It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.
While none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been over the years.
Today’s 2020 predictions come from Chloe Sproston, Commercial & Creative Director of office interior fit-out consultants, Blueprint Interiors. She’s predicting the term “Eco Anxiety” will be more widely used.
I think that people’s ‘Eco Anxiety’ will filter through to the workplace and employees will be encouraged to switch their behaviours to suit. We’ve already seen it in our own team! People choosing to eat less meat, changing buying habits to support local trade. We’ve switched to milkman deliveries. Nothing particularly revolutionary about that, but we’ll prevent 150+ plastic milk bottles needing to be recycled this year.
Last year we spoke about buyers choosing more sustainable choices when it comes to their interiors – choosing products that last longer and can be recycled at the end of their life. That’s still very relevant, but this year I think we’ll see more people wanting to reuse first – refurbishing parquet floors, reupholstering furniture with life still in it. This will leave budget spend that can be used to enhance other parts of the project, such as investing in problem solving acoustic treatments or brand new technology to enable better connectivity and the need to travel.
This will be the year where business owners will realise truly agile workforces are the future. Companies that adopt an agile working culture look to embrace maximum flexibility and minimal restraints. They empower people to work when and how they feel is best through a mixture of flexible hours, clever office design and relevant technology to give teams the tools they need to work efficiently.
Once business leaders are exposed to these benefits, it’s a no brainer; they can save rent with smaller office footprints, attract some of the 30% of the UK population that want flexible working but don’t have it yet, retain talent, and improve productivity. Three in five people who work flexibly put in more hours as a result of being allowed to do so. Another report found that 72% of businesses reported increased productivity as a direct result of flexible working.