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The Major Trends That Are Changing Our Tech Habits in 2021

The Coronavirus pandemic slowed a lot of things down. It forced us to postpone or cancel big life events, from weddings to anniversary parties to the annual get together. Many of us found ourselves being put on furlough and we sat at home waiting to hear if our jobs were going to still be there when we got back. We spent days, weeks, months on our sofas, with so many of the usual motivating forces to get out of the house simply cut off. We sat and we waited for things to get moving again.

But one of the very few areas that has not been slowed by the pandemic is technology. As the world reeled from the pandemic and the cataclysmic impact it had in so many different sectors, the tech industry found ways to help us push back, to keep going forward. It seems fair to say that there are plenty of people out there who would now consider themselves old hands at video conferencing having never done it before March 2020. Small business owners have learned how using technology more efficiently can give them a leg up over companies with significantly more resources than they have. Meanwhile, other factors that have been pushed into the public eye as a result of events during the pandemic, such as mental health and climate change, are also having a real impact on the way we use tech. Here are just a few.

Remote Working Might Be Here to Stay 

When we all went home for the first time in the UK’s national lockdown, there was a general sense that this was something that wouldn’t be around for too long. Yes, we thought, the virus probably wouldn’t completely disappear just because we were staying home but surely we would be back in the office after a few weeks. Well, flash forward to Autumn 2021 and the great return to the office project is still up in the air for a huge number of people. While some businesses are pushing hard for their employees to get back under one roof, many others have discovered that there are a lot of benefits to working remotely, from increased flexibility to cutting out office costs, and we are seeing more WFH job listings out there. As a result, those of us who work for companies that have committed to this new normal are getting used to working from our home office. 

We’ve abandoned the homework station we set up at the kitchen table, and we have learned how to optimise our home workspace. We have also learned how to use software that allows us all to stay on the same page, track each other’s progress and manage projects seamlessly. Working remotely is not just about the Monday morning Zoom call, it’s about embracing a new technological frontier.

We Are All Watching Our Spending 

We don’t need to tell you about how many people found themselves out of work during the pandemic, and how many more are worrying about how their employers will be able to manage the winter now that many of the government grants and support schemes have come to an end. But everyone is starting to feel the pinch, especially those of us who have spent a bit more freely in a summer of lifted restrictions. We’ve all gone out and we’ve all taken advantage of being able to get back to something resembling our normal lives, and with the Autumn coming in we are all too aware that things can get tougher very quickly. 

One of the better things to come from everyone doing all of their business online (and we will get onto some negatives in a moment) is that we have all got a lot cannier about looking for ways to save. We have shopped around for better contracts with our energy suppliers. We have looked into whether spreading the cost of big purchases over several months will help us, or if we are just setting ourselves up for bigger costs down the line. And we have also asked ourselves whether we are paying for more than we really want or need with our phone deals. SIM-only plans allow you to get what you need without having to worry about getting a massive bill shock at the end of the month. If you want to learn more about how you could save with a SIM-only plan, check out Lebara. They offer a range of SIM only deals with international minutes so you can find the package that suits you.

We Are Getting Better at Watching Our Security 

Speaking of how we have all spent a lot more time online over the course of the pandemic, this trend was not only noticed by the people who write reports on consumer behaviour. It was inevitable that this huge push towards online shopping, recreation and business would be followed by a massive increase in cybercrime activities. After all, you had the perfect storm of businesses rushing to keep things operating as close to normal as they could without taking the proper steps to protect themselves, and people who had no real concept of how vulnerable they could be online who had to figure all this out from scratch because the government said that they were not allowed to go outside. 

What happened was that we saw a range of different scams, hacks and ransomware that left no group untargeted. There were the Royal Mail scam texts, those fake vaccine offers, and then the huge number of businesses and institutions of all shapes and sizes that found themselves under attack. The statistics surrounding it were staggering, and we all sat up and took notice. Now, we are all trying to take a few extra steps to protect our information and our finances. Whether it’s password generators, two-factor authentication, or screening our emails a lot more carefully, we have all been given a reality check on how important good security is and will continue to be moving forward.

Climate Change is Making Us More Conscientious 

We have all been forced to come to terms with the fact that global warming is here to stay, and that time is running out if we want to act. While it can often seem like there is little that we can do as individuals in the face of such a massive issue, we are all thinking carefully about how we can make an impact with our individual decisions and choices. Of course, many of these are not tech related. A lot of people are switching to meat-free diets, a lot of people are ditching clothing brands that don’t use sustainable methods to produce their materials, and we are all trying to remember to take our reusable water container with us. 

But one of the most important actions that we can take is recycling, and there is a huge tech issue here that we are starting to address. Electronic waste is a huge problem worldwide, not just in the UK, and the government was talking about introducing curb-side collection to help with the issue earlier this year. Electronic waste refers to everything from mobile phones to computers to car batteries, so much of which simply ends up in the bin or on a landfill.


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