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Signing off 2021 – a note from the founders

Caleb Holding

Director

As the dust settles on another year we can reflect on the highs and lows, lessons learnt, successes, and the new ways of thinking that have been forced on us by the pandemic.

 

Businesses across London (and indeed companies throughout the UK) have had to learn to adapt – first to survive, then to thrive.

 

We can all well remember March 2020 when the UK went into its first lockdown, and the paralysis that we found ourselves in. WFH (work from home) started off as compulsory in that lockdown, but quickly become the new normal – and for the first few months in the pandemic there was genuine doubt that the office would have its place in the future business world. After several months of lockdown it became apparent that the workforce were missing their colleagues and the buzz of the office, Zoom calls became a chore, the solitude of remote working became depressing for many, and that many actually missed their commute! Whilst certain sectors such as recruitment will likely never fully embrace remote working, the common theme we’re hearing and observing is that companies will always need an HQ, a clubhouse, a social hub, a space where staff are welcomed to treat as home away from home – either fully embracing as a regular workspace or to use as an occasional destination to meet colleagues.

 

McKinsey’s workplace report in November 2020 said that “employers have found during the pandemic that although some tasks can be done remotely in a crisis, they are much more effectively done in person. These activities include coaching, counseling, and providing advice and feedback; building customer and colleague relationships; bringing new employees into a company; negotiating and making critical decisions; teaching and training; and work that benefits from collaboration, such as innovation, problem-solving, and creativity. If onboarding were to be done remotely, for instance, it would require significant rethinking of the activity to produce outcomes similar to those achieved in person.”

 

For ourselves, we took the opportunity in May 2020 to restructure our business, introducing a more agile, adaptable model able to react to whatever lies around the corner. The rebrand to AW Spaces allows us to offer a more boutique ‘creative studio’ service to our target market – which we have identified as tech, media, and other creative industries typically located within the City Fringes (indeed any business who place value on creating a one-off, beautifully designed office that will allow their workforce to flourish).

 

If 2020 for us was a year of restructure and then consolidation, 2021 has seen positive growth back to pre-covid levels – and we’re confident 2022 will be an unprecedented year with records being smashed – and a reputation of being one of London’s most creative and boutique design and build firms.

Stay safe and here’s to 2022!

 

Ivan and Caleb

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