Sophie Wade
6 min readJan 17, 2021

We are nursing physical and mental hangovers from 2020. We are feeling unsettled as the New Year starts. We want to shake off the lingering effects and move on with our lives in 2021. We will, in time.

We want personal freedom and to feel comfortable again. We want to shake hands, kiss and hug each other hello again. We will, and it will be all the more treasured when we do.

We want to have more certainty and control over our businesses, workplaces, and spaces again. We will, over time with new parameters.

We want things to go ‘back to normal’. But they won’t. And that’s actually ok. Our previous ‘normal’ was NOT a place we felt comfortable, secure, or happy, as great as we might remember it now. In fact, we were straining against the rigidity of out-of-date structures, hierarchy, and policies. We were daunted by transformations and updates we needed to make for the Future of Work.

What’s possible now? The world has been moving on while so many of us have been captive at home. That’s the certainty. Now, we can be intentional and create a better reality going forward. When we recognize underlying conditions, we can reframe our vision of the future, craft viable new environments, and advance again with reasonable expectations of stability and sustained growth. Here are five areas to focus on to emerge and thrive through 2021:

CONDITIONS — The COVID19 virus has caused extraordinary disruption to our world and work, our health and happiness. However, while we have been experiencing extreme circumstances, the marketplace and fundamentals of our working lives have also been changing irrevocably because the Future of Work has arrived, accelerated by the pandemic.

Marketplace volatility, business restrictions, and concerns about customer and employee safety have forced rapid, technology-driven responses and adjustments. Companies have digitized, automated, and re-oriented operations, adopting and integrating new platforms, applications, data-gathering mechanisms and more. Long before 2020, we predicted these updates, but many had been dismissed, resisted or postponed. Do you expect any be reversed now they have finally happened?

While we yearn to put the pandemic behind us, let’s dissuade ourselves of nostalgic notions…

Sophie Wade

Workforce Innovator. Speaker. Author-Exec MBA textbk Embracing Progress. Integrating Empathy@Work in: leadership, multigeneration collaboration, remote working