6 Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2021
...and why we should be paying attention
Since the pandemic, the World has been accelerating at an unprecedented rate. And, yet, there’s irony in that it has entirely slowed down, altogether. We have been presented with a whole new dichotomy and are experiencing things we had never known before.
For some, the pandemic has brought about a sense of relief. It has given them time to reflect and time to catch up. Some have benefited from such an occurrence, while others have hit rock bottom in its most purest form.
The World continues to turn, and we continue to learn new things, adopt new techniques and perfect that of which would lead us to a better quality of life. Through grace and misfortune, 2020 has intrigued even the most abstract of thinkers -- with many wondering what they can expect in 2021, as new stars align.
Investors want to know where they’ll gain the greatest ROIs. Employees want to know if their jobs will be secure. Young adults are seeking direction. And, these trends will be sure to dictate our lives.
* DISCLAIMER: To avoid potential liabilities, this list has been generalized. It should serve as a jumping point, as you do your own due diligence to understand the direction our world is now moving. It should by no means serve as financial, medical or legal advice but should give you direction, as you move forward in your own life.
#1. EV | The Electric Vehicle Market
It’s never been a secret that the EV market has been growing for years. In fact, the environment and demand for alternative technologies have always been a driver for growth within those markets. But, it wasn’t until after Tesla’s four-way split in August that the “everyday Joe” started to become familiar with the EV market at a more intimate level.
Outlets such as Forbes and CNBC have been touting reasons why electrical vehicles are the “next big thing” and have even speculated which companies would be “the next Tesla.” Shortly after the Tesla split, we saw a short surge in the EV market -- only for many of those stocks to go back into the red for the next few weeks to follow.
After the 2020 US elections and the certification that Vice President Joe Biden would be the next President of the United States, the stock market hit numbers that it never hit before -- and EV stocks began taking lead, despite an executive order by President Donald J. Trump that simultaneously attacked the Chinese markets that would benefit most from this climb.
Some investors have seen profits of 400% or more in this short period of time -- and many are following this trend feeling left behind. Companies like Tesla, GM, Volvo and Ford are making the switch to electric, while companies such as Workhorse, Xpev, Li Auto and Nio emerge as viable competitors at a more affordable price.
It seems there will be a vehicle for everyone -- even self-driving hummers and semi-trucks are heading for the market. GM will host the first 5G vehicle, Nio has a battery subscription service and Tesla is reinventing not just the battery -- but the entire energy infrastructure.
Renewable energies have been making waves due to the surge across EV markets. Graphite, lithium and hydrogen energies will fuel our next ride! Globally, there are initiatives promoting widespread adoption. Governments are rewarding companies and their clients with grants, tax credits and benefits, alike.
#2. Healthcare | Insurance, Biopharmaceuticals, the Industry and a Possible Vaccine
Healthcare has been evolving at hyperspeed with Teledoc during this pandemic, as many of us are changing the way we visit our doctors in remote conditions. Biopharmaceuticals have been ramping up research and changing the way that we see life in general. New devices are hitting the markets and even dialysis machines have recently become portable.
Healthcare information systems (HIS/HIT) have securely reached the cloud, and crowd tracing has taken the centerpiece in our daily coronavirus fight.
In 2021, be prepared to hear more about life-changing therapies, a vaccine and healthier living. We will also hear more about mRNA technologies and universal healthcare interests. The questions will be whether a vaccine will be mandatory and what impact it will have on our lives.
#3. Environment | An Increase and Re-Regulation of Environmental Protections
With an uptick in earthquakes, wildfires and polar melting, we are sure to hear more about environmental re-regulations that would repair some of the damage caused by Trump Era de-regulations that caused more harm to our environment than good.
With an increase in protections, the adoption of sustainable resources and the shift towards more renewable energies, economists have speculated that we could see a dramatic impact on not just our environment, but also our economy. New, higher-paying jobs would be available, as the country receives the infrastructure necessary to “power the world.”
