A look back over what has been a historic year
While 2020 has been – in some forms – a year to forget, it’s also been a period of growth for the Agilité Solutions family, in more ways than one.
As we sat down to reflect on the past 12 months, we were pretty proud of the things we’ve achieved as a team – despite the myriad of challenges the pandemic has laid across all of our paths. With new colleagues, exciting projects across Europe, and bold ambitions for 2021, we’re feeling positive as we set our ‘out of office’ messages. And we wanted to share why…
Sharing our stories
While the team at HQ knows all about the cool clients keeping us busy from Monday to Friday, we really ‘upped our game’ when it came to documenting our travels, inspiration, and social activities (yes, there were a few digital drinks) over the past year.
Granted, we spent a significant chunk of time asking things like, ‘can you see my screen?’ during video calls, but the pandemic reminded us all about the importance – and alternative methods – of communication. We penned a total of 33 blogs (and counting), in the hope that website visitors get as excited about our design and fit-out news as we do.
The launch of our new blog series, ‘on the road with Agilité Solutions’, has gone down a real treat, we continued to get to know members of the team via our employee Q&A, and even shared our opinions on the switch to client handovers via video conference.
Working with household names
We don’t like to blow our own trumpets, but we’re so incredibly proud of each one of our colleagues and the work they’ve pitched for, won, and delivered over the course of the year. Overcoming some significant challenges hasn’t made for an easy time, but our teammates really do deserve a pat on the back.
Our biggest news came with the announcement that we were set to support a quintet of global organisations as they expand their footprint across Europe, after being awarded 11,630 sqm of design and fit out projects – worth more than €10 million (£9m).
After working on Fred Perry’s Parisian store, we were further appointed to oversee the fit-out of a trio of sites in Germany. Meanwhile, Indeed.com – the world’s leading job site – approached us to deliver on developments in Belgium and Germany.
We were also awarded contracts for the €1.1m refurb of a 1,400 sqm office building in the centre of Milan, the remodelling, modernising, and rebranding of a 2,000 sqm office space in Paris, and the complete renovation of an eight-floor, 5,000 sqm building in the same city – on behalf of a leading smartphone manufacturer.
It doesn’t end there though. Our team is seriously considering indulging in Five Guys’ ‘click and collect’ service – and a massive burger – for their Boxing Day breakfast this winter, after working on the refurbishment of a 500 sqm restaurant in the Les Halles shopping district, in Paris.
We helped American skincare brand and facial clinic, Skin Laundry, to expand its international footprint with the opening of its first freestanding location in London, and overhauled JD Sports’ Nancy Houdemont store in North East France with an extensive refurbishment project – which included the acquisition and upgrade of an adjacent unit.
New colleagues and connections
All this activity helped us catch not only the attention of potential clients, but some of the brightest and best talent among the European design and build sector, with plenty of new faces having joined the team this year.
We welcomed eight new colleagues between January and December, including assistant project managers, Matías Naciff and Nicolas Cruz, and construction managers, Anna Filippi and Miguel Frunza – plus we’re recruiting for four more positions!
Our development director, Kirsty Shearer, made plenty of new connections – using the power of video calling – over the course of the year, too. As someone who is constantly on the lookout for innovative new ways to extend our worldwide reach, she joined 12,000 fellow business leaders as part of the global organisation, CREW Network.
A few weeks later, Kirsty was invited to act as a mentor for members of the CREW UK network – providing affiliates with valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth through focused, hour-long sessions with thought leaders from across the global construction industry.
Our thoughts on adapting to ‘the new normal’
Of course, we couldn’t get through this blog without addressing the elephant in the room – Covid-19. While work had to – understandably – pause on many of our sites across Europe because of national lockdowns, we shared our thoughts on what the future might look like.
Kirsty considered how hospitality, leisure, construction, and office life might change, while our managing director, Neil Coales, spoke to SMART Buildings magazine, to explore five ways in which workplaces might adapt for a post-Coronavirus world.
As European high streets began to reopen, Kirsty was later interviewed by Tomorrow’s FM to explore what adjustments we can expect as we continue to embrace the concept of a ‘new normal’, and Neil was invited to comment in ABC&D magazine, looking at how to best restore existing bricks and mortar to its former glory, while sharing examples of those doing it right.
Christmas opening hours
As you can probably tell by now, our colleagues have worked incredibly hard this year, so we thought it was only fair they put their feet up, indulge in a few glasses of sherry, and enjoy the festivities with their social bubble.
That’s why we’re closing the office from 24 December 2020 until 4 January 2021. You can still get in touch with us if there’s an emergency, in the usual way.
All that’s left to say is eat, drink, and be merry. We’ll see you in the new year.