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Three trends to look out for in 2021

Three trends to look out for in 2021

Here are my predictions following a turbulent 12 months, says Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association

For many of us, closing the chapter on 2020 will feel cathartic. It was a year that will live with us all in our memories for its challenges and the changes we’ve been forced to make in our personal and working lives. Separated from family, friends, colleagues, partners and clients - it’s a strange thought that this time last year most of us had no idea what was about to hit us.

But now we look forward to 2021, which has shown no sign of a let-up in terms of political upheaval, financial uncertainty and ongoing battles with the coronavirus pandemic.

As is normal for me, at this time of year I’ve been keeping an eye on predictions in terms of trends for the months ahead.

The world has changed in many ways and it remains to be seen which of these changes will stay with us, which will transpire to have been temporary and which will, in turn, lead to further changes. Below I’ve listed what I think are some of the things to watch out for in 2021:

Remote working to continue

With the pandemic on the rise again and the UK back in lockdown, I believe that it might be some time before much of the workforce returns to offices.

This will mean that employers need to decide whether they are ‘remote friendly’ in the short term or if this now represents a new way of working for the long term and is actually more about becoming ‘remote first’.

More flexibility across roles and disciplines

As businesses and organisations strive to pivot in agile ways, staff and employees are increasingly finding themselves out of their comfort zones.

As a result, they’re now often sitting across multiple roles, taking on new responsibilities and learning new skills and systems.

Increasing focus on well-being

With isolation and long days at home can come many challenges around keeping positive and healthy, both in body and mind. We understand now that these two work together and are equally important to us as human beings.

On an individual level, I think that people are taking more personal responsibility around this. But we are finally seeing a sea change in the way organisations are approaching this too.

In all honesty, it’s very difficult to make any calls about the way this year will turn out and these are just a few thoughts.

For many, it will be a time of uncertainty in their professional lives and, as such, it may well be that franchising is the next step, as it’s a sector that’s had a failure rate of less than five per cent for more than 20 years.

If you’re considering investing in a franchise, I can assure you that the industry will welcome you with open arms.

The author

Pip Wilkins is CEO of the British Franchise Association

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