Predictions for 2021: How Will COVID Affect Business

The strict quarantine conditions that impacted the economies of the world, resulted in individual pursuits to earn money by starting their own e-commerce businesses. From bedazzled face masks to selling art online, creative individuals decided to make the most of the time stuck inside by profiting off of their talents and skills.

Those who were not so creatively instinctive, relied on hiring contract workers, or started self-run businesses that were related to their fields and areas of expertise. Despite the financial burden that pushed people to consider other methods of earning a living, many ultimately decided that they like what they’re doing now more than what they were doing before. Self-discovery is, indeed, a life-long process, and as it turns out, people became more fulfilled with their passion projects.

Now that the vaccine is out, some are willing to slowly return to their typical work environments. Others choose to stay behind and continue pursuing what they started during lockdown. It is only February, but it is looking like the new normal, as it pertains to the economy and individual careers, isn’t going away any time soon. 

Dissatisfaction with the 9 to 5 grind

With more people venturing out of their comfort zones and into fulfilling pursuits, the office has gone stagnant, and businesses are struggling to get work moving once again. This, of course, is not true for all businesses, and there are still a great number of people ready and willing to return to their familiar, nine-to-five grinds as businesses start to reopen. While it is suspected that returning to the workplace will resume just as it once was, there will be an added twist to economic production. 

Specifically, the value of artisan and handmade goods will be given its own special seat at the table, and this is very new. 

Prior to the lockdown, it was considered a success if you made even the smallest bit of passive income from your side projects or self-employed businesses. 

A boost to the gig economy

Likewise, the gig economy was respected, but not an ideal avenue of work for the majority of people living in the US. Even the more flexible generations, such as the millennials, were still showing interest in becoming homeowners sooner than later, suggesting that efforts to preserve good credit and set aside a down payment were on the top of their priority lists. Considering that, at least during this time, passion projects were hardly considered lucrative, it was safe to assume that acting as a member of the traditional workforce was preferred over unconventional methods of earning money.

A stronger need for fulfilling work

Trends we are seeing include the strong desire to reconnect with family members and friends that were missed during quarantine and finding work that fulfills desires for career growth before compensation. It appears that emotional interest in one’s work is becoming a common norm in society, suggesting that changes in career paths are on the rise, and mundane business environments will need to reconsider how they plan to function in the future. During the height of the pandemic, workers were voluntarily leaving their positions. 

Working from home will likely continue

When you spend enough time in a new environment, you begin to take on some of what you were immersed in and behave in similar ways. This is how humans operate, and therefore, it would be only natural for those who found contentment making money from home, will continue to do so as others return to work like normal. 

Other predictions include raises in the demand for applications that allow self-employed individuals to pursue their interests professionally. Apps like Grammarly and Skillshare will become more popular and the reliance of social media to market products and services will continue to be a vital asset in this heavily gig-based economy. The rise of the digital nomad will also continue, as more people pursue independent work and desire to travel. The hospitality industry will grow and the interest in secluded-style vacations will also emerge as travelers satisfy their thirst for adventure while being cautious of the virus. 

A new emerging workforce

It is not so much that the economy will be flipped upside down, as it will be divided in half. There will now be two kinds of workers. Those that fit the traditional norm, and those that work by their own standards. Websites that allow independent sellers to sell their products and services will also become even more important than they were in years past because what was once a way to make passive income is now a place for primary income. 

These platforms include Etsy, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, eBay, etc. The growth of YouTube and Instagram influencers will continue to act as a booming industry for many different businesses and those who represent their services and products.

Self-care will continue to grow

The value of cosmetics companies, companies who sell mindfulness products, and those who record online meditations for a set price are also going to profit well during this change, as the emphasis on self-care has become a major topic during this past year of social isolation. Startup campaigns related to mindfulness and self-care should also see profits soar, as more people are interested in ways to best take care of themselves and their loved ones during these times. 

These industries will continue to do well, and have done well throughout COVID, because of their essentialness. The medical and mental health industries are obviously part of this bunch, as are supercenters, online education, and Telehealth care services. 

A rise in the need for mental health services in response to Covid has given way to confidential video therapy sessions, also known as telehealth, a form of therapy that has become in-style and will likely stick around as the vaccine reaches the public in larger amounts. 

Wrapping up

Again, the desire for ease and living by one’s own terms are concepts that have truly stuck in the psyches of Americans as well as others around the world. All in all, a divide in economic form will take shape as 2021 continues, bringing forth more creativity, flexibility, and unconventional modalities into the world. Here’s to the adventure.

About the Guest Author

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music. 

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