Surveying the 2022 design/construction landscape

Cutting out the commute

The majority of readers reported the ability to work from home or remotely, or at least have an office/remote work hybrid model at their job. Interestingly, many respondents cited this arrangement as the reason for their positive work-life balance, as remote work gave them opportunities to “unplug from work,” or to just save time otherwise spent commuting.

“Working from home allows me to manage my time more freely and greater interaction with my family,” said one response.

Another stated, “Working remotely has removed the burden of commuting time, stress (and expenses).”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been limited to work from home. Although it has created a certain imbalance in the work schedule, the lack of losing multiple hours a week in traffic is a big ‘perk,'” said a third.

Another response even observed an extra benefit from cutting out the commute, beyond saving time and avoiding stress.

“I’m eating better because I eat at home instead of eating out.”

A delicate balance

According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian works 39.9 hours per week and 44 per cent of our survey participants are on the job more than 40 hours. This is down 11 per cent over two years from 2020. Interestingly, 72 per cent of the respondents are happy with their work-life balance, down five points over a two-year trend.

Many respondents noted how they work too much, not leaving enough hours for personal or family life. Many of the dissatisfied respondents cited overtime and lack of opportunities to use vacation days as reasons for their response. Those who were happy with their work-life balance cited flexible hours, choice of projects, and relative ease of getting time off as reasons for their response.

Green and Bim

The use of building information modelling (BIM) jumped significantly in the past year. A majority of 51 per cent of readers said they utilized BIM in more than a quarter of projects they worked on, up 12 per cent from last year. Another statistic which illustrates the increasing importance of this kind of software is of readers who said they used BIM in more than 85 per cent of their projects. This statistic leapt from zero per cent last year to 23 per cent today.

The prevalence of sustainable projects saw little movement from last year. The number of readers who worked on green projects more than half the time was 20 per cent—unchanged from the previous survey.

Relevance of social media

The percentage of readers harnessing social media for networking or research had bumped up to 62 per cent this year, continuing a three-year trend.

One reader gave a simple reason for this trend. According to this reader, “[social media] increased networking opportunities, which really became crucial during covid lockdowns.”

Another explained how useful social media was as a tool for researching potential employees, partners, and clients. “You can find out some background on people you are dealing with regarding years with knowledge of the product they represent as well as their background education,” read the response.

Despite social media’s upsides, readers also identified several fundamental problems they found with the phenomenon.

Some explained how the prevalence of misinformation on social media made them wary.

“Unregulated social media can lead to erroneous misinformation with no accountability or potential repercussions. Proprietary information can also fall into unauthorized hands or be utilized for non-billable use by unauthorized parties,” said one reader.

Others simply said they saw social media as a “time suck.” Another reader wrote, “I simply don’t have time to engage on social media platforms, which tend to have rather low-quality content.”

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