As we rapidly approach the end of the holiday season, it’s time to close out 2021 and celebrate the launch of another new year. And while 2021 might not quite have measured up to what some had hoped it would be, there is always hope for a better tomorrow. New year = new opportunity!
See my thoughts on 2021 and my Happy New Year wish for you in 2022
In a previous post at the end of 2020, I noted how it had been a year of much discontent, strife, sickness, and death – an unprecedented year of unimaginable challenges. Even so, there was some cause for satisfaction for those of us who came through that troubling year with businesses intact and a new sense of community as we were all in this together.
Of course, I, like many I suppose, had hoped for a dramatically different 2021 in contrast to the previous year. But from the beginning, many of the problems troubling us in 2020 continued to do so into 2021. The pandemic continued and even intensified as we all struggle to adjust to new variants such as Delta and now Omicron.
Remote Work Looks Like It’s Here to Stay
In 2020, almost all businesses were forced to send their workforce home to ride out the pandemic in greater relative safety. Some viewed this as a horrendous disruption to “business as usual.” So, as time went by, many of those companies tried to reset their gauges and set dates for an RTO event – return to office – only to have to postpone their RTO with the advent of the Delta variant of COVID-19. And then most of them over-optimistically postponed their RTO a few months to this fall, only to have to either postpone it again with the emergence of Omicron – or like Apple, ultimately announce that the time for the RTO is now “indefinite.”
Now many are contemplating a new style of workforce deployment in which some, perhaps many, of their remote workers will forever remain remote. Offices will be utilized only for certain special meetings and many will consider downsizing central office facilities. In other words, this business disruption turned out to have benefits and are becoming the new way to do “business as usual.”
Despite Lingering Challenges, A New Normal Began to Emerge in 2021
The hyper-partisan political turmoil did not subside with the completion of the presidential election at the end of 2020. On January 6th there was an organized mob attack on the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the certification of the duly elected new President. This shocking event embraced violence and death. I have to admit, this was not something I thought I would ever see in my lifetime.
Yes, we still struggle with the global supply chain issues. Yes, our political division remains high. Yes, new variants of the pandemic still bedevils us. Still, I believe that as 2021 continued, we all began to adjust to a new normal. In the face of these facts, is it even possible to have a Happy New Year?
There is Much to Look Forward To
As I mentioned in my recent holiday message, there are two sides to any balance sheet. We’ve reviewed some of the lingering liabilities above – but if you look for them, there are also many available assets for which we can all be thankful. For example, the economy is strong. The stock market continues to set new highs, suggesting investors remain optimistic about the prospects for the future. And the average American household has more cash in the bank and lower levels of debt than we’ve seen in decades.
In my case, I told you how Strata-gee did surprisingly well in 2021 – thanks to you, the readers! And so, I suggest that we close the books on 2021 and turn to look toward the future.
Thank You All
I’m sure there will be new challenges in 2022. But I’m equally sure we’ve never been better equipped to meet them!
Before we leave 2021, I want to say a special thank you to Strata-gee’s sponsors whose generous financial support helps this website to exist.
I also want to express my love and gratitude to my family, who remain an endless well of support and emotional sustenance.
Most importantly I want to THANK all Strata-gee readers for their continued support, thoughts, and ideas, all of which adds substantial fuel for my imagination.
Have a Safe, Happy, and Healthy New Year!