Looking back and pressing forward: Lessons learned in 2020

In January it is traditional to set aspirational goals, hoping and expecting that things will be different – and better – in the year to come. Given everything that happened in 2020 it is even more tempting than usual to draw a line under the past year and just look forward.

But before we do that, it’s worth a little reflection. 2020 has both taught us and changed us, as a business and as professionals. Despite the many downsides, the experiences and effects of 2020 in many ways make us feel even more optimistic about the future. Here are a few of the reasons…

1 / New ways of working

Like most of you reading this, we just got on with it when the Covid19 pandemic struck. While we missed each other and the sociability of office life, Zoomlife came easily to us as we’ve always encouraged people to work from home on the days that suit them. More than simply keeping the business running, we quickly improved our remote ways of working, demonstrating to ourselves and our clients that we could still deliver great work and effective collaboration without meeting face-to-face. We’re on the way to a ‘working from anywhere’ future and we’re excited about the opportunities this creates for our people to get more out of life and for us to work with clients in more places around the world.

2 / New flexibility and empathy

We stuck together as a team, helping each other juggle our personal challenges. Coping with homeschooling, poorly relatives, mental health issues and lockdown fatigue is tough. I’m proud that we all supported each other, moving work around as needed without, we hope, having any impact on the quality of what we delivered for clients.

3 / New challenges

While some clients and sectors were badly affected by Covid, a lot weren’t and after the initial disruption we found ourselves as busy as ever. We know not everyone has been so lucky and want to thank all of our clients for trusting us with their challenges. Led by you, the nature of the work we do is changing too. As well as research, we are doing more and more planning and strategy work. When we get round to talking about 2021, we will share more about our three practices.

As a business that’s fueled by insights, 2020 has been a year when we’ve learnt more about society, clients, consumers – and ourselves – than any normal year. We look forward to using that insight to help you achieve your ambitions in 2021 and beyond.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.