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Happy Reflections & Predictions

This week we wanted to share some thoughts about working from home versus the office and predictions on trends for the future. We would be happy to hear your thoughts on these topics, given the transformative change many of us have had this year on our professional lives.

I have been working from home for the majority of the last 5.5 years. I am very grateful for the trust shown in me by my former employer, especially my line manager back then. Fast forward to 2020...


Working from home literally became an overnight necessity for many businesses, from large enterprises to small start-up teams. The luxury of time and planning was not afforded to bosses, or IT teams and they just had to make it work. A large slice of kudos to all those who facilitated working from home in record time.

What was once a viral sensation from 2017, is now the norm.

I’m sure you have had a call into a customer care department and heard a dog barking in the background, or perhaps even a small child can be heard being speedily shepherded away from the work-zone? We are all human, have our individual private lives, making the most of a challenging year so I accept these interruptions and know that companies have taken due care and attention with information security measures for employees who now work from home.

Another phenomenon of the last 5-6 years is the rise in shared office space for solo-preneurs and micro-teams. Companies that run these co-working areas have seen a drop in subscriptions. I love these spaces as the camaraderie and relaxing nature is very useful for start-ups, who can literally find a new customer or supplier, standing in the morning coffee queue. Confidence will return for these companies as citizens receive their vaccinations in the coming months and business will return to pre-COVID levels.

Here at HappyJobsNI

The team at HappyJobsNI is a hybrid entity – half work from home while the other 50% spend at least 3 days a week in the office. Having face-to-face contact is very useful for a start-up business; to be together to discuss ideas, sign-off on suggestions and move ahead with execution on plans. The reader should bear in mind that we are currently in the middle of a 2-week lockdown in Northern Ireland and we are still commuting several times a week to provide a service for our customers.

During November we heard about various COVID-19 vaccination trials that are close to being made available, pending regulatory approval in each country. This will take months to push through to the majority of the population, but by next Spring, we may see the majority of workers, invited to return to the office. Will they go return? I suspect they will in a hybrid model, maybe 2/3 days a week maximum.

Back to <<Business Travel in>> the future

The other aspect of this blog is to talk about business travel, whether this is for conferences or customer meetings. Did you know that the majority of airline profits is from business class passengers? With business travel dramatically cut, those expensive seats may have fewer suits on them. If this is the case, does this push the cost of airline tickets up for economy travellers? I heard on a podcast last week about how some companies have cut their travel budget by up to 90% for 2021 to protect jobs. It will be interesting to see what happens with business travel, does it rebound, is there more than ever before?

How does the conference industry adapt? One area of sales and marketing that was thriving up to March this year. If you listen to American event tech companies, they are very bullish about re-bounding back in 2021 to face-to-face events. This is in stark contrast to European vendors who are much more reluctant to announce in-person event dates for next year, some even saying "the days of in person events are dead". Although I do appreciate the efforts of planners who put events online, it just isn’t the same as hearing speakers live and networking with your peers. Personally speaking, I can’t wait for live events to resume.

Rest assured, HappyJobsNI are here to help you with your recruitment needs, with our prices starting from only £599 for your next hire.

Happy Wishes,


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