Will the business world be different?

Most of us have enjoyed glorious weather over the past few days, and the UK’s accelerating vaccine programme provides reason for cautious optimism.  It feels like normality is re-appearing, slowly, as people take small steps into a changed environment. But what does this mean for the business world?


Whilst we are approaching what we all hope will be a ‘proper summer’ with an increased sense of optimism, it is worth sitting back and reflecting from 30,000 feet, exactly what has happened over the last 12 months.


Trump. Brexit. Covid. Furlough. Vaccine.


It is fair to say, that over the past two centuries, a more tumultuous 18 month period for business has not been seen.  Depressing for some, but exciting for others.  Because, in spite of all these monumental challenges, we are starting to see innovation, energy, cultural change and increased youth engagement across the business world that is a force for good whichever way you look at it. I sincerely believe that these challenges – and our amazing response as a business community – is a ‘once in a lifetime’ phenomenon.


And, however bad the period has been for some – and will sadly continue to be – the changes that have appeared in all of our ‘business worlds’, will be seismic.  The world will be different.


Forget working in city centre offices for 5 days out of 5.  Working ‘in’ the office has changed for good and many will be celebrating that. Instead of a 5-day week we are now talking in terms of a ‘4+1’ week (working 4 days at the office and one at home), 3+2 week or even a 1+4 week.  Home environments will be used at least a ‘little’ more by most.  Garden working.  Flexi-time.  Non-urban office environments.


Overseas business travel is set to decline rapidly as a result of the acceptance of platforms such as Teams or Zoom for communication, negotiation and transacting both internally and externally.  The money impact won’t be ignored by shareholders eitherm, although building culture will inevitably require some ‘face to face’.


Long-term office leasing will become a feature of the past for many.  Flexible, rural, non-conventional working hubs may be a thing of the future.  Serviced offices will be needed, but capacity will be constrained and the ‘offerings’ will be key. New solutions are being found in a range of industries which challenge the status quo.  Solutions that will make, I am sure, for better service levels, better business health and better engagement with staff moving forward.


All businesses are adapting and COVID-19 has been the catalyst to do just that.  I suspect it has catapulted us at least 10 years into the future.  Thinking freely with no ‘norms’ to conform to and a different set of opportunities ahead of us is exciting.


Even Bluebox, our full service corporate finance business which has enjoyed a record breaking 2020, has looked to develop new offerings that are relevant to a discerning, yet evolving client base.  Thus, Bluebox Velocity, was created to deal with smaller sales and fund raising with a fixed-price, non-exclusive, zero retainer offer. Change is great for business and we need to embrace the challenges that COVID and Brexit have heaped on us in a truly positive way.


Wishing all of you an enjoyable June in the run up to a ‘possible summer’ and here’s hoping that when we reach out in July, the news on the virus front will be increasingly positive.


– Paul, Group CEO