Data and Insight

Hyphen’s 2020 Dictionary

By Nicola French

Hyphen’s 2020 Dictionary

In our latest blog, Nicola French, Account Director reflects on 2020 and highlights the importance of stopping to smell the roses – even in the the most challenging of times.


There   is   no   denying   the   pandemic   has   changed   the   world   we   live   in…. but   for   the   better?

2020 will certainly be a year that goes down in the history book. Who could have predicted last Spring that a global pandemic was right around the corner? Full disclosure, this blog isn’t going to be all doom & gloom. As an agency with positivity at the heart of everything we do, we try our best to look for the silver linings – and that couldn’t be truer of our reflections on 2020.

I think all of us can take positives from last year, there really has been a lot of good amongst all the bad, and to kick off a new year what better than to reflect on the highs.

We  live  amongst  real-life  heroes.

We couldn’t possibly begin talking about 2020 without recognising and appreciating the day-to-day heroes that live amongst us. Key workers have been fundamental to keeping the UK’s wheels in motion; doctors, nurses, volunteers, teachers, delivery drivers, supermarkets and Police to name a few. Thank you!

Its  ok  to  not  be  ok.  We  are  still  connected.

There’s no denying that 2020 brought challenges into both our personal and professional worlds. As we navigate our way around this new-normal, our typical sources of stress relief and ‘switching off’ have been taken away from us – albeit temporarily. For now, we evolve and find new ways of finding the much-needed comfort. But we’ve welcomed a world (with semi-open arms) where we celebrate Birthdays on Zoom, we give our friends & families virtual hugs and we work with our clients and partners from our homes, through a screen. We have all adjusted, powered through and above all made it work. That is something to be proud of! But physical contact for us humans is so very important, just look at our ancestors – we need our tribe. Physical touch can lower our blood pressure, increase oxytocin levels, and improve our sleep. It can also buffer stress, emphasising its importance during this stressful time of living in the pandemic. So, if you’re feeling a little out of sorts… that’s ok! Just look at the science. It’s out of our control for the time being. Continue to stay connected with colleagues, friends and family. Check in on each other from time to time and keep talking. There really is light at the end of the tunnel.


Time  is  a  great  healer.

2020 saw 60% of the UK working from home – bringing a number of unexpected benefits. People are enjoying a greater work/life balance and spending more time with their children and or pets, they’re saving money through reduced travel costs, expensive take-out coffees and lunches and pollution and negative effects on the environment as a result of commuting are subsiding. The Earth is breathing once again.

People have proved to employers and themselves that they can work efficiently at home – yes it may have taken some adjusting to, but give yourself a pat on the back, that’s another big tick!

With prices for almost everything going up year on year, saving on average £500 a month as a result of working from home is most definitely a positive. It is estimated that the UK carbon emissions reduced by approx. 11% in 2020, a much bigger drop than the 3% target set by the Committee on Climate Change – again, due to people not travelling for work and the national lockdowns.

But what we can’t put a price tag on is time. By working from home (and lockdown 1, 2 & 3.0) we have a lot more of it and we have a lot more appreciation of it. In 2019, the average commute was 59 minutes, this is 221 hours per year. This extra time in our days has empowered people to take up, restart and try new things; running, cycling, baking. Another positive of the pandemic has to be the community spirit that has been revived across the country and people’s desire to shop locally during and after lockdowns. Almost 64% of the UK claim they will try to support local businesses and buy local products now going forwards.

With so many positives of the pandemic, a few mentioned above, we wanted to create our very own 2020 Hyphen dictionary which we believe will do a pretty good job of summing up 2020 – the year that changed us, but perhaps for the better?


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