Looking back on 2020, I ask myself who could have predicted the monumental events that we have seen. I certainly didn’t.
No-one foresaw that the COVID-19 disease would turn into a global pandemic when we first heard reports of it emerging in Wuhan in January of this year. At the time of writing, only 11 months later, the Pfizer vaccine has been given the go-ahead by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It’s currently being rolled out by the NHS as a national vaccination programme.
As we move into December and the end of 2020, like many people, I have been turning my thoughts to next year and what changes, if any, we may see.
So, I thought I would be brave and capture my top seven predictions for the year ahead. Even with the arrival of a vaccine, I doubt it will change my predictions:
Prediction # 1 – restrictions will continue throughout most of 2021
We will all continue to live with COVID-19 restrictions until the end of 2021. It will take until at least the first half of 2021 before we can start reducing the need to social distance, as well as the other measures we have got used to, such as wearing masks and regular handwashing. The impact of deploying the new vaccines is unlikely to be felt until the end of 2021. Only then can we start to return to a life approximating how we lived before our first lockdown.
Prediction # 2 – blended and flexible working to remain
The trend of flexible working, downsizing corporate real estate and workplaces, and rebalancing the need based on remote working will stay with us for the long term.
Prediction # 3 – increased ecological investment
We will see significantly more green investment by the UK Government, public and private sector organisations. The UK is emerging as a global leader in clean green growth in areas such as decarbonising buildings, heating, electricity and transport.
Prediction # 4 – economy to revive
The economy will bounce back in the second half of 2021 once we can see the end of the pandemic and the economic restrictions it is imposing. However, long-term trends, such as the reduction of bricks and mortar retail and the need for commercial property, will continue to accelerate.
Prediction # 5 – focus on healthy buildings and workplaces
Organisations will place more emphasis and importance on building occupant health and wellbeing in response to COVID-19. This will include realising the major impact workplace health and wellbeing has on organisational performance, productivity, and the bottom line.
Prediction # 6 – climate change discussions
Our battle to mitigate climate change and its potential impact on our lives will come to the fore again with the change of leadership in the US. The UK is hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021. We can all now clearly see the very real-life impact that theoretical risks, such as pandemics and climate change, have when they strike!
Prediction # 7 – happier times ahead
And finally, on an upbeat note, we will see less hardship and heartache. We will become happier with much to be grateful for by the end of 2021.
January Webinar – more predictions and planning tips
IInterested in learning more about what we and our customers are predicting that we will need to prepare for and manage in 2021? Then join us and our special guests for our webinar at 11am on Thursday 21st January 2021. This will be particularly helpful if you’re a real estate professional or someone who manages workplaces.
John O’Brien, Founder and MD
Contact John on 01295 722823, 07711 032137 or [email protected] to discuss how our team can help you create a COVID-19 secure workplace or reinvent your workplace models for a post COVID world.
John O’Brien is the Founder and MD of LCMB Building Performance Ltd. We work with organisations to transform the impact your workplaces and real estates have on your people, customers and bottom line by improving workplace performance and reducing operating costs and resource use.