And now, what’s next for your workplace? Perspectives for Enterprises
The outlook for the year ahead is unprecedented in that it is heavily dependent upon the course of the pandemic.
As we look to the future, we can characterise the next 18 to 24 months as consisting of three phrases. Initially we face a period of continued of unpredictability. Over the next six months it is difficult to predict whether or when we will see further outbreaks, whether further mutations of the virus will emerge, or whether governments will continue to loosen and tighten lockdowns and movement restrictions. However, this period will see the rollout of mass vaccination programmes, already underway in many countries, laying the foundations for the next phase.
The second period is a half year of Uncertainty: A recovery will begin to emerge in many countries following vaccinations as restrictions are phased out and a corner is turned in the fight against the virus. The outlook will turn positive, and planning for the future will once more become possible – though the duration of the recovery and speed of return to some sort of normal will remain uncertain. Finally, we expect a period of economic performance Unchained, marking the start of the post-pandemic phase of this crisis. Freed of the shackles of the pandemic, economies will return to growth, predictability about the future will return to normal levels of uncertainty, and confidence will rebound.
The crisis will leave a legacy, without doubt, of personal tragedy, of economic scarring, and of elevated debt, and it is from this point that this can begin to be addressed. At the time of writing many countries in Europe remain in the deepest throes of lockdown. Yet hope is rising too as the approval of multiple vaccines and rollout of mass vaccination programmes offer a route out of the cycle of rising caseloads and repeated lockdowns. The pandemic has brought about change across our lives, and there are several notable common themes that have emerged.