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Business Challenges for the Decade Ahead

From climate change predictions to optimism about space exploration and artificial intelligence, the decade ahead for businesses and entrepreneurs looks to be both exciting and turbulent.

As the world grows increasingly smaller, events in faraway places can have a knock-on effect on your company. The one thing that can be said for certain about the 2020s and beyond is that they are likely to be interesting, and the trends below will probably affect nearly everyone’s workplace.

Generational Shift

The baby boomer generation is retiring, and the millennials are moving into the spaces they leave behind. Despite a barrage of articles that try to generalize about characteristics of each generation, it is difficult to say on a global scale just how different these generations truly are.

However, what is undeniable is that aging baby boomers are likely to have a significant effect on economies as their needs shift in terms of greater leisure time and more health care needs. Meanwhile, older millennials may not quite be the digital natives that the generation below them are, but their comfort with the digital world is likely to significantly shift how work is done.

Virtual Offices

Before a pandemic closed offices around the world, the trend of digital nomads, people working while always on the go, was already growing. As companies increasingly find that their employees can be as or even more productive at home than in the office, it is likely that the work-at-home trend will continue. This is particularly true with younger workers who are more comfortable with the technology required to do so.

Dealing with Student Loan Debt

Unlike their baby boomer counterparts, millennials and their younger siblings, generation Z, are likely to be carrying a significant amount of student loan debt. A big debt burden can make people less likely to take financial risks, such as starting their own companies, and many may be looking for ways to reduce and streamline that debt.

One option may be student loan consolidation. This takes several different loans with different interest rates and due dates and consolidates them into a single payment, which may have a lower interest rate.

Data and Connection

Relationship building is likely to continue to be important in building a loyal customer base in the decade ahead. Social media marketing in particular is often aimed at trying to give customers a personal sense of connection to a company. While this emotional tie can be more important than pricing or convenience to customers, the additional benefit for a company is the access to increasingly granular data.

This can then be used to market even more effectively. However, gathering more data also increases privacy concerns. Companies will need to continue paying attention to security in the decade ahead and could face additional regulation regarding how data is gathered and what can be done with it.

This can be particularly challenging in a global sense. For example, the European Union has data privacy laws that must be observed by companies and organizations working with individuals within the area even if the company is outside that area. More regulation of this type may be ahead.

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