We’re a month into the new decade, so what have you learned about what’s in store for UK businesses?
Your New Year’s resolutions may have gone out the window but there’s still time to reflect on the small business trends which have been and gone, and look ahead to what we have to look forward to.
Many of the trends we’ve seen take off in the late 2010s will continue to flourish in the 2020s – such as wellness and catering to Millennial visions – while others will be tested and challenged.
Taking note of these trends now will help you get a head start over the competition, putting you in good stead to meet your business goals this new year. With this in mind, here are 5 small business trends to embrace in the 2020s.
Our workplace is changing its look
One of the biggest workplace trends to come out of the 2010s was the switch to open offices. Collaboration became the buzzword, and workers were encouraged to work in amongst each other in order to foster a team spirit.
However, the issue with this is a lack of privacy. Figures from USA Today reveal that only 8% of Gen Z workers prefer open offices, and ‘phone booth’ offices have become more popular in recent years.
The gig economy is being challenged
Another trend from last decade which is being challenged is the gig economy. On one hand, using independent workers offers freedom and flexibility, which can work to a business’s advantage. On the other hand, the lack of benefits and control for workers can be challenging.
This is why, across the pond, California has just passed a sweeping law that makes it much more difficult for companies to labels works as “independent contractors”. This is designed to give gig workers more rights and power.
Defence and offense are equally important
Running a small business is no easy feat, and entrepreneurs are constantly in a quandary about whether they should be optimistically planning for the future or cautiously securing against the present.
The correct answer is: both. Businesses need to take the time to plan for growth, while also putting the necessary measures in place to protect against any bumps in the road. These don’t have to be too separate tasks. A good business plan should take disaster recovery and prevention into account.
Wellness will continue to dominate
One business trend that picked up pace in the 10s was wellness. In recent years, understanding about mental health has risen exponentially, and this newfound knowledge has changed the way businesses are run forever.
Now, ‘mental health days’ are becoming more and more common in businesses. Employers are becoming increasingly sympathetic to the mental toll of full-time work, and are finding new and inventive ways to offer support to their workforce.
Millennials are changing the game
It’s been clear for the best part of a decade that millennials work differently. Not only do they want to work more flexibly, but they’re also more likely to care about wider issues such as the sustainability and ethics involved in their organisation.
This difference now is, as we enter the 2020s, many of these millennial workers are beginning to reach positions of power where they can make real differences.
According to a report from CNBC, 74% of millennial and Gen Z mangers have team members who work a significant portion of their time remotely, versus 58% of baby boomers.
In years to come, we can expect millennials to reshape the landscape of UK small businesses beyond recognition.