Well, well, well, we’re officially at the halfway point of 2021 (no, we can’t believe it either!). This year has certainly flown by and who would have thought a year ago that we would have almost the whole of the UK population vaccinated against coronavirus? An amazing achievement for the healthcare sector and everyone involved.

As always, it’s been a busy month in tech and as lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease, we’re also beginning to see a real picture of how the tech sector is planning to return to the office, if they are even returning at all! Here are the stories that we’ve been digesting this month.

There’s been a lot of hype about the electric scooter trial launch in London, which kicked off this month. Admittedly, I’ve given them a go already and can confirm they are pretty convenient for those quick trips to the shop to grab snacks. Probably not so great for shifting the lockdown pounds but it’s a super fun way to get around to say the least! There is concern that these e-scooters need tighter regulation, however, after research in Berlin found that injuries are most likely to occur at the weekend, when riders have been drinking – oops!

The return to the office (for real, this time) has been a hot topic this month, with research saying that the majority of London office workers are not planning to return to the office full-time and 86% of tech professionals want to work from home. The big tech companies are also announcing their plans for the return to the office (or not) with the likes of Facebook extending remote working to all staff, while Apple employees are pushing back on the company’s plans to return to the office after its CEO, Tim Cook, said all staff must return for three days a week from September. Whether a full return to the office is on the cards or not for companies, we’ve not seen the end of this debate quite yet.

More insight on the accelerated growth of the UK tech ecosystem now and it’s been revealed that our tech sector now has 100 companies valued at $1bn, which is more than the rest of Europe combined. It seems we’re quite the Unicorn hangout, and this also bodes well for the two-thirds of UK companies that plan to increase investments in tech and IT over the next year.

Onto AI now, and one of the most interesting pieces in the media around this huge topic from this month was Rory Cellan-Jones’ piece in BBC News. The tech journalist was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2019 and has been trying out different pieces of technology that can help with the disease. It is a fascinating read and really shows how far the parameters of tech can go.

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