New year, no return to the old ‘normal’

I think I speak for us all when I say that I miss ‘precedented’ times. I have felt at such a loss when it comes to writing about money when the world has been in what has felt like a never-ending bad news story about things that can only impact money in one direction: badly.

However, we have entered a new year, and there is more than ever to address in finance and business as shaped by what is going to be a new world – let alone in the UK.

We cannot expect 2021 to look anything like 2019 – and we shouldn’t want it to. We’ve been through so much in less than 12 months that we cannot change, or be allowed to revert to the ‘old normal’ about. We have to push to return to work and live under a ‘new normal’.

First and foremost, the UK has left the EU. Whilst a trade deal has been done, there are going to become plenty of further considerations every business is going to have to make as we navigate through what it all means. We have to accept that we’ve changed the way we go on holiday, the way we can import and export things, and perhaps even be more cautious about the rules and regulations surrounding our consumerism.

Secondly, the wide exposure of the foundations of a system built on prejudices means we must continue the work that has been started to hold up the voices of those that aren’t heard. Diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords; there need to be those difficult conversations, and they often start by looking in the mirror. When we’re returning to work and daily life, we need to be thankful that those around us aren’t the same, because that is truly what provides the perspective in our lives. We must build longer tables rather than bigger walls.

Finally, the rat race may have met its match. Being too busy to see people due to spending 12 hours in the office may seem a bitter excuse now. The 9-5 (or 7) may never return. Outdoor space should not be overlooked in its beauty again. Society and the workplace have had to strip back on micro-management, trusting and accepting that people can work flexibly and/or at home – a benefit not afforded to those front-line workers. The glorification of overworking and exhaustion is no more. This year has shown business and offices that so many things can keep ticking even if you do a lunchtime workout. It’s not just about clocking up hours to meet the quota, but about fulfilment and delivery.

If we can take anything from 2020, let it be a new focus on what we have; not what we have lost.

All opinions are my own and I write from a UK perspective. No paid or sponsored content. Quoted and relevant links credited. All links correct at the time of publication. Information researched and interpreted by myself. For entertainment only – this is not intended for advice. COVID-19 is a virus that needs to be taken seriously and all medical advice provided by WHO and the NHS or relevant health authority should be followed. There may be unique advice for people who suffer from illnesses and one size does not fit all. If you consider yourself (or those close to you) at risk, seek advice – remotely – from a healthcare professional.

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