Globally, governments have been pushing for much-needed change, as the environment has gotten much worse. We will hear more about various countries and the steps they are taken to create a more environmentally-conscious society -- even rewarding its citizens for their due diligence, over time.
#4. Remote Working | More and More Businesses Cheer on the Remote Workplace
The tech world has seen an exodus of workers, leaving the helms of Silicon Valley for smaller, more affordable communities -- many moving back in with “the folks” and others hopping between AirBNBs all across the country.
In recent years, global leaders dared to test the waters, making it an option to work from the office and allowing extended vacations to work from the road. The results were outstanding, as millennials quickly developed new skills and outperformed in the field. The rapid growth in remote technology led to heightened security, unified communications and the development of hybrid cloud functionality.
At the onset of the pandemic, the core infrastructure had thus been in place. A number of companies could easily enforce social distancing. Employees began working remotely, shifting their mindsets towards a more permanent move.
In the beginning, there were companies that lacked infrastructure, had been void of essential security and saw a major decrease in productivity amongst their workforce. Depression, fear and working-while-parenting contributed to their decline. The cost of overhead dissipated, and employees finally found their groove.
With more than 30M filing unemployment, some companies never once had shut down. In fact, many have seen unprecedented growth, reduced a whole slew of expenses and gained a new generation, who would prefer to work from home.
As the landscape shifts and remote workers become more available, it is expected that real estate sales will also increase. People need space. They want their own space. And if they’re no longer pinned to a high rent area, they’ll be moreso eager to buy than ever before. With home sales come furniture sales, home improvements and a dramatic increase in the economy.
Should remote work become more readily available, we might also see a shift in how the gig economy operates. Some companies may move towards employing independent contractors over a general workforce. They may start operating around the clock, no longer bound to the hours of 9 to 5. Whether there is an increase in offshoring practices, that’s still unclear.
#5. Starting New Businesses | Stimulus, Loans & Demand
2020 ushered in a mass layoff of workers across “safe” companies and industries. Some weren’t ready for what was to come. Simultaneously, shutdowns occurred, hiring freezes were put into place and local businesses shut doors. There were businesses taking paycheck protections, who were claiming that no one was applying -- often so they could keep funds without paying them back.
The unemployment rate soared as the jobless rate sunk further. Many of those already on unemployment saw benefits expire, as federally-funded programs vanished before our eyes. Pandemic unemployment protections are further set to expire by December 31.
With a lack of jobs and uncertainty surrounding the virus, we saw the continued and unfortunate demise of organizations that have benefited underserved families, as well as a lack of grants and funding, as states begin to bankrupt. Fingers were pointed and those fighting on our behalf were vilified for giving a damn.
It can’t last like this forever. Because, no one’s winning at this point.
In the last few weeks, talks have resumed. Grants and funding will be available to businesses. Retroactive unemployment and stimulus plans are being proposed. Some will reinvest this into their own future.
Whether we see something before the end of the year -- or we continue to wait until the next, one thing is for sure:
- People have finally realized the importance of small businesses and the effect they have on local economies.
- There is a need for niche businesses and newfound support for non-corporate entities.
- The loss of cornerstone businesses has left small towns with a huge void. And yet, there is an opportunity for growth.
Given the current climate and state of affairs, we will definitely see an uptick in small businesses and investors across our cities. Governments are investing in their constituents, many receiving valuable training in business and technology. Small businesses will take this knowledge and apply it to their own business structure -- helping them to expand and keeping them competitive against global markets.
#6. Tech | Automation, Robots & AI
Perhaps in a broader breakdown than the points made above, tech will see a significant increase in workforce automation, integrated technology, AI and robotics. Because businesses can continue without physical human intervention, automation is sure to become a staple for manufacturers, especially for those who continue to train their workforce to control robots at a distance. Some companies are replacing the human element, altogether, steadily adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to control a variety of platforms and robotics.