For business and life to get back to some form of normalcy, each of us has to find new ways to live, knowing there is a deadly virus on the loose. It seems very unlikely that the virus will go away anytime soon.

As this moves from a pandemic to an endemic, where you live, the type of work you do, your vaccination status and your overall health will most likely determine your options.

The elephant in the room is the ongoing mass exodus by employees as people rethink their lives and happiness. Studies are showing a whopping 40% of people have changed or are considering changing jobs this year. Millions have already quit. Seeing “Help Wanted” signs everywhere is another new normal that we did not expect. It is turning out that a paycheck is only one of the many factors people are considering when taking a job. Work-life balance is becoming much more important.

Nobody really knows what the future holds, we are only examining trends and following them to a logical conclusion, so take all advice with a few grains of salt.

The new challenge of 2021 is retaining and finding new employees. In a recent panel discussion at our ChannelNEXT conference, I asked for a show of hands if anyone in the audience was hiring. Everyone without exception raised their hand. The situation is likely to drive wages and benefits way up as companies compete for talent (and explore hiring outside of their local area).

Remote working options are now becoming a requirement rather than a nice to have option. We have seen studies that show over 70% of the people will not consider working for a company that does not allow remote/flexible work options.

Costs of employee turn-over are significant. We have seen reports that say it costs a company $15,000 to replace a single employee. Regardless of what the actual amount is, there is a significant cost to employee turnover. It may be wise to focus on retention before it is too late.

The advantages of remote work are significant including no travel time, improved efficiency and savings of all related costs of going to an office every day and also choosing to live in a community that may not be as expensive as the major centers. So far, remote working has demonstrated an actual lift in productivity. An exodus of people from the major centres to more rural ones also seems to be taking place. As infrastructure improves and broadband internet becomes available in more remote locations, there will be more and more people moving to smaller towns which will in turn re-invigorate those areas which will lead to more demand for technology in those areas. It also helps the environment not to have to venture out in order to work.

We already did our first in-person event back in September and just completed another on October 20th with yet another planned for November and December. We are currently planning a more robust 2022 schedule. We were somewhat apprehensive in making the first step, but judging from the results so far, we are now very confident that we can meet face-to-face safely to grow business and enjoy social interactions again.

From the discussion and comments I had with the attendees, it is quite clear that now is the right time to start. For most, it was their first time meeting in-person since the pandemic started. The new format was also a big hit and we now live-stream everything. While ChannelNEXT is a “typical” conference, it has morphed into a “content creation day” where all sectors of the channel come together to record and broadcast their messages, exchange ideas, see what’s new, get the latest insights and network. We do panel discussions, talk shows, presentations, quick pitches, news interviews at booths, mastermind peer-groups and more – most content is live streamed.

Although we still have some restrictions on travel and gatherings, I have started to meet some clients in-person. We are gearing up to do in-person MSP peer-groups sessions. We are already doing several face-to-face staff meetings. Granted, it can be frustrating, but adhering to the common sense health regulations can make it safe.

We had to redesign our channel conferences not only because of the health regulations, but also for the new demands of a digital-first world. We now offer live-streaming as well as recordings for on-demand viewing for all of our events. We have since baked-in live streaming directly on our news site Much more to come on this…

One thing we know for sure is that moving forward, our channel community will have more choices in how to consume our content.

If you would like to explore a daily stream of amazing vendors and solutions, then you should subscribe to to find an unlimited supply.

If you are an MSP and would like to work on improving your business every day, then get all the help you need at and join a peer-group!

Sooner or later, we will need to get back to some sort of in-person business building activities so start by taking some small smart steps to slowly ease back into the game. Pick wisely!

Hopefully, we will meet face-to-face at one of our scheduled events sometime soon or you can check us out whenever we live stream at To get notifications as to when we stream, you can also create an account on and follow or subscribe to our twitch channel TechnoPlanetProductions.