16th Dec 2020

What 2020 taught us, and a look forward to the 2021 workplace

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It’s just about time to take a well-earned Christmas break so let’s reflect on 2020, but more importantly, look ahead to 2021.

If you’d have told us on January 1st 2020 about the events that this year would throw at the world, we probably wouldn’t have believed it.

And whilst this year has been tough in so many ways for so many people if recent events are anything to go by, we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel – for want of a better cliché!

At Blueprint Interiors, our mission is to create people-first workplaces where individuals and teams feel and achieve their best. We’re fully focused on actively improving workplace wellbeing through the work we do. And this year has highlighted just how important this really is.

So what has 2020 taught us?

To state the obvious, most people around the world have, at one time or another, changed the way they work. It’s been a forced change, but one that’s uncovered what’s truly important to people about how and where they do what they need to do.

Most office-based businesses will have spent the majority of the year away from their normal workplaces. It’s given people space to completely rethink the function and purpose of their offices.

So as we move to consider how to bring people back, we’re presented with the opportunity to make workplace changes for the better. To create the positive cultural shifts we’ve been waiting for the chance to implement.

Before we go into how we see 2021 panning out, we wanted to put some positivity out into the world and celebrate some of our own 2020 highlights. And, of course, sharing some thank you-s along the way. 

A continued focus on people first

Throughout the year, at events like the Leicester Business Festival, our team has been sharing our philosophy on creating people-focused workplaces. We’ll be speaking more about this in the new year, but for now, here are the key points we’ve been talking about:

  • Every company’s office should reflect their values, beliefs and principles
  • Employers should ensure their workplaces meet the needs of their people – and work to understand what these are before they embark on transforming their space
  • The WELL Building Standard is the framework that can help you ensure your office design and built environment delivers against these needs

We won, sponsored, and were shortlisted for awards

At the start of the year we were named Small Business of the Year at the East Midlands Chamber’s Enterprising Women Awards.

We were shortlisted for Small Business of the Year and Excellence in Customer Service Awards at the East Midlands Leicestershire Business Awards.

And we sponsored the Most Active Agent category at the East Midlands Bricks Awards, which was awarded to NG Chartered Surveyors.

It was certainly interesting to attend virtual awards nights this year, but we must say we’re looking forward to a time when we can come together in person to celebrate our region’s successes! 

Welcoming new people into our team

Who can forget! We’re delighted that several fantastic new people joined our team this year and they’ve settled in amazingly well.

Mike joined us as Client Services Director, Hannah joined us as Technical Designer and Nick joined us as Bid Manager.

Safely delivering projects

At this point we want to say a huge thank you to our clients for sticking with us this year. We’re grateful that you continue to trust us to deliver on your projects in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re looking forward to helping you make the most of your agile workspaces to adapt to whatever 2021 has in store for us all.

A few of the projects we completed this year include:

So what’s in store for 2021?

The honest truth is – nobody knows! And after this year that really does ring true. But there are a few things we will say about the future of the workplace.

Steelcase research found that between 88% and 90% of people want to work in an office again. So the office isn’t going anywhere!

The thing that has changed is what people will look for in their office spaces. People are going to need good reasons to return. They’re much more aware of the things they need to be productive and happy. And they’ll want these things to be provided for them.

Employers and HR teams will need to take notice of what these things are, and cater to them. The ones that don’t will risk losing their best talent to organisations that recognise the importance of meeting their people’s needs.

Workplaces need to offer experiences that draw people back together. People won’t be excited by having a desk to sit at to answer emails. Because they can easily do that from anywhere!

So what is it that’s going to draw your people back to the office? The fact that they can enjoy the collaboration, innovation, and social interaction that video calls or messages just can’t replace.

What this looks like will be different for every company, and that’s exactly the way it should be.

How will your workplace culture shift in 2021?

Our own message hasn’t changed, and still won’t in 2021. We’ve always made the case that offices should be designed and built for people first.

To do that you need to get down to the nitty gritty of your company culture. It’s all about how your people feel, and what they want and need from their workplace.

If you want to create a cultural shift in your business in 2021, get in touch to speak to one of our team.


Rob Day

Chairman & Founder