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Life Advice

December...What lies ahead?

By Ashleigh Fitzgerald

After everything we have been through in 2021 and the last few years, it has been a real roller coaster ride, we are coming out the other side, a changed society.  As a result of a shared experience, we find ourselves in a new age….   

I was delighted to come across this outstanding report prepared by the team at Accenture Interactive.  With all the ‘noise’ on social media, it is not often you are stopped in your tracks by a post which demands your full attention.   

I agree wholeheartedly with the content and the essence of the report, that the entire “fabric of society” has changed.  This resonates perfectly with me on so many levels.   

The report signposts 5 key trends which have emerged for 2022: 

  1. Know yourself – with the challenges of working in offices, being in large group and even commuting being a risk to your health, people are looking to be closer to home.  The whole work / life balance has been cross examined with a high volume of people opting to continue working from home.  The Fjord Trends report quotes a study which found that, “71% of executives said 2020 was their most stressful work year ever, 53% reported struggling with mental health issues at work, while 76% of employees believe their employers should take more responsibility for their mental wellbeing.”  Employers not prepared to offer support to staff during times of crisis, quickly find themselves in crisis when staff resign.   
  2. Do you really need that? With the shortage of products, the increased delivery times and the cost of shipping we have all reached the point of stopping and thinking twice before being frivolous with online shopping.   We have also become more aware of the impact of our lifestyle choices on the environment with more people opting to change their materialistic habit of buying cheap and often.  The Fjord Trends report  states that half of the online focus group were ready to stop or have already stopped buying disposable clothing, footwear and furniture, opting for more sustainable and green products. 
  3. Will technology rule the world?  The The Fjord Trends report highlights real concern which are emerged about the role technology and the Metaverse will have on our lives in the future.  This is magnified by development of AI.  A perfect example is the debate which took part recently at the Oxford Union Debate were an AI robot rebate for and against themselves! There seems no stopping the development of this technology. (AI argues for and against itself in Oxford Union debate - BBC News) . 
  4. Is that true?  Never before have we so questioned what is in front of us.  With the increased access to information we as a society do not have to take everything on face value.  It has become clear over the last decade, that the information presented to us in the internet, main stream media and governmental departments has not always been the full picture.  This has led to questions being asked and doubt creeps into our minds.  A perfect example is the lack of trust around Covid pandemic, the source of this and the validity of vaccinations!   
  5. We need to care!  With the shortage of human talent, I have to agree with the the Fjord Trends report which encourages us to declutter, remove what frustrates your employees and customers. If we don’t address this, we risk losing valuable staff.   

I fully endorse the findings in the Fjord Trends report and would like to highlight the strongest message, “give staff more time and space for the things that matter” and not just at Christmas!  Full credit goes to the team at Accenture Interactive, thank you for presenting this most interesting insight into the future trends.   

Read the full report here: 

Fjord Trends 2022: Emerging Trends & Challenges | Accenture