Taking Stock in the Silver Lining: Top 3 Trends That Will Live on into 2021

by Maggie Zeman

We’ve all lived it. Zoom fatigue, packages piled high at the front door and extended work hours for ‘always on’ access with teams. Isn’t it great? In part, YES. (Maybe not the ‘always on’ piece.) But over the past nine months we’ve embraced technologies and services that, until now, were not considered essential for managing life and work. While we’re all looking to 2021 with great anticipation for a vaccine and the opportunity to hug family and friends once again, there are a few trends we believe will carry on, continuing to evolve to make our lives better. This week, we’re taking stock in what we call the silver lining of 2020.

Top three picks for what will live on into 2021 and beyond:

Remote Workforce: 

What started as a fast scramble by companies to establish the ability for teams to work remotely, has turned into one of the fastest growing trends heading into 2021. In our own company, we won’t consider returning to a physical place of work until next summer. As a result, many of our team members have taken advantage of this time to check out new locations away from San Francisco and New York, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Texas and even Hawaii. Like all businesses, we’ve put protocols in place along the way to ensure this new way of working works for us. As more and more companies announce that remote work will be permanent, watch for new hybrid models to unfold that will combine remote teams with in-person work environs. One thing is for sure, the days of going to an office every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are likely gone for most of us.

Virtual Everything:

With a remote workforce comes dependency on technology, especially video conferencing. At Double Forte, we began using Zoom when we opened our New York office in 2016. Little did we know the important role video would play in keeping our teams connected and office culture in place.

Virtual touchstones have bubbled over from the office and industry webinar conferences into home life, too. As the world adapted to COVID-19, the use of video – not just for work but for play – has skyrocketed. Millions are logging onto video conferencing platforms for book clubs, exercise classes, meditation sessions, telemedicine and counseling and even life events including funerals, weddings and birthday parties. With the light at the end of the tunnel, and a future of normalcy in our future, our bet is that virtual events will not go away.

Food, Beverage, Everything Delivery:

Digital Commerce 360 reported that consumers spent more than $200 billion online with U.S. retailers in Q2, up 44.4% year over year. According to their math, that means $1 in every $5 spent came from orders placed on the web during the April-June period. BevAlc Insights by Drizly is bullish on a long-term shift in consumer behavior online. The spikes in online ordering realized this year by the leading alcohol delivery company have remained well above pre-pandemic levels, “indicating that consumers will continue buying via online delivery after the pandemic crisis ends.” The convenience of online shopping and delivery will stick but we agree retailers will need to create a hybrid retail + online experience to ultimately win consumers in the long run. No one can argue that COVID-19 has expedited the timeline for online retailers.

As we all look forward to being back together, remember our historical resilience through tough times has always led to innovation and important shifts that have ultimately made our lives better. With 2020 in the rearview mirror and some challenges ahead of us, we’re here for that glass half full point of view all day.