The light is shining at the end of the tunnel. The buzz and excitement of visiting cities, visiting the office and most importantly seeing 3D people! Gosh imagine that first handshake or hug (when allowed)! The positive feel at the moment is good BUT we must also not forget that we can’t just return to the same as before. Hybrid working approaches and the repurposing of assets is already set in stone for many – businesses need to come back better and use what they have learned over the last year. In a world of disruption businesses must not only keep an eye on BUT also embrace the change.
- So undoubtedly the first big change is how we use the office. And we will use the office, but differently. Think of an office more wider than just “9-5”. The space largely vacant out of hours – how can we now create a space now that is utilised not just during traditional hours. We can use office space differently – looking at more flexibility in the use of offices.
- Naturally number one is technology. This comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. There is a continued growth in offsite (discussed more here: The modern world of construction) construction techniques in both the housing and wider construction sectors. This is further supported by 3D printing (explored further in my blog), for example housing, and using drones, automated vehicles & wearable devices to improve accuracy, productivity and safety of sites. The innovative ways technology is benefiting construction is growing rapidly.
- Look inside your home or your office. Buildings are becoming more SMART! Customers want a house that is fit for the future. Smart functionality and energy efficient. Our homes now include products like Hive, Ring, Alexa and more. We are slowly creating homes that are controlled by a phone or panel. From a sustainability perspective solar panels, improved lighting and heat pumps over gas boilers. These are all becoming standard. A digital revolution is here.
- Despite the rise in technology use there is also a war for talent continuing. That resource pool you thought you had is now available to businesses around the world. If you don’t understand what your employees want/need (and also what talent you source likewise wants/needs) then you are at an immediate disadvantage. With technology comes a need for new skills within the team. Businesses need to invest in the talent and the skills of that talent to move forward and thinking more broadly will allow access to a more diverse workforce pool.
- The last decade has seen a shift in consumer behaviour. The last year has further accelerated this. How many of us have switched to online and/or shopping more locally? The growth of the “Sharing Economy” has also propelled further change. The younger generation was to rent and borrow and no longer buy or own. In a nostalgic way I am wondering what to do with my vinyls and CDs. It feels like they just take up space now! This culture is seeing a splurge of build to rent opportunities, with some large institutions funding large scale development projects. These shifts and changes need reflecting on and not underestimated. Remember Blockbuster….
- And not to mention there is legislative change too!
There is a lot for businesses to think about. The above is just a small sample of the wider disruption facing business, employees and the built environment. Disruption creates challenges but also opportunities. The key test now will be how you respond to the current disruption and let’s see how the next 12 months pan out for us all.