How Key Themes from 2020 will shape the workforce in 2021

Becky Speake, January 2021

2020 saw the world as we know it change almost overnight. A sudden shift in lifestyle and working behaviour, now called “the new normal”, was a key time for businesses to define how they would start to manage new working conditions, tackle sustainability and support social movements during this difficult time.

With the onus now firmly on how organisations will tackle sustainability challenges, we wanted to use our platform to help businesses work towards a more sustainable future. Together with the University of Texas-Austin and the Boston Consulting Group we launched the first in a series of webinars to upskill organisations in the application of design thinking and sustainability, to help businesses create a more sustainable future.

We were lucky to be joined by some of the brightest thought leaders in the world. Kicking off the first webinar of 2020 was Doreen Lorenzo, Assistant Dean at the university of Texas at Austin, Jared Huke, Lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, Orlando Mathias, Associate Director at the Boston Consulting Group in London and Maher Chebbo, Chair of the Governing Board at REEEP.

Our fantastic speakers took us through the journey of design thinking and how this innovative, creative approach can help us solve some of today’s most complex problems. Their methods showed us how businesses can adopt design thinking methods to develop creative ideas to build a sustainable business. For those that missed our first webinar of 2020, don't worry. You can find the full recording here.

We are happy to let you know that due to the popularity of the first course, we will deliver more tailored online courses in 2021 to upskill organisations in the application of design thinking and sustainability. Find out more here.

As part of our ongoing mission to create a sustainable future, we have partnered with CWEIC and REEEP to provide a platform for governments and businesses to share knowledge and support sustainable initiatives. The partnership will continue global efforts to transition from the use of fossil fuels and move towards clean and sustainable energy sources for communities across the Commonwealth. There will be a number of exciting projects and partnerships coming up this year, so make sure you follow us on Linkedin to see the latest news and developments.


Mental health

Mental health also became a huge underlying cause for concern during the pandemic, not just for those isolating but for front line workers and medical staff. Loneliness, job changes and stress brought on by the pandemic were all serious causes for concern. Together with BCG and FrontLine Connect, we conducted research into the mental health and wellbeing of key workers, such as NHS, Metropolitan Police and Royal Mail employees to find out more.

We found that the pandemic amplified and added to existing mental health, sleep disruption and wellbeing challenges. Our research also showed that there remains an unmet need and this is having a direct impact on reputation risk management, safety risk management and ultimately productivity.

In response, Mala Manku, Founder of Cavendish Group and the Association of Corporate Treasurers came together in November to speak to Tomas Campbell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and the psychological impact it is having on people. He revealed the alarming psychological effect the virus has had on people in China, mental health charities and our ability to navigate our new world of work. To listen to his fantastic insights, you can find the full interview.

With the concerning new statistics in mind we felt that there was no time quite like 2020 to bring the cost of unmet wellbeing needs on your business and people to the front of the agenda. Together with support from the BCG, Frontline connect and Sam Cohen we launched FrontUp, a platform designed to create a bespoke solution and platform for your workforce.

The confidential platform would be an all-inclusive app that would provide a complete solution from an array of stress and mood monitoring to coping mechanisms, meditation, and access to referral for deeper counselling. The app will adopt a human-centred design approach to create high utility, behaviour changing services for employees that deliver measurable health benefits. We are happy to let you know that the beta version of the app is under rapid development and will be ready to launch in early 2021. Ria Patel, Co-founder of Frontup commented ‘For too long poor mental health and low mood have been siloed from both community and employer led responsibility. The covid pandemic has shone light on the action that needs to be taken, but the real work starts now. At FrontUp, we will continue our efforts to create meaningful change. We look forward to sharing this with you in the new year’.


What will 2021 look like?

2021 will be the time to start rebuilding and thinking about how we can all work together to build a brighter, happier and more sustainable world to live. At the cavendish group, we will be speaking with the lord mayors office to discuss building sustainable development goals and accelerate green energy technologies.

We aim to build a more diverse workforce within sustainability. We believe that diversity plays an important part in driving sustainability and should take centre stage as companies strive to bridge the gap between communities, influence supply chains and build partnerships. We want businesses to benefit from a range of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings and our goal is to help clients leverage diverse and talented workforce to support sustainable initiatives. If you would like to partner with us or support our initiative please reach out to becky.speake@cavendishgrp.com

As a move to help private organisations shift towards the new climate change agenda, we will now offer an additional service to help you with your green talent hiring. The world of work has never been more in tune with the world outside and with talent in such high demand, we are now here to help you match industry specialists with your company to elevate its environmental work, messaging and targets.

We would like to say a special thanks to the Boston Consulting Group, the University of Texas in Austin for their continued support!

Becky Speake, January 2021

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