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2019: A year in review

In the last 12 months, our clients have prioritised embracing new ideas and agility in the development of their positive workplace. We’ve spotted trends, invested in improving our communication with our clients, and achieved a 4.6 out of 5 satisfaction rating with our customers. On reflection of this busy but brilliant year, we spoke to our Managing Director, Paul, who shares insights from 2019 and Blue Jelly’s vision for 2020. 


Our clients have embraced positive workplaces in 2019. In fact, we created almost 200,000 sq. ft. of Positive Workplaces. While requirements change from client to client, one trend we are loving is our client's enthusiasm and curiosity of what agile is and how it could be effective for them.

We often say to clients that it is not just about fancy furniture and saving space. It is about creating a workplace that allows staff to function efficiently and inspires energy into the environment.

The core objectives of a workplace fit-out and developing a Positive Workplace is ensuring every square foot can be used all the time. Breakout areas used for collaboration throughout the day. Less empty desks throughout the day. Places for people to go and focus for an hour, half a day or as a team for a few days perhaps. These objectives go beyond a desk and meeting rooms.


With the inevitable disruption and anxiety of Brexit, over half of our key projects were refurbishment in occupation. Driven by the need to ensure the workplace supports the requirement for exceptional performance from staff while remaining realistic about both spend and long-term property commitments.

Often seen as challenging by companies, a Refurbishment in Occupation (RIO) is a great way to show investment in people and to drive change and working habits.

Communicated well and executed with minimum disruption, a RIO brings teams closer together. In contrast to the perception of chaos and disruption, our projects are well coordinated with in-house teams so they can continue to operate their business during the installation phase with minimal disruption.  We also find that the newly refreshed workplace coming together creates excitement around the project. The positive energy starts to grow before we hand the project over, creating a buzz long before the final design is revealed.


What is clear to us is that technology to support these agile ideas is fundamental. If you cannot connect to a server, charge your devices, or access a suitable size and adjusted screen, the workplace will be ineffective. 

Want to know how workplace design affects productivity, agility and culture in the workplace? Read our blog here!

We have seen a significant increase in video conferencing. Previously a second thought due to expensive systems, we now have the facilities on our laptops and cost-effective room systems to incorporate this into our designs. The wider use of video conferencing is helping companies drive efficiency and importantly reduce their carbon footprint. With so many businesses going global, it’s also allowing small to medium enterprises prepare for the inevitable. 


I am happy to say we are ending the year having completed our first virtual project.  Working with a progressive US technology company, all of our brief development, presentation, adjudication and progress meetings were held via Zoom, a video conferencing system. We created new reporting formats and new design presentations which could be appreciated and understood on a screen. This tool created new working channels for us which allowed the team to send site updates and pictures before our virtual site meetings to keep everyone informed.

When we finally met face to face at the ‘breaking ground’ site meeting, it was as if we knew each other well. Which we did, even if virtually to begin with.


Talk of the environment has sparked many conversations here at Blue Jelly more than ever before in 2019.

While our commitment to sustainability will be an ongoing process for Blue Jelly,this year we set our Contracts Team the challenge of recycling 95% of our waste during the installation phase.  A figure, which I’m proud to say, will close at 98% at the end of 2019.


After celebrating our 17th birthday in 2019, we are looking forward to 2020. I love the open-minded clients we work with. Their drive to create effective workplaces and appreciate that change management with their team is key to how it will work in real-time.

Let's hope we sort the B-word out soon so we can stop looking back, hesitating and get back to the excitement of driving the business forward and making considered medium and long term decisions. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from myself and the Blue Jelly family.


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