2021 turned out to be one of the most tumultuous years, not only for the business landscape but the entire world in general. The Covid-19 pandemic’s volatile nature, with its many mutations, continued to interrupt business operations and put people’s health under constant threat. Despite the unpredictability of the Covid-19 virus, humanity made enough progress to continue moving forward, regardless of its presence. 2021’s crisis was not enough to hold back the advancements that people are very well capable of, both in business recovery and life sustainability. Read on to know our business review 2021.
It doesn’t mean that every path taken resulted in success. While some consider returning to the way things were before the pandemic a step in the right direction, others believe it is a backward mentality in a world that should be adapting.
The difference of opinions affects society, which affects employers, employees, and everything in between for businesses. Add to the fact that climate change, political instability, and international conflicts pile on as if the pandemic wasn’t enough of a headache.
2021, in summary, was a chaotic year.
However, every event that transpired led to lessons and hope that continue to push entrepreneurs and people forward into 2022.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, and the glimmer of hope will impact organizations looking to grow into the new calendar year.
Is it the Endemic?
A severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disrupted the world in 2020, and its effects reached the entirety of 2021. Over 6 million lives were lost, with nearly 500 million people affected at least once. We are talking about death significantly, so it wasn’t surprising that everything about the pandemic is central to the year’s story. Just as people thought they were on their way back to everyday life with vaccinations, the virus created multiple variants that endanger people’s lives.
For 2022, the Covid-19 threat is still present. Cases are still piling up, and deaths because of the virus are still happening every day. However, it doesn’t mean that there is no progress. After two years, we learned how to deal with the virus, with the medical and pharmaceutical sectors leading the charge. Vaccines help protect people from the symptoms of the life-threatening symptoms of the virus, making severe illness and death manageable.
The keyword is manageable. Limiting the number of active cases and deaths are signs that Covid-19 is on its way to becoming an endemic disease. According to Virginia Tech epidemiology professor Charlotte Baker, endemic means that the condition will always be present but has become predictable enough for the medical and pharmaceutical sectors to counter. However, undocumented variants continue to hang over our heads. The term endemic will be farther away when another scenario like the Omicron variant arises.
People are starting to learn how to live with the coronavirus, which is suitable for businesses. Companies in multiple developing countries are already returning to their pre-pandemic routines, albeit with a few social distancing protocols. The quick actions and responses of nations like Denmark, Norway, and New Zealand led to removing all restrictions related to virus prevention. Things are looking up for most businesses as 2022 is starting to look like people can finally return to the office and conduct face-to-face operations and retail. In 2022, getting employees back into the office is the leading business trend.
A Path Back to Normalcy (Or So We Thought)
Once again, offices are opening, welcoming employees back after nearly two years of working from home. However, it will never be the same as it was two years ago. People lost their loved ones amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which means your employees know how dangerous the virus can still be whenever they go out in public. There will always be something that bothers them every time they go through the morning commute, remove their masks during lunchtime, and interact with colleagues who might or might not be carrying the virus. As a result, there will be differences of opinions to the return-to-office order.
Businesses must be aware that not every employee might be onboard with the idea. Their livelihood might be at stake if they refuse, but it is a small sacrifice compared to when workers have to put their health and safety at risk every day.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed the world forever. Knowing that the coronavirus might be with us for the next decade, it is no longer possible to live the way we did in 2019. Knowing this, businesses should do whatever it takes to empathize with their employees’ situations.
2022 for businesses is about making the workplace and company culture more employee-centric.
Empathy should no longer be a personality trait that comes and goes; it should be a professional skill. Business decisions will affect employees’ lives, making your workforce an essential factor to consider. One area where it could significantly impact is the return to office order. It might be good for your business, but your employees might not be in the same mindset as you. After all, the end of 2021 showed us what would happen.
The Power of the Workforce
Returning to the office is the primary indicator of businesses wanting to return to normal. However, the past two years provided people with a clearer perspective in life: health and safety come first.
Unfortunately, returning to the office placed employees in crowded areas where the risk of Covid-19 infection is highest. Career stability and safety started to lock horns when it comes to which should be the top priority for employees. In the end, it was clear who won when a phenomenon dubbed the Great Resignation occurred.
Employees from all around the world found out the benefits of the work-from-home setup. And after two years of experiencing that work arrangement, it might be a difficult adjustment to waste time on the morning commute, spend money on gas, and let go of a convenient work schedule with minimal supervision. The number of work resignations reached record amounts, with the figures of the last ten months of 2021 taking over the top 10 spots since 2001.
Many factors influence people to quit their jobs in 2021. However, it is not to say that they are leaving behind their careers. Still, most of their reasons have direct or indirect ties with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Some people might realize that life is short not to pursue business dreams. Others might find it more convenient to let their partners work while taking care of household responsibilities. However, the overwhelming majority of resigning employees were simply hunting for better career opportunities that fit their preferences regarding health and safety. People still need jobs to survive in an increasingly hostile world, searching for organizations that provide better treatment and care than their previous employers.
The Great Resignation affects a company’s employee turnover rates, a valuable metric for business continuity and growth. Businesses had to adapt to employees’ needs, taking employee-centric measures even further. Unfortunately, the Great Resignation might have already taken its toll on your company. The precise course of action changes from employee retention to mass recruitment in that situation. There is no better time to accomplish it than during the new digital era.
2021 might be full of unpleasant surprises, but there was a silver lining. Businesses had to survive through a pandemic that forced employees out of commercial establishments and home offices. Even consumers preferred staying at home than risking their lives to buy products or services. As a result, every company and person had to live in the digital world. However, what was supposed to be a temporary alternative became the future of business operations.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation position digital transformation as the must-complete stage for businesses in 2022. According to PTC, 70% of companies worldwide are either taking on digitalization strategies or are planning to create one. It allows businesses to stay connected with employees and customers despite the limitations of the new normal. It is also a critical solution to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation from causing more damage. Digitalization also allowed businesses to pursue a 100% remote work setup, with companies reimagining work for the future.
Businesses will do well to pursue digital transformation in 2022 as it opens them to endless possibilities. Among those opportunities are business solutions that assist organizations in recovering from 2021’s overwhelming business problems. Offshoring is a critical business service that addresses staff shortages, posing a great solution to the Great Resignation. Moreover, it was also among the saviors of businesses when employee layoffs were prevalent during the past two years’ pandemic business adjustments. However, offshoring’s best value proposition is its ability to provide world-class offshore talent for an affordable price, allowing companies to dedicate funds and resources to pursue efficient digital transformation.
Offshoring helped so many businesses recover that it earned a spot among 2022’s business trends despite service’s reliability since the late 1970s. Offshoring solutions allow companies to transfer operations to countries where talent acquisition is cheaper, technology advances, and operational costs are lower. Suppose you want to set up a long-term and profitable partnership with a modern offshoring firm for 2022. In that case, you can book a meeting for your customized offshoring needs.
A Glimmer of Hope
2021 is full of hardships and lessons that made business management and life burdensome. However, resiliency is one of the defining characteristics of the modern entrepreneur. Business owners can take everything they learned from 2021 and move forward. This business review 2021 of the past year only serves to help business owners grab the bright future that awaits at the end of the dark tunnel.