Given everything that’s happened in 2020, it’s anyone’s guess what’s coming down the line in 2021. But there are five main issues we know, that are almost certain to impact businesses across Europe next year.
While, right now, the headlines are all about Covid-19, before the global pandemic hit, it was all Brexit. And that hasn’t gone away. On January 31st, the UK is set to leave the EU and, as yet, there is still no deal. Anything could happen between now and then, but whether it’s a no-deal or the parties come to some arrangement, there are sure to be serious ramifications for businesses both in the UK and the rest of Europe. Keep abreast of developments and begin putting contingencies in place on what you can plan for.
As a result of Brexit – the UK leaving EU, means that the EU will lose a major contributor. The remaining 27 states will have to increase how much they pay into the central pot in order to balance the books – which means governments will have to find extra cash somewhere. Making up this shortfall could mean extra taxes on businesses. Again, we still don’t know all of the details and will have to wait and see how the EC reacts, particularly with the ramifications of the current pandemic.
As the second wave of Covid-19 is here, once again businesses are being locked down all over Europe. Without a doubt, there will be casualties as many go to the wall, despite governments bail out schemes to keep companies operating and employees paid.
However, when the Covid-19 crisis finally ends, there’ll be a price to pay in terms of the debt left in its wake, along with a high probability of recession. Many businesses will be looking for handouts and funding to get back up-and-running. But, an even worse scenario could await in the early months of next year in the form of a third wave of the disease.
Work from home is here to stay
Coronavirus lockdowns saw more companies than ever implement WFH (Work From Home) policies. It’s thought that close to a third of all European worker have now worked from home at some stage during the pandemic and this is set to continue into next year.
Many of these businesses wouldn’t have considered adopting these policies before the pandemic hit. However, more significantly, many of these companies are seeing business benefits as a result of WFH and other flexible working policies. WFH will become the norm at many companies once the pandemic has ended.
And, as we see those laid off during the pandemic re-entering the workforce during 2021, it will be companies that have embraced flexible working practices that will be able to cherry-pick the best of the talent out there.
Payment technologies will do even more
Voice technologies such as Alexa and Siri are changing the way consumers interact with technology and with businesses. Along with technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), data analytics, Cloud computing and the Internet of Things, the way we purchase and pay for things is evolving fast.
To benefit, businesses must make sure they are using the latest technology and partnering with payment solutions providers that will be able to connect them to more customers in new ways. At KoalaPays, we will always push the boundaries of what can be achieved with our payment solutions, offering more value and functionality to businesses that partner with us, as well as helping you to offer more to your own customers too. Get in touch with our team if you’d like to find out more.