This year is unique for many, and not only because people are yet to adapt to the post-COVID times. In fact, 2020 saw many people make drastic changes to their routines, and not only because of unusual circumstances.

One good example is the rise of online shopping. People who had never considered this option have come to realize that some things can be simplified and will not abandon the practice in the future. In fact, consumers are doing everything from making major appliance purchases to looking for a new high-end table lamp.

In terms of businesses, new approaches are so plentiful that it’s difficult to pick the starting point.

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable pivots people are making in 2021.

1. Using More Lateral Thinking
People seem to be applying lateral thinking more often, which is a change for the better.

Lateral thinking is a manner of solving problems by applying a not immediately obvious indirect and creative reasoning approach. It doesn’t follow the regular step-by-step logic; rather, it uses creativity to find unique solutions.

Needless to say, solutions achieved in this way are unique to every individual, meaning that lateral thinking is an endless process of progress.

2. Making Performance Improvement a Reality
While lateral thinking can be employed for all aspects of life, when it comes to businesses, one significant pivot is the shift to performance improvement.

This topic isn’t novel by any means; for decades businesses have struggled to refine their strategies in this regard. However, the focus has recently shifted to both the teams and the individuals creating them, allowing for personalized approaches.

Obviously, no matter how different employees are, company goals still remain the same. That’s why performance improvement plans are tremendously important.

So, how to create a performance improvement plan?

First of all, a good performance improvement plan takes personal differences into consideration. Of late, anonymous feedback has been used abundantly, with the goal to determine what motivates the employees.

Seeing as people are different, different employees will think differently. The plan should outline everyone’s strong points and make them work in unison for the best results.

Start with aligning company goals with employees’ expectations. Then, draft action-based guidelines that clearly outline the steps towards reaching company goals. Optimally, the steps will differ from person to person.

3. Applying Standard Operating Procedures
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are not new, but it is safe to say they have gotten a whole new meaning in 2020. Because many businesses were forced to come up with innovative methodologies to keep afloat (let alone remain profitable), there has been a dramatic increase in SOPs.

If unfamiliar with the term, let’s say that an SOP is a document that details how to perform repetitive processes within an organization. A proper document is written professionally and describes each and every process clearly in a way that employees will understand.

Because of that, the finest of SOPs rely on individual strengths. To write such a document, you should include the following information:

* A title
* A clearly written introduction
* The scope
* Contact information for coordinating personnel
* Step-by-step procedures
* Checklists
* Glossary (as needed)

To simplify the process, it is recommended to create a template so that each upcoming SOP will be standardized. Also, consider creating SOPs for your SEO strategies. This will help greatly when monitoring SEO performance.

4. Buying Life Insurance at an Earlier Age
Another notable pivot is the rise of interest in life insurance policies. People seem to be thinking about all eventualities at a considerably earlier age than before.

While the pandemic has influenced the trend some, it is not true that it is the only factor. Consider digital nomadism, for example. With an increasing number of people looking for alternative ways to work and live, life insurance policies that can provide some certainty no matter where you are have become the obvious choice.

The question of when to get life insurance is, thus, revived again in a new context. The answer is, as always, individual, but the good thing is that insurance companies are increasingly recognizing the trend and coming up with specialized solutions for all scenarios. You only need to take your time comparing the offers!

5. Turning to Digital Nomadism
Since we mentioned digital nomadism, we may as well dive right in!

While many people still can’t quite let go of a 9-to-5 job experience, you just can’t deny that being a digital nomad is on the rise! And why not? Travel around the world AND make money while you’re doing it? Sign me up!

However, there may be much more to it than meets the eye. With people really focusing on their finances during this still rather unknown environment, tax incentives and credits are imperative, especially when you’re paying your own taxes and not having them automatically deducted from a corporate paycheck.

Therefore, it’s not just a dream to live and work in paradise, such as Bali, but it actually makes financial sense. With both tax exemptions and the cost of living taken into consideration, there’s more to being a digital nomad than working under a palm tree on a beach.

6. Work/Life Balance
And now that we've had a chance to slow down, we've all had the opportunity to develop a much better work/life balance. This means many different things to different people. Some are taking the time to make more home-cooked meals, take their dog for a long walk or using their work-from-home break to have a short workout. For others, it may mean hitting the road for a little travel break, such as looking for things to do in Colorado, choosing a fun destination or getting away for a little remote work/play stay.

One good thing about all these changes is that people seem to be getting in touch with their creativity and using their brains more.

The pivots mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg, too. Think about the things you’re already doing differently and you’ll see that there’s more than meets the eye to each of us.

Some excerpts originally published on href=””>Business 2 Community

Author's Bio: 

Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, who focuses on topics related to business, productivity, time management, mental health and travel. She also has her own travel blog and works with Flow SEO.