Time to reflect? What’s in store for SMEs going into 2022

Moving into 2022, I believe there will first be a reflective phase. There is a psychological line drawn at the end of every year as we go from December into January.

Time to reflect? What's in store for SMEs going into 2022

Moving into 2022, I believe there will first be a reflective phase. There is a psychological line drawn at the end of every year as we go from December into January. People tend to take a step back and review the year that has passed and the impact it has had on them. For some it’s been a rough ride; for others, opportunities have presented themselves in the midst of chaos.

People are the building blocks of any business and companies should encourage them to take a long, hard look at what they want going forward. I think we’ll see a lot of movement in the labour force as people continue the trend of moving away from traditional working styles and opportunities to embrace more flexible environments. As the digital work space continues to grow over the physical, employees will want more control over who they work for and what that work situation looks like.

We will continue to see people moving out of the big cities to look for opportunities where they can work remotely, not necessarily in full-time jobs but rather with more flexible hours than traditional jobs require. Big shifts will also continue in the traditional employment structures as more people are likely to move away from the things they’ve done before and embrace multiple – often simultaneous – opportunities, in terms of the type of work they want to do.

Businesses will need to be authentic about who they are and what they want from their employees as labour mobility increases. They will need to form real relationships with strong talent to keep them on board, again emphasising the fact that people no longer want to be tied down in any way. 

I believe a huge change is coming with regards to blockchain technology and decentralisation, which is directly linked to this shift in employment conditions as people no longer want to be tied to a single spot or be entirely managed by one employer. How we see money, how we treat it and how much control big tech companies have is all going to change. More and more people ‘ especially Millennials ‘ are set to get involved in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space as they embrace the concept of decentralisation and the prospect of a financially free system. 

A surge in inflation and a growing understanding of what it really is and how it affects us will in turn influence how people view the concept of saving. As awareness grows, we might see a growing movement against The Man ” as people look to take more control for themselves and no longer allow themselves to be caught under the thumb of traditional authority figures. This won’t take the form of a traditional revolution, but rather a quiet yet deliberate shift as people take back more control over their individual circumstances.

Sustainability as a concept is increasingly going to be a big topic and not in the conventional way where large corporations tend to use it only for good PR. All businesses will have to make an effort to be genuinely responsible as this is what customers want to see from the brands they align with. This is in no way restricted to only managing carbon footprints ‘ it’s the opportunity to get involved with new businesses whose sole focus is sustainability, whether they are NPOs or profitable brands. All of these predictions are of course mainly focussed on a Western society ‘ many places in this world unfortunately still don’t grant people these kinds of choices and luxuries.

Taking all of this into account, as more people move away from cities and attend digital conferences, so eliminating the need to fly everywhere, there will be a shift towards wanting to live in smaller communities again with a greater focus on the home and family relationships. From a business perspective this will automatically translate into sourcing and buying local. Technology at a global level is of course hurtling forwards at an astronomical pace, if we think of AI and the like but, overall, people just want to slow down a bit – it is this that will drive the changes in business as we move into 2022.

Firdaus Nagree
Firdaus Nagree

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