Welcome to today’s business and media intelligence, with insights collected over the past 24 hours as we start another week of social distancing restrictions.

International news

  • For the past decade we have been talking about how technology will change the way we work. Telecommuting was always just around the corner. In fact, it has taken a global pandemic to get us thinking about our workplaces – and how we can use technology to make working more flexible and, in the process, more productive, as you can see from this New York Times article here. The change may be gradual, for some: In Australia and NZ, a LinkedIn study has shown only one in three workers have been offered the opportunity to work part-time or flexible hours, yet only 15% have taken advantage of this. (Subscriber access)
  • As the US earnings season begins, investors are looking for business that can survive the pandemic, repay debts and cling on until lockdowns end, rather than looking for growth, according to the Financial Times. (Subscriber access)
  • As online fitness classes boom, the New Yorker keeps it real in the cartoon below.

Australian company news 

  • Facebook and Google to pay Australian media companies for their news
    • The Australian Federal Government has ordered the world first mandatory code of conduct on digital platforms that have unregulated access to content produced by the news media. The code will include sharing of revenue generated from news, ranking and display of local news content and data sharing. Read more here in The Australian. (Subscriber access)
  • Also in media, NewsCorp is planning for a June newswire launch
    • Following its decision to pull out as major shareholder of AAP, NewsCorp has further detailed plans to a newswire service to provide content to its own mastheads as well as other media partners. More in The Australian. (Subscriber access)
  • CEO pay cuts in property market
    • Mirvac and Scentre Group have announced salary reductions for their top executives and boards marking the first large property companies to announce such measures. Read more in The AFR here. On the other hand, chief executives at Australia’s four major banks are yet to have their salary packages trimmed, despite the banking regulator urging the finance sector to scrap executive cash bonuses. (Subscriber access)
  • NAB warns of profit hit
    • In a market announcement this morning, National Australia Bank’s announced its first-half profit will be hit by $1.14bn in charges for software and life insurance write-downs and higher customer compensation, and also warned of COVID-19 related impacts to come. Read the ASX announcement here.

Australian markets 

  • Privacy the main issue with government tracing app
    • As the National Cabinet prepares to wind back the lockdown, Australians will soon be encouraged to download an app designed to help track the spread of COVID-19. But the road ahead is bumpy, with questions being raised about privacy. Some senior MPs have gone public, saying they would not trust governments – of any stripe – to do the right thing. You can read more here. Meanwhile in the UK, nearly two thirds of Britons are in favour of letting the government use mobile phones to track those with coronavirus and inform others that they may be at risk.
  • ATO begins processing applications for early access to superannuation today
    • Hostplus seeks to withdraw $1.5 billion from one of the biggest property investment funds, ISPT, as it anticipates the possible rush of withdrawls from super funds.The Treasury expects up to $27 billion will be removed by 1.6 million members nationwide. Read more in The AFR here. (Subscriber access)
  • Future gazing
    • The BCA has designed a three-tier strategy to spur growth as business leaders push for the restoration of our economy. Read the strategy on the BCA’s website.
    • Chad Slater, co-head of Ellerston Global Equities, writes on the similarities between investing and epidemiology however notes that to predict the future, there is a need to turn to the psychologists, rather than the epidemiologists.
  • Board diversity proves valuable in a crisis
    • ANZ chair David Gonski has said the pandemic has proven the needs for banks to have a diverse board and says the relationship between ANZ’s executive team and board, which meets every week remotely, has shaped the bank’s response. Read the AFR here. (Subscriber access)

Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email