Just over a year ago, we were in the process of wrapping up the first ever issue of the Investors’ Chronicle produced entirely from home. For all the challenges this brought, there was also much excitement – we did something that we never previously thought possible, and the sense of achievement in those first few weeks of lockdown one was palpable.
Yet the moving goalposts of Covid-related restrictions culminating in lockdown three have now stretched the patience of even the most unflappable members of the team. Even with the end in sight, there is also a depressing resignation that we probably haven’t seen the last shift in government policy as a third wave hits Europe which, to paraphrase the words of Boris Johnson, is almost certain to wash up on these shores. As a result, overseas summer holidays once again look like they won’t happen, being non-essential as the government has decreed and with the EU-UK vaccine spat escalating and variants multiplying. And we still have no idea what our working lives will look like come autumn – will we be in the office, or permanently at home, or in some hybrid limbo? Will we require a vaccine to enter the office, as care workers may have to do to remain in work? Investors are said not to like uncertainty – well, the same is true of everybody else too.
Nevertheless, the efforts of the team meant 2020 turned out to be a productive one for Investors’ Chronicle, as was the case with many listed businesses we cover. As we have seen in companies’ financial statements, many have coped incredibly with the pandemic, quickly adjusting strategies to meet new customer needs, trimming their sails to weather trimmed sales, and seeing earnings bounce back fast from the initial savaging. Many will emerge from the pandemic leaner and more efficient than ever before, having turned to technology to manage new working practices.