Undeniably, 2020 was a year like no other and it has been an unenviable year. A lot of us have been hit in the face by so many unpredictable events. From the restrictive climate of a sanitary crisis to the isolation we had to go through, not to mention the financial struggle caused by an economic crisis that could reveal as being worse than the 2008 Global Financial Crisis… But, among that dreadful news, some positive trends have emerged from the situation we have been living in 2020… You always have to look at the bright side. In this blog, we will expose 6 trends that have become mainstream in 2020 with a chance to remain as such in 2021 and beyond.
1 – Remoteness
During the pandemic era, a lot of jobs have become remote as a result of social distancing measures in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. In addition to that, major facilities like banks and health clinics were closed to the public or with restricted access. Eventually, that prompted organizations as well as their employees and customers to adopt the online model.
Although the model certainly has some drawbacks, it has undeniable benefits to it to compensate. First, more people working at home had the immediate reduction of traffic on the roads as an effect, meaning a dramatic drop in air pollution levels in cities. Speaking of commute, we found ourselves with an extra 40 to 60 minutes of time (sometimes even more) to spend on other activities such as activities with our children, exercising or learning. I personally enjoy being able to have a better grasp at diversifying my meals. I also enjoy being able to take breaks away from the screen to perform some housekeeping tasks and regenerate my thoughts. That way I come to my tasks with a fresh mind which helps me be more productive. In some ways, the pandemic crisis has revealed to be a great example of what office work could be with the adoption of an online model. However, as Wildbit’s CEO Natalie Nagele puts it, it will ultimately resort to the willing of business stakeholder not to sabotage it just for the sake of keeping up with conventions…
I’m also very happy that I could do online banking. If you haven’t been able to enjoy such a service yet, get in touch with your financial institution and ask about the conditions of their online banking services.
2 – Communication technologies
For a long time, communication technologies have remained a luxury. We wouldn’t have to rely on them to get in touch with people. We could make the choice to use them, but we didn’t have to… That changed with the global situation we had and communication tools have become mainstream in 2020. Suddenly, there were no other possibility to get in touch but via Messaging and video conference apps. We learned to do groceries online as well, alongside with banking, health periodic consultations and follow-ups…
I think this necessary step, although inconvenient at first, has made us strongest and provided us with more skills and confidence for using these technologies… Probably not as much for us Millennials as we are digital natives. But the trend certainly opened up the eyes of our boomer parents!
3 – Exercising
The unfortunate circumstances of 2020 have pushed us to isolate and do more by ourselves. That included avoiding public transit and as a result people chose to walked cycle more.
Working from home also prompted us to make some time for working out at home and fitness companies like Peloton have thrived and sales of fitness equipment rose up in 2020.
In addition to that, we also ended up doing more DIY: wether baking and cooking or cleaning our homes and building. I spend the month of October renovating an apartment on the weekends… That was definitely some great work-out, standing, climbing stairs and doing squats to snap laminate flooring and baseboards.
Finally, restrictions around indoor public spaces like museums, malls and sport facilities have pushed us towards outdoors activities that we might have never tried before. Like hiking, fishing and canoeing! That give some great room to grow some serious interest in new hobbies that will keep us fit in years to come!
4 – Sustainability
At the beginning of the pandemic, we thought that car ownership across the globe would rise up. We thought that people would choose to rely more on cars.
However, with the ability to work from home, people usually just let their cars sitting in driveways and parking lots. Most of us just drove for essential trips. Even car rental companies had trouble to keep their business up… That meant less traffic on the roads and cleaner air! Even better. W climate change and the necessity to work toward more sustainable models.
Among other things that have become mainstream in 2020, a lot of people have dipped into baking their own bread! Also, we were more willing to DIY. Also, lockdowns and shutdowns helped us to save more money and pay off some more debt.
5 – Caring (more) fo others
One thing that I realized in 2020 is that we tend to undervalue our situation in regard to others’. I’d say if you are alive, healthy and enjoy a steady income, from the comfort of your own home (thanks to remote-work measure), you are of the lucky ones, without a doubt. As a result, we have to keep that in mind when complaining about our jobs…
On the other hand, “if we can, we must” as they used to say. Recognizing the essential role of our front-line workers. Helping where we can and donating what we can is something that many people have undertaken in 2020. From delivering groceries to elderly neighbours to volunteering and sanitizing common areas in residential buildings. A lot of people took great initiatives on their own in 2020 with no reserve. That is definitely worth noting!
6 – Entertain better hygiene
I’m not saying that we all were dirty before the pandemic. But, back in these days, I often witnessed people lacking basic hygiene attending public bathrooms and riding public transit. Eating in public transit without washing hands, or exiting the bathroom at the office without stopping by the sink…
It seems the pandemic has reset some clock here with people paying more attention to washing their hands more frequently. Thus better hygiene has become more mainstream in 2020. The proof constitutes part of the decline in infections due to the flu and other seasonal pathologies. Of course, you have to consider enhanced personal hygiene only alongside other measures, like travel restrictions, mask-wearing and social distancing.
Wrapping it up
And here it is. 6 trends that have become mainstream in 2020 and hopefully will stay up in 2021 and beyond. Do you have other suggestions to add to the list? Feel free to comment below to share them!