remind us of the importance of resilience, adaptability, and community support.
The next time you enjoy a box of Girl Scout cookies, savor the moment and appreciate the underlying stories of innovation and determination that make these simple pleasures possible in our evolving world.