Surveying the 2022 design/construction landscape

Predicting the future

Over the last five years, your company’s profitability has:

Optimism appears to be returning, as COVID-19 restrictions continue to fade away across the country. More than half of readers said they believe the next five years will be better than the last five—up four per cent last year. The survey saw an identical four per cent increase in the number of readers who said their company increased or remained the same over the past five years.

Readers reflected this cautious hope for the future in their comments.

“[I’m] hopeful that the lockdowns are over, resulting in more reliable working conditions; likely opportunities for renovations related to companies/organizations re-working their spaces to meet post-COVID changes to the work/education environment,” said one reader.

“We are living a new normal working from home; we will have more of a hybrid approach between working from home and working from the office. New technologies will always arise,” said another.

One reader wrote, “barring a meltdown, new construction will lead growth in the economy.”

However, some readers were more apprehensive about the future.

“Given the unprecedented past two years of dealing with a pandemic, labour shortages, supply chain interruptions, and the state of the global economy, it is very difficult to analyze and predict the future,” said one reader.

Another reader echoed this sentiment. “The inflation cycle we are in will affect decision-making negatively on projects proceeding, which in turn will affect our revenue and growth potential.”

“It’s hard to know, going into the sixth wave, what’s going to happen. I think the last two years have demonstrated that we really don’t know what’s coming so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable to allow for the unforeseen,” wrote a third reader.

We also asked what could be the single biggest factor impacting design/construction firms over the next few years. Here are some of the important considerations:

  • Finding and hiring new, competent staff amidst a labour shortage
  • Global material costs due to supply chain pressures
  • Concerns over the war in Ukraine and the possibility of the conflict spreading
  • Possibilities of a global recession on the horizon
  • Inflation impacting project costs
  • Increase in government spending to jump-start post-pandemic recovery
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