Two forecasts for 2021

The end of the open-plan office.
A rise in new entrepreneurs by 20% which will see the new challenge the established across all areas, especially in consultancy.

There was an interesting report emerge recently which noted that very few enjoyed working in open-plan offices and in fact found it a barrier to doing good work. With the argument that offices will have more space, there are many arguing for the return to an almost old-fashioned approach – executives with their own offices, P.As and spaces for collaboration and coming together. At the same day, the working day should return to 9 to 5 with an one-hour lunch break. It is suggested that social historians will look quizzically back at the last twenty years and wonder why people worked harder with less support and then wondered why many felt exhausted and more disengaged?

Offices can build pride in work and can play a strong meaningful role in how people perform. People will return if the ethos and approach changes to ensure that it does. A fair argument?

At the same time, it is estimated that there will be a 20% increase in new businesses be founded as those made redundant will seek to find their own road forward and to fight for income. The 2020’s could become a new age for emerging entrepreneurs. Interestingly, it is suggested, that there will be many new consultancies be founded by younger talents wanting to challenge the established players in thinking and approach. This is similar to what did happen in the recession of 1988-1992 which saw a number of new consultancies launch and breakthrough, with a number of established players fall away. It is natural. Often the new will come from operational roles, will close to the cutting edge, have new ideas and bring fresh energy to discussions. Setting up a consultancy does not require high levels of investment so naturally becomes a route for many.

At the same time, all models are being questioned and challenged; this will provide new opportunities. There will be a real hunger, from many, to compete and this will challenge all to raise their bar. As hard as these times will be, it will become a very competitive market and a high level of excellence should be the ones that survive. It could be a “roughhouse” for the next six months but out of these difficult times could come good.