As the end of the year approaches, it is always a good opportunity to reflect on the year just gone. This can give business owners the opportunity to think about the company and what steps can be taken in the new year to improve. Obviously, 2021 has been a highly unique and challenging year for businesses across the board.
The disruption from COVID-19 has been severe in many cases, and many lessons have been learned. So, what have the main trends from 2021 been, and how can businesses prepare for a better year in 2022? Read on to find out more.
2020 was the year of remote work, while 2021 was the year for hybrid working. Hybrid working can provide the best of both worlds for businesses and for staff, and most companies plan to continue with a hybrid work model indefinitely. It can certainly be difficult to manage, but in 2022 managers will look to get to grips with hybrid work and invest in the best remote work tools to make it easier to manage.
Employee wellbeing has been another major trend in 2021 and one that needs to continue into 2022 and beyond. The pandemic has caused a great deal of suffering, stress, and hardship, and everyone has been affected either directly or indirectly. People are suffering as a result, and businesses need to do all that they can to support and look after staff during this difficult time. Flexible working is key for this, along with checking in, providing resources, and creating a supportive workplace environment.
Many businesses have seen the scope that remote work provides and started to host their own virtual events. These can be a brilliant way to connect and engage with your target market no matter where they are located, which means that they can be much more effective than real-life events where you are limited by location. Additionally, these events are much easier and cheaper to plan, whether it is a workshop, lecture, demonstration, Q&A session, or any other type of event.
As if COVID-19 has not caused enough distortion and given business owners enough to think about, it has also led to a spike in cybercrime. This is due to so many people working remotely as well as the confusion that the pandemic has brought with businesses having to stay in touch with their customers (this has led to a spate of phishing attacks). This will only continue in 2022, and businesses need to protect themselves with cyber security services. Cyber security services from experienced IT support companies can protect your business and assets by providing a tailored cyber security system that will protect your business and give you and your team confidence.
Contactless & Alternative Payments
Contactless payments have become the norm in recent times as a result of COVID-19, and now it is rare to find somewhere that accepts cash. Offering contactless payments via apps or tap-to-pay has become essential for businesses, and this will be a trend that is here to stay. In addition to contactless payments, there has also been a rise in alternative payment options. This includes “buy now pay later,” as well as many industries starting to accept cryptocurrency payments – this will become even bigger in 2022.
The Gig Economy
The gig economy was fast on the rise prior to COVID-19, but it has accelerated greatly in 2020 and 2021, and this will continue into 2022. With many people displaced as a result of the pandemic, people have found contractual employment in many different sectors. Many people are finding that this is actually a preferable way of earning due to the flexibility and freedom that this can provide, plus it can be a great way to earn for those with a strong work ethic. In addition to this, many people have left their jobs and started their own companies in 2021 as a way to take control of their careers and enjoy a greater work-life balance.
These are a few of the main business trends that have dominated in 2021. Obviously, it has been another strange and unique year and even very different to 2020. Businesses have had to adapt and learn on the fly, which should come in helpful when it comes to 2022. The new year will be a fresh slate and a chance to make improvements, but there is still the pandemic and its impact to contend with.