Yessssss! I got to the 3rd and final part of my challenge where I’ll focus on how the way we live and work changes even more in 2021. Cause let’s be honest, virtually no one could have predicted in January or even February 2020 what the world we live in now would look like. Ok, maybe Bill Gates, but he’s definitively NOT mainstream 😉.

The ☀️ is out, and 2021 is starting to look brighter already….

Are you ready for my finale? Here are the last 6 differences of 2021:

  • Brexit happened! 2020 was the last year of the UK’s membership to the EU and 2021 is the first year of Britain’s full independence. With my daughter living in London, I discover new changes every day. Just a few small examples: transporting food from the EU to the UK is bound to stricter regulations, similar to those when you travel to the US. More odd is the difference in transportation costs. In December 2020 I paid €15 to send a package of 10kg from Belgium to the UK. Has the distance between Antwerp and London changed? NO!!! Still, one week later, in January 2021, the price has more than tripled, the exact same package now costs €50 😳.
  • If 2020 was the year of the full-time home office, then 2021 is definitively THE year of the hybrid office solution! People do not want to spend 100% of their working time @home, nor do they want to get back to the routine of getting up in the morning to go to the same office every weekday. The hybrid workspace combines the best of both worlds! The office has become a fun place to interact with colleagues and enjoy a nice coffee or lunch together. It also is the place to brainstorm, exchange thoughts, absorb new ideas and get an energy boost. The home office then becomes your more quiet environment where you can implement the ideas you’ve spoken about, in a focused manner (at least when the kids are not @home 😉 ). @M18 we vote for Hybrid!
  • In 2020 more than half of all companies went through a culture shock. They suddenly realized that they were not as efficient as they thought and had to automate rapidly in order to enable people to work from home. They streamlined their processes and systems and became more agile. In 2021 we reap the benefits of the changes made in 2020. We achieved a more efficient way of working! @M18 we are also getting rid of almost all paperwork, today team members only need their laptop and login. Great way to work much more efficiently and (as an extra perk) it’s better for the environment!
  • People that spoke to me in 2020 may recall my constantly repeating “Never waste a good crisis. Crises are NOT fun, and 2020 was not an easy year. What the 2008-2009 crisis did teach me is to ‘keep looking up…’ (the great Snoopy quote on my PC). Rest assured, I’m not unique. Many companies have reinvented themselves and started new businesses. As a result there will be a boom of new businesses which is why I pronounce 2021 as the year of the start-ups ! As entrepreneur I’ve also been busy, so stay tuned for more….
  • In the past you had office areas, shopping streets and living quarters. That’s so 20th century. With the lockdown there was not much to do during the weekend, so I started visiting some new living areas in Antwerp. There I saw the basis for how we’ll begin to live from 2021 onwards. When co-working spaces, offices, shops, cafes, gyms and hairdressers will open in the coming months, the new kind of building projects such as New Zuid in Antwerp will start to show their full potential. How great is it that you can live, shop, work, work-out and go out for drinks, all within a square kilometer. Living, shopping, sporting & working within the same area, Proximity is the keyword from 2021 onwards.
  • During 2020 a new term was born: “office anywhere. People began to work from their home, their second house at the Belgian coast or in Spain, an Airbnb in Bali…. We learned about our ability to work autonomously and do a great job while working remotely. This creates many opportunities for recruiters like M18! When we are no longer bound by borders, then our candidate target audience becomes much bigger which enables us to find the right Talent and Executive Leaders faster. Another perk of recruitment globalization is that we can start recruiting for companies that are not necessarily Benelux-based. @M18 we already had a “sneak preview” in 2019 when we did international recruitments for a Belgium scale-up around Europe, in the US and even in Dubai. During 2021 we expect to see more of such projects. With our attention to cultural sensitivities, we as recruiters can truly go global 🌍!

That’s all I wanted to share with you. I’d love to hear or read your thoughts, contact me through LinkedIn or at M18 (+32 3 242 09 00) so that we can start the conversation!

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