TZL 1403 (web)



Getting ready for what’s ahead

I t’s been said many times before that “business dislikes uncertainty.” Well, good luck to those of you who are owners and managers of AEC businesses, because you will never be able to eliminate uncertainty! The fact is pandemics, recessions, terrorist attacks, and more can happen at any time with no notice, and without our approval. You’ll never be able to eliminate uncertainty, but there are some things you can be sure of. Keeping these in mind will help you be ready for what lies ahead.

Mark Zweig

That said, I do think there are some things we can be certain about, and keeping these in mind will help us be ready for what lies ahead. Here are some of those things: 1)This pandemic – and others – will probably be around for years to come. The latest COVID resurgence we are going through with the delta variant shows how difficult it will be to get rid of this thing or something else like it. As polarized as our culture is today and as diametrically opposed as the two major camps are, we can’t seem to figure out how to respond to threats as a unified nation. There are multiple implications for AEC business firms. They need to be ready for the unexpected – if that is even possible. Redundancy in staffing, serving a wide range of client and geographic markets, and having sufficient working capital will all be critical to surviving future events, whatever they might be. 2)Investments that allow us to work from any location is money well-spent. Now that so many people have a taste of not going in to the office every

day – and the firms they work for did well in spite of that – it’s going to be hard to go back to the way it used to be. Not to mention how this change has opened up more options for firms to hire people who are not local to any of their offices. 3)Offices will become more of a gathering place versus the place everyone goes every day all day. Larger common areas and places for big meetings will be common. There will be fewer “cubicle cities” and if there are cubes, they’ll be higher and more private. There will also be miniature private spaces for Zoom meetings or calls – akin to modern-day phone booths – and carrels that people will claim on a first-come, first-served basis. 4)The worker shortage will probably never abate. There are just too many reasons why it’s going to be an employee-driven job market. Our industry has always had a shortage of people who were designers or technical people who also had the requisite

See MARK ZWEIG, page 12


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