The Highlight Reel: Our Top 10 Stories of 2020

As this long and unpredictable year draws to a close, it is tempting to look ahead to a fresh start without taking the time to properly reflect on what we’re leaving behind. In the past year, companies have been forced to rethink their workplace strategies as working from home (WFH) became a months-long necessity for millions. Workplace safety took on a whole new meaning, and business leaders everywhere were faced with the new challenge of preparing their offices for employees to return.

We still don’t have all the answers, but we’ve been right here along the way, sharing what we know about WFH, workplace safety considerations and what people are expecting from their future offices. Before jumping head first into 2021, we decided to take a look back at the top 10 stories published this year, full of research and insights unpacking where we are today and where we’re headed next.


1. Competing in the Post-COVID Era

The COVID-19 crisis thrust millions of us into a mass experiment in working from home, but that doesn’t mean the office is going away forever. This article explains three common misconceptions behind extreme WFH strategies and shares research-backed insights into creating the kind of workplaces people need to feel safe, be productive and have a sense of belonging at work.


2. Dr. Lydia Bourouiba: A Perspective on Virus Transmission

cover image of Jim Keane and Dr. Lydia talking on a videocall
After announcing a partnership with MIT to study how diseases spread in the workplace, former Steelcase CEO Jim Keane sat down with Dr. Lydia Bourouiba, director of MIT’s Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory, to discuss what we know today on mitigating disease transmission at work.


3. Suddenly Working From Home?

When the COVID-19 crisis abruptly forced millions around the world to adopt working from home as a new norm, people quickly discovered the benefits and frustrations of sustained remote work. These practical tips for improving the WFH experience can be just as helpful today as they were when the pandemic began.


4. Carbon Neutral Now. Carbon Negative Next.

This year, Steelcase achieved carbon neutrality in our operations by removing as much carbon as we emit. Learn how we’re taking things one step further by setting science-based targets to become carbon negative by 2030.


5. Work Face-to-Face When You Can’t Be

Steelcase Roam Collection
As new travel restrictions and WFH policies have made distributed collaboration more mainstream, Steelcase and Microsoft came together to introduce Steelcase Roam for Microsoft Surface Hub 2S 85”, amplifying large-scale collaboration in person and at a distance.


6. 15 Reasons Why the Office Matters

An office is more than just a place to work. The workplace drives innovation and growth and fosters culture and a sense of community, while providing the tools and resources people need to be truly productive. Learn about the countless benefits of the physical workplace. Here are just 15 reasons why the workplace matters.


7. Designing What’s Next: Design + Informal Spaces

In the second video of a four-part series on the future of design, watch Lew Epstein, general manager of Coalesse and Turnstone, as he answers five questions in five minutes on the future of informal, shared spaces in a post-COVID workplace. Spoiler alert – they’re here to stay.


8. COVID-19 Accelerates Blended Learning

This year, educators and students have participated in a sweeping and sudden shift in the use of technology to learn. The result — a broadening recognition that a blended learning approach can provide the opportunities and flexibility necessary for the future of education. In this article, we share how COVID-19 accelerated trends in education that were already in motion.


9. Creating a More Hands-Free Workplace

It’s clear that the offices we return to must put safety first. From touchless reservations to visual cues about density, we’re sharing how our Smart + Connected offerings can help create a safer, more hands-free workplace.


10. Why We Need Joy At Work – Podcast

Overhead view of an EMU Heaven chair, EMU Heaven table, and EMU Heaven pouf

Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, says it’s a huge misconception that joy and work are separate. She shares her radical theory — that a few simple changes to the work environment can make a dramatic difference in how people feel and perform.

Leave a Comment