A Disrupter is a new product, person or service that changes everything. Arguably, due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, the environment is perfect for Disrupters to change the face of our local economies and the traditional way of doing things. Who amongst us has not had more video conference calls in one week in 2020 than they had for the whole of 2019?
Of course, ever changing rules about social interaction require us to meet our colleagues, business contacts and even family and friends virtually using the power of modern technology, but even when those restrictions have been lifted, it is likely that the way we work will have changed for good. Many meetings that would otherwise require an investment of time and cost travelling will be carried out on a video platform. For better or for worse, court hearings, board meetings, personnel appraisals and even, perhaps, first dates might just as likely be held in the cloud than on the ground. Perhaps a newspeak will evolve which includes acronyms such as ‘Chyom’, ‘Can’t hear, you’re on mute’, and the slang abbreviation ‘Z’later’, the current ‘see you later’ being replace by a lazy version of ‘Zoom you later’?
The lightning speed adjustment to the way that we meet has far more implications than just the obvious ones about saving time and money by not travelling for meetings. The way we work has changed; if not in our actual jobs, in the way that we conduct business with our customers and clients or in the products and services we provide. Lots of manufacturers have switched product lines to supply new demands and the demand of clients for professional services is trending very differently at the moment.
As a mere employment lawyer who goes out of his way for his clients to avoid the law and the Employment Tribunal by looking for solutions rather than legal arguments, I am not qualified, for example, to predict the long term effect of sustained super-low interests rates on our businesses. I leave advice about business structures to my far more expert corporate partners, but I am aware that despite some commercial casualties, many have found that to be fleet of foot and to be able to turn on a sixpence, is to give oneself the best chance in todays disrupted business world.
So if you were thinking of a New Years’ resolution, perhaps it will be to become completely flexible about what you do, and the way that you do it. If you are stuck with a rigid business model or are bound by rigid contracts, get disruptive.
Jolyon Berry is recognised by the Legal 500 as a “Leading Individual” and the TSP Employment team is recommended as “Tier 1”, one of the top three in Essex recommended by the Legal 500 in this practice area.
Jolyon can be contacted directly on 01206 217 024 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org