2022 and the Future of Work

What will the future of work look like in 2022 and beyond? The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed a lot. It accelerated workplace trends like digitization and the need for greater flexibility around remote and hybrid work options. Some estimates say it has speed things up by five or more years. Meanwhile, there are still currently five generations in the workforce—as I have been saying for the past year. We need a new approach for how we work—even in construction—and how we transfer inter-generational knowledge in the next decade. Perhaps the solution comes in the form of technology.
One thing is for sure: the move to remote work is still on the rise—and cannot be ignored. Forrester’s North American Predictions 2022 guide suggests companies that do not offer “anywhere-work” will see a 30% rise in quit rates.
With this in mind, Ziply Fiber analyzed data to better understand where we are headed in terms of flexible work environments—and suggests computer and mathematical jobs occupy six spots in the ranking. The organization says software developer is the best occupation for remote work in 2022.
According to the U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) 2020-2030 Employment Projections, “Computer and mathematical occupations are expected to see fast employment growth as strong demand is expected for IT security and software development, in part due to increased prevalence of telework spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.” These roles continue to be offered as remote positions, seeing that they only require access to a computer.
The BLS projects computer and mathematical occupations to grow by 31.4% by 2030—in part due to the increase in telework over the past two years. Many Americans are demanding permanently flexible work environments, and tech professionals are in the best position to continue pursuing remote work in the New Year.
There are two big takeaways here for the construction industry. First, work is changing. Construction certainly is a unique industry in that work often needs to be done on site. But does it? With the rise of prefab manufacturing, AI (artificial intelligence), the IoT (Internet of Things), and other technologies, work could potentially be done offsite. With today’s technological advances anything is really possible if we are willing to embrace it.
Second, the way all industries work is changing, which means the spaces we work in—and our homes—need to change. In offices, we could see a rise of private or semi-private offices—a stark contrast from the open spaces that have been on the uptick in the past decade. In homes, we could see the same, with homes of the future having more than one office space for working at home. Healthy buildings and homes are also a rising trend.
We will see a greater focus on ventilation, moisture, lighting and views, water quality, air quality, safety, and more in homes and buildings of the future—all things we are considering in our From the Ground Up: Project Sustainability Living Lab.
Our spaces are changing, as the way we work also changes. It is something we need to keep in mind in the months and years ahead.