COVID-19 Case Study: Office and Commercial Interiors
As Chairman Pat Lewis explains:
“2020 was shaping up very nicely, we had an excellent team in place, lots of new projects on the books and a strong plan for the year, we were genuinely excited to see what the year would bring.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and, in an all too familiar story for businesses across the world, everything went into hibernation (that’s the polite word for it, anyway!). New enquiries dried up and most of our new projects were put on hold.
With so much uncertainty in those early days, we were left to wonder, after 18 years building a business, whether we would have anything left to show for all our hard work. I’m sure that’s a familiar feeling for many readers.
Focus on moving forward
A key to our business success has been believe in our people, hard work, positivity and adaptability… so rather than pondering what might have been, we knew that we needed to focus on how we moved forward in this ‘new reality’.
As a family-run business with a close-knit team our first priority was obviously to ensure that all were safe, well and supported in those early weeks. The simple mantra being to keep calm and we will get through this together.
Even early on in lockdown our brilliant team of professional and experienced contractors (from electricians, builders, carpenters, plumbers, and air conditioning specialists, to alarm experts, etc) were in demand for urgent jobs that just couldn’t wait. We worked hard to find ways for our teams to operate safely, ensuring essential repairs and work could be completed.
As lockdown progressed, we began to see signs of clients wanting to move ahead with their own plans. In some cases, this was progressing with pre-lockdown projects; in others it was in how they were going to be able to reopen after lockdown.
Finding new ways to operate
Like us, our clients were having to find new ways to operate and we quickly found that we were using our design and space planning skills to help them re-imagine their office workspaces with social distancing front of mind.
Not only were we helping clients lay out office and reception spaces differently, our product set was adjusting to the times. Talk of tables and chairs were overtaken by the supplying and fitting of Perspex screens, signage to flooring and walls and hand sanitiser stations – we certainly could not have predicted that in 2019!
A postive outlook
As the UK starts to emerge from lockdown, we remain confident that if we continue to be positive, invest in a great team and our business, work hard to support our clients and adjust to their changing needs, 2020 can still be a positive and successful year.