Capital Markets Corporate

July 16, 2020

Finding reasons to be cheerful

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As lockdown ticks over from double digits to triple figures, it can be hard to maintain the same stoicism and resilience that got us through the earlier chapters of the pandemic. The novelty has well and truly worn off and it has become less about aiming for the light at the end of the tunnel, and more about adapting to life within the current confines. Comparing and contrasting the new normal to the freedoms we enjoyed before the crisis is a fruitless exercise that only serves to heighten the sense of apathy.

But despite the inescapable Groundhog Day feeling, there are still some grounds for optimism. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest recession forecasts – not to mention feeling like an episode of Sesame Street (is it a V-shaped recession? A U-shaped one?  Or, whisper it, an F-shaped incarnation?) – and that’s only for those who haven’t opted to bury their heads in the sand as a coping strategy. Amid all the doom and gloom it can feel futile to remain optimistic, but there are still plenty of reasons to do so.

The easing of certain lockdown legislation has provided something of a fillip, with the return of pubs, restaurants and sport providing a welcome distraction. Being able to see friends and family in the flesh rather than as a small square on a screen has also served to lift the spirits. But perhaps the most important factor in the UK’s recovery has been the fact that many sectors – including financial services and tech – have been able to keep functioning throughout this peculiar period.

Entrepreneurial spirit has remained to the fore too; not only in how organisations and individuals have adapted to different ways of working, but also through new businesses being born or pivoted in the midst of the maelstrom. After all, there’s never a bad time for a good idea. The pandemic has also served to accelerate the progress of developments that may have otherwise taken years; digital adoption, a cashless society and a more mature outlook on how and where we work. Building back better is not just a pithy PR soundbite; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make significant societal shifts for the greater good.

All this isn’t to sugar coat the situation or pretend there haven’t been and won’t be painful parts of what will go down as of the most tumultuous times in many of our lives, but is merely to accentuate the positives of an extraordinary epoch. Viewing the glass as half-full will not only make you a more popular person to be around, but can help businesses tackle the coming challenges with renewed vigour.

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