Bushfires, a pandemic, market correction and suspected collapse in property prices, market boom in shares and property, pandemic continuing although we now live with it. All of this is the period 2019-22.
The result has been such that many people have been so deeply disrupted they were forced to the point of reflection. After being forced to make abrupt and significant changes under pressure, many people revaluated their priorities and are now making changes of their own choosing in terms of where they work, who to work for, where to live, given its been made easier by technology, and how to accommodate the needs of children and elderly parents.
Interestingly people are aspiring to proactively make the life they want and it’s probably overdue. The 9-5 doesn’t have to be and getting stuck in traffic or commuting for 2 hours each day doesn’t have to be. There is a new way of doing and living that we road-tested during the worst of the pandemic, proving it could be done.
There are some exceptions, of course. Many individuals made choices to leave corporate culture to care for others and educate their children. Some of them, by choice or necessity, will not return. We see “cottage businesses” blooming amongst our clients who are stepping out to pursue their work for themselves or pursuing a passion they believe they can commercialise. This is the way it has always been, where new businesses are started and grown from home by resourceful people who no longer wish to work the traditional way. Most will not return to the traditional workforce, further tightening an already tight labour market. This is a good thing when people aspire to grow in ways that are important to them. But it is not a new thing.
People have faced unexpected sea change disruption before and have adapted. Consider the massive social upheaval caused by the Industrial Revolution. In the last half-century, technology has displaced industry as the driver of change in the workplace, in population movement from smaller communities into urban hubs, and in daily life. Fortunately and as a by-product of this, more people are making the sea and green change and moving to rural communities and bringing about the decentralisation of the economy away from the big cities. This was something that no amount of government policy or intervention has been able to achieve. Yet the power of the internet and a broadband network across the nation has created this new reality. It will and should bring pressure on all governments to fund regional infrastructure and transport networks linking through fast trains and the like regional centres to main city hubs. There will be challenges, but we are living through history and a revolution of change. It is estimated that the investment to change the global energy base to meet the 2050 global emission targets will total greater than 10 trillion dollars. Staggering, but an exciting prospect for the future.