As we are nearing the end of the year 2020, we get to either read or hear a lot about what to expect in 2021. From vaccines to the fear of next wave of the infection, from reopening of the schools to going back to office, from reducing office spaces to reducing IT budgets (unlike the previous years), 2021 will come with many news and disturbing questions. So now we all know what majorly to expect from 2021. But the question is what not to expect from the year taking precedence?
Let’s look at some such things which we should not expect in 2021:
Mask-free Year: In just three more days, we will enter 2021. And yes, the mask will accompany us along when entering the New Year. Though few countries have started administrating vaccine to their people, the new strain of coronavirus is creating an atmosphere of fear among the governments globally. Saving their people from the new strain whilst understanding how to counter or treat it still remains a challenge. It is said that the new strain found in the UK is deadlier and with the virus mutating so frequently, there is no solid substance that the vaccine will really work on controlling the virus. Hence mask-free year could be just a thought, at least for the first half of 2021.
On the other hand, people have become more cautious in maintaining social distancing and wearing mask to stay away from the deadly virus. What else? Wearing mask has become a new normal for most of us and some of us will continue doing so even after being administered with vaccine. Indeed it will give the peace of mind one needs.
Kids Going Back to School: Indeed the schools have opened up, but only for the seniors. However, with the governments till in dilemma to whether to bring back the small kids back to school or let the online learning continue, the parents will also want to keep their babies safe at home, even if it means them losing a year of education. I recently spoke to few parents, and this is what they opined – let kids be alive first, education can continue later. Most of the parents are though tired with their kids online education, though for obvious reasons know to us, they still feel that it is not the right time to send their kids back to school.
Going Back to Office: This could possibly remain a wish for many employees in 2021. We all know how much most of us are burned out working remotely, managing home and office simultaneously. We also realize how much we miss those office gossips, those short breaks with our colleagues, making presentation in person to clients and to the management, having those brainstorming sessions, and enjoying those sip of coffee/tea at the work table. However, with companies realizing the benefits of their employees working remotely, many of them have decided to let it be so, at least for the foreseeable future. So if you have plans to go back to office, cross check with your organization to know if you can!
‘Normal’ at Work: Even if you are that lucky person who gets to enter the office, the experience won’t remain like earlier. From parking to office entry, from attendance to client meetings, from greeting colleagues to having a cup of coffee with them, everything will have a digital experience attached to it. Unlike the busier offices, the environment will be less crowded with less noise and less people to talk to.
The pandemic has indeed changed many things, and one of them is gatherings. Hence organizations will not allow physical presence of 100 percent of its capacity at office.
Expanding IT Budget: This could be a relief for companies as their future IT budgets will shrink. Why? Because their employees will continue working from home, so less infrastructure, less investment. However, a larger chunk of their new budget will be allocated to securing the infrastructure and employees from any kind of cyberattacks. The recent times indeed has witnessed the biggest of the organizations becoming a victim of cybercrime, paying millions in ransomware attacks and more.
So it is time the CIOs and IT Heads wear their capes and turn knights to secure their organizations from any attacks in the future. Remember, the attacks in the name of COVID is just the beginning. There are many to come in the garb of it and related stuffs.
While I have listed only a few things not to expect in 2021, you can add a host of things to the list. However, let’s be positive and work in tandem with the time & need to ensure there is no falling back – whether it’s the economy or the people.