As we near the end of Q1 in 2022, project management and commercial real estate leaders recognize the rising trends and patterns for the upcoming year. The changing tides of project management are most prominently shaped by the pandemic, as companies and individuals adjust their lives to the new normal.

The commercial real estate community continuously learns how to adapt to the changes the COVID-19 pandemic brings. Most prominently, the industry has developed an awareness of the pandemic’s impact on daily life – how people work, eat, shop, and utilize public spaces. This uprooted daily routine has encouraged Project Managers to adapt to the changing expectations of society. PMs are more likely to account for something like remote work in a corporate setting, or ‘social distancing’ space in a restaurant setting during project planning. The bulk of the pandemic and will continue to impact project management throughout 2022.

One of my clients made the switch to a post-pandemic workspace. In a setting where they previously utilized massive workstations, they have now changed to an individualized “hoteling” desk system, where employees move from desk to desk daily, allowing for more remote work. This client, like many others, have transformed their large conference rooms to smaller huddle rooms where their office spaces are now used for 1-on-1 or smaller group meetings. This has significantly changed the design and construction process of commercial real estate. From a design standpoint, the pandemic is changing the intention of the office to be more for collaboration and meeting with your coworkers face to face. When people do go into their office, they’re encouraged to interact with one another. Increased remote work is changing the design process of project management in corporate settings. Project managers will continue to adapt to new expectations, and this trend will grow throughout 2022 as we continue to navigate our ever-changing society and how commercial projects are impacted.

With the increase of remote work, the pandemic has transformed how we communicate and collaborate, ushering in another rising trend of 2022. Technology has made its mark within the industry as we enter a new era of nearly all-virtual work. Opportunities of remote and non-local work have expanded the field for many as communication between client and company has transferred to an online setting. This has enabled a constant flow of communication from manager-to-client and has increased the effectiveness of project management in the grand scheme.

The most objective trend that will continue to effect commercial real estate in 2022 is the disruptions within the supply chain. Manufacturers, wholesalers, vendors, retailers, and all other forms of distributors will continue to be negatively impacted by the disruptions in the global supply chain. We’ve always seen long lead times for manufacturing purposes for specialty items, but now, the supply chain is starting to eat at everything, even items off the shelf. It’s across the board, which impacts the entire schedule right from the start. Projects are taking longer to complete as items are harder to access, which means a rise in time, labor, and cost. Cost on every project has increased, as well as materials, which affects both project planning and profit margins. The disparities in the global supply chain will continue into the next quarter of 2022 and, most likely, for the rest of the year.

Overall, the project management and commercial real estate industry is witnessing a big shift operationally. These projected trends of 2022 are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changing tides have impacted every level of business and will continue to do so as people adapt to the new normal.

Alex Lundstrom
Project Manager

Since Alex joined Watchdog in 2015 as an Associate Project Manager, he has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to our organizational values. Throughout his tenure with the firm, he has worked with a variety of projects and clients, all with different needs, schedules, budgets and company cultures. As a Project Manager, Alex understands the complexities that go into each project and that careful tracking and management make for a successful project delivery.