Sunday, January 2, 2022 – The Monocle Minute


In with the new one

Happy New Year, Bonne Annee, well anno, Godt nytår, Happy New Year and feliz ano novo! This branch of the Monocle family welcomed 2022 in a reserved, well-lit and tasty catering format high above the rest of Europe in cozy St. Moritz. There were friends from London and Essen, Zurich and Lugano, and while there was a lot of reflection on the past year (topics generally focused on incomprehensible governmental coronavirus measures, poorly behaved children and the state of the very disabled workplace) there was also one To look ahead healthy and to go further into the world, despite repeated cancellations of major events, including the furniture and design fairs in Paris, Cologne and Stockholm. The last guests put on their coats shortly after 2.30 a.m. and despite one or two rockets around the lake, I believe that I passed out around 02.39 a.m. and woke up on the brightest sunny day. While other household members looked after the Christmas tree, packed away the Christmas tree balls and prepared for the return to the flatlands, I was able to take a few hours to think about 2022 and write down a few wishes for the coming months.

1. Quick start
The first week of the New Year is always a bit chunky with many taking an extra week off, some schools don’t return until mid-month, and much of the southern hemisphere is in the middle of the summer vacation. I wanted to cautiously lean on the matter, but decided to get started right away and will be the first to report to work on Monday morning. I want to move so much that I feel more efficient in the office and in the middle of it than working remotely. By the time you read this, the marching orders for 2022 have been sent to the key forces, the diary is filled by the end of the first quarter and I am already driving through the mountains in a well-equipped dining car.

2. Things you can’t do at home
Many will likely read this in a country that has some kind of home office recommendation and / or an office ban. What a nonsense. A key wish is that governments allow companies to set their own rules, decide what makes sense for their particular business, and act accordingly. The same applies to the rapidly expanding concept of quarantine. Does that really make sense now? Let’s come back to the middle to allow more personal responsibility and less nanny. Plus, as it was introduced on New Years Eve, there are so many things you can’t do from home. A favorite pastime in the Zurich office on quiet Tuesdays is playing “Catch the Grape” (any bite-sized fruit will do). I think you understand how this game works. Fun for a few minutes, a slight relief for those who have bowed their heads and one of the many things that bring a team together rather than being isolated with kids, cats, and partners who have too many opinions about what they are heard on a call.

3. A bigger media diet
A few months ago I recommended that you do something for your mental health, especially in English-speaking countries, by reading daily newspapers (and related opinions) from other markets – Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium. Getting new opinions and viewpoints from other parts of the world can be invaluable in helping you get your day off to a better start, not to mention introducing all kinds of smart opportunities. And yes, Google Translate works wonders – even on lengthy, complicated reads. You’ll be happy to know that not all countries or media take crazy, left-wing denial / don’t-say-debate-suffocation for granted. I hope more people can add an extra day or two to their morning media breakfast buffet.

4. Pssst!
Silent wagons operate on many railway lines in Switzerland, in which the code of “no chatter / don’t dare look” is strictly enforced – even more than the wearing of masks. Can more companies please adopt this concept? Since many of us feel like we are losing the battle to all of those who treat the world as one great living room where it is acceptable to watch and listen to family videos, HBO series, and porn in public, it is not that Time for clever business owners to define spaces of serenity and tranquility? Isn’t it time to give back power to managers and let them enforce clear house rules?

5. Time for a sensitivity summit?
Davos could be canceled again, but could someone please call a quick conference to get businesses and governments back on track for sensible decisions. Fast fast! I am happy to host a meeting of executives who need challenging ideas and concepts that emerge from an increasingly narrowing channel of narratives and so-called solutions. Should we strive for something in the next three weeks? I’m all ears tb @ monocle.

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