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Work, Travel & Events in 2022: Our survey results

Our report on what "normal" will mean this year

(This is the opening essay from this week's edition of my Sunday Note, which is brought to you by Armory Square Ventures. See their message in this week's newsletter.)

I CONFESS TO HAVING NO IDEA WHAT THIS YEAR WILL LOOK LIKE. States and major cities like LA and NYC are rolling back anti-Covid19 measures, and clearly declaring that “normal” will be whatever happens in a few months.

People are traveling again, they are going to the office (at least sometimes), and enjoying meals INSIDE restaurants — but not everyone. It’s a weird mix, and it’s tough to navigate.

To learn more, we put out a simple survey that asked people both how they had been affected by the pandemic, and how they see this year panning out. The 400 responses were interesting, especially regarding opinions of how the last year had been. I expected there to be a relatively broad dissatisfaction with work, or at least some very middle-of-the-road responses, but people were generally satisfied with how work had gone in 2021 - 3.8 out 5, with 5 being “extremely satisfied.” We must note, of course, that the kind of folks who read this newsletter and take such surveys are typically lucky enough to work mostly remotely (though we certainly have many healthcare workers in our mix).

We also asked questions about work and leisure travel, events and conferences, and asked you to make a few predictions. The report is free, and available here.

Here’s my prediction for 2022:

Even if everything goes back to “normal,” events have been permanently transformed. There will be lots of in-person events, which people crave. But the era of all speakers happily flying for hours to do a 45-minute panel are over. Instead, expect featured speakers to do deeper engagements and many panelists to so just Zoom in. I once flew 14 hours to Istanbul for 14 minutes on stage. I won’t be doing that again!

I’d love to hear yours — email me, tweet at me, or leave a comment at the end of the newsletter.

More importantly — read what your peers have to say! And big congrats to Kara Gavin (@karag) for winning our survey contest. An Amazon gift card is on the way to her.

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