When we come to sum up 2020, we will define it as the year that forced us to change our ways. For those of us who make our living from the digital transition, it was something of a fantastic year. The pace of change that we are currently experiencing goes far beyond what even the most optimistic of us had hoped for. Age groups that we had previously written off as impossible have suddenly learned to catch up. Industries that have long struggled are now changing. All because of the pandemic, of course. But the new normal is going to mean a greater degree of digital maturity. On a broad front.

One sector that had been lagging behind in Sweden is groceries. But we are now seeing a clear shift, particularly among older consumers who have increasingly taken to doing their grocery shopping online. Pharmacy products have also seen a huge rise. Two bricks-and-mortar-centric industries which are now undergoing the same transition that clothing stores, banks and travel agencies have already been through. This change seems likely to serve as a driving force behind smart new distribution solutions that will ease us along that challenging final stretch. We are already seeing new partnerships such as the one between online grocery retailer Mathem and hardware store Clas Ohlson. A wider customer base will bring better distribution solutions.

More time at home has also meant an upswing for streaming services. Changing viewing habits have consequences for TV advertising and linear television. It is reasonable to assume that we will see new services and business models in the future. Homeworking has also had a huge impact on our lives. For many, the disappearance of our commute has meant longer working hours. Often at a more intense pace. With fewer breaks and longer days. Business trips and physical meetings have been replaced with conference calls and webinars. The holy trinity makes its presence felt once more – technology, processes and people. The technology is becoming more familiar and we now know all to well where its shortcomings lie. Processes is an aspect we need to work on and the same goes for people.

Here are our five tips for a better WFH reality:

  1. Short meetings. Conclude each online meeting with a quick moment of group reflection: Was the meeting necessary? Did everybody participate actively? Could it have been made shorter? Was everybody prepared? Actively strive for fewer and shorter meetings. Only invite participants who really need to attend.
  2. Schedule time in the calendar for your own work. A classic, but a tough one to keep sacred. You have work that needs to be done and you need time to do it.
  3. Schedule time away from screens and headphones for reflection. Create time for your thoughts.
  4. Go to work. Retain your old habits. Get up, put on your normal work clothes, eat breakfast and go to work. Yep, that’s right. Go for a walk and arrive at your desk.
  5. Take breaks. Regularly. Make time for your lunch and take the whole hour.
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