2020 was the year of cancellations. From travel plans to movie releases, even the olympics, everything was getting pushed back to the next year. As the year dragged on and the list of cancelled plans and postponed events grew larger, so did the hope for a brighter future in 2021.

Well, it’s the new year now and surely something good must happen. This list may seem like wishful thinking, but after the year we’ve just had, I think we could all use a wish (or five).

Working From Wherever We Want

The most sudden and long-term impact of the pandemic upon the working world was without a doubt the shift to remote working. While “working from home” has long been heralded as an eventuality of the digital age, most businesses were hesitant to allow their employees to work from outside the office en masse.  

Covid may have forced their hand, but now that it is normal, it is unlikely that remote work will ever go away. Even as restrictions ease, social distancing will make it unlikely for all staff to return to the office full time, and plenty of employers will continue to offer “work from home” as a perk or to keep overhead costs down.

While it’s not for everyone, in general people working from home report higher levels of morale, have better work/life balance, and are even more productive than their office-bound colleagues. Turns out that not having to commute into the office everyday (and subsequently not having to live near enough to your office to have a bearable commute) is good for you!

Even better though, is that as more areas come out of lockdowns, the requirement to “work from home” shifts to “work from wherever we want”. The wide-scale rollout of 5G internet allows for working from almost anywhere. Want to work from a beach-side cabana? Or from your van travelling all around the country? Or even just a new home in a more desirable location? Go for it! The choice is yours.

New Movies and TV Shows

If there is a silver lining of 2020, it is streaming services. From Netflix to Youtube to Disney+ and everything in between, being able to watch movies and TV shows from your home was invaluable during the months and months of lockdown. 

On the flip side, the production and release of new movies and TV shows came to an abrupt halt in March and left us with a watch list full of reruns and old classics. Now that many production houses are coming back online, all those postponed projects are starting to get solid release dates.

On top of this, we’re excited to be able to watch these new releases in proper movie-going experience. Catching an old episode of Friends is fine to do at home, but a new blockbuster deserves the big screen.

Faster and Stronger Internet

The sudden shift of people working from the office to working from home came with a huge demand for better internet. Now workers need to perform enterprise level tasks from wherever they are in the world, and they need enterprise level internet connections to do so.

Far from breaking under the surge of new demand, the increase in usage drove major internet upgrades around the world. Several of these were in the works already – including 5G and the new generation of WiFi 6 networks – and simply had their rollout sped up. 

Others were major reactions to rush upgrades out as quickly as possible. Internet giants like Netflix, Dropbox and Amazon piped in new connections, shored up existing connections, and wired up millions of superfast servers in a massive investment in increased capacity, speed, and performance across the board.

In the same way that major infrastructure investments can improve life in the city, these improvements to global digital infrastructure continue to improve the internet experience of billions around the world.  

A Successful Vaccine Rollout

Of course for most of these things to happen safely and reliably, a successful vaccine rollout is practically mandatory. Luckily there are already several large contenders and some countries are beginning to enact their vaccination plans. 

If the vaccination is made available to everyone and the rollout is widespread, experts say that we could see a return to a semblance of normality by the back half of 2021. So we might be waiting a little bit longer, and hopefully it will be worth the wait.

What are you looking forward to in 2021? Are you waiting for the world to return to normal or are you moving in a new direction? Let us know in the comments or share your story with us at facebook.com/upgradetorise