(and How to Get Your Team Prepared)

Research from Gartner estimates that at the start of 2022, 32% of all employees worldwide will be working remotely. Remote work was slowly becoming more popular in some industries pre-pandemic, but when the world was forced into a work-from-home situation in 2020, it forced many agencies to take a look at what the office of the future looks like.

Here’s our take on what your agency can expect in 2022:

#1 Embrace a hybrid workforce

With many CEOs not believing that a fully remote workforce is a viable option, but many workers (57% in the UK) wanting to have the option of working from home, a compromise has to be made. In corporate America, the “hybrid workforce” is becoming an emerging trend that might define the agency of tomorrow. Senior research director at Gartner, Ranjit Atwal, believes that the hybrid office is the “future of work”.

Essentially this means that employees will divide their time between working from home and working at the office. As a result, the office of next year will likely be downsized; have shared workspaces with other businesses; and create more flexible work schedules.

#2 Move from the office into an agile hub

The move to a hybrid workplace will mean that single-location offices could become a thing of the past, and a hub that supports “flexibility, functionality and employee wellbeing” could be the future, according to predictions from the global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Think co-working spaces, cafes, multiple offices, and mass hotdesking. Agencies should start considering how they could operate in a space like this, as it will likely be a more financially viable option.

 #3 Switch up the benefits your company offers 

Gone are the days of agencies thinking that ping pong tables and an open bar are the top perks employees desire. Because your team will be spending less time in the office, having quirky “office perks” doesn’t make sense anymore. In fact, 74% of employees surveyed by Perkbox would prefer an increase in pay as a result of the company saving on office perk costs.

#4 Place a greater focus on employee wellbeing

The mental health of employees has been a hot topic amongst many businesses, including agencies, for a long time. And with the stress brought on by the pandemic, this is the time to increase your focus on the wellbeing of your team when they’re in the office or working from home. CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021: Survey Report found that 74% of organisations offer access to counselling services and employee assistance programmes. Does your agency fall into that category? If not, then in 2022 your workplace should become synonymous with caring for your team, and prioritising their mental health.

#5 Say hello to virtual assistants

Along with a remote or hybrid workplace, comes the need for a more affordable and time-saving way to get specific work done – from administration to writing social media copy – on an hourly or project basis, using a virtual assistant. This will be a great investment for both a smaller agency who wants to scale up but can’t afford too many new hires, or a larger agency wanting to scale down.

#6 Say goodbye to having a boss

The office of the future may not have managers walking around, which makes sense, since many team members may not even be operating from the office. According to Gartner, by 2024, 30% of corporate teams will be without a boss due to the agile and hybrid nature of work. This means agencies may have to abandon traditional hierarchies in favour of more agility within the organisation.

How to prepare your team for the hybrid workplace of the future

Communication will be key. Remember that not all of your employees will necessarily want to work remotely and may prefer to be in the office permanently. To determine exactly how your hybrid workplace will function, you’ll need to conduct a survey with your team to find out what their specific needs are, and how they work best.

 

Download this free survey that you can implement with your team today, so you can best prepare for the agency of 2022.

 

Make sure your agency can operate at its best in an agile environment

Built by agency veterans, Deltek WorkBook is a total agency management system that provides best practice solutions to help your agency grow. WorkBook makes it easier to focus on your clients and make strategic decisions for the future by streamlining projects, people and finance from end to end, giving you better control, insight and visibility at any time.

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with us.

The engineer of the future will be someone who has global knowledge; a passion for pursuing sustainability in innovation; a pioneering mindset when it comes to technology and the ability to work remotely.

They will be someone who can revolutionise cities to make them more environmentally and population friendly; someone who is able to improve the way we travel, who has the expertise to solve biomedical and chemical-related health concerns or is able to work cohesively with new software in order to further innovate.

As the world increasingly pursues technological innovation, the engineering industry will play an exciting role in solving the problems of today and bringing the future to life. In the past two years alone, we’ve seen how businesses have needed to pivot, innovate and redefine themselves in order to keep up. And as we move out of 2021, we have seen a surge in adoption of new technologies across industries.

As an engineering firm, how do you feel about digital transformation? Are your people ready to embrace innovation? Before you feel too overwhelmed, here are three simple areas you can focus on when it comes to adopting new technologies into your firm:

1. Keep your eyes on the client

Look out for systems and digital tools that help you optimise the entire customer journey and enable your team to provide the best customer support.

2. Change up your management system

Get rid of your old processes of using siloed systems to manage your operations and invest in an integrated digital tool.

3. Embrace a variety of technologies

The most successful companies will have a full suite of technology in their back-pocket – from digital management systems, to robotics, to cutting-edge analytics.

Want to know about what to expect for engineering in the future?

Download our insightful infographic, A Glimpse into Success for Engineering Firms in 2022 and Beyond, to ensure your firm is staying ahead of the game.

 

 

Each year, Deltek conducts a survey of firms in the architecture and engineering industry to identify the key performance indicators, market conditions, and industry trends. Conducted for the last 42 years, the Study is developed in collaboration with industry organisations across the globe.

We have created an insightful infographic that gives an overview of the annual architecture and engineering industry study, highlighting important trends in EMEA and APAC.

The key takeaway from the study is around the business impact of the pandemic on architecture and engineering firms, and research suggests that “a solid digital foundation [will] enable organisations to adapt more quickly to changing business conditions”. This infographic also highlights important questions and strategies that engineering firms need to consider throughout their digital transformation journey.

For example, there are five questions industry leaders should ask themselves to identify where they need to lay the groundwork for their transformation;

  1. What was the impact of the pandemic on our operations and revenue?
  2. What are some of the technologies that we need to help us differentiate?
  3. How were our projects impacted by the pandemic?
  4. What are our biggest concerns with developing new business, and how can technology help?
  5. How are our finance leaders measuring success and enabling our businesses to move forward?

Get your copy below;

 

 

“Pivot, pivooooot, pivooooot!”

If you haven’t seen Ross Gellar shouting this out in the television series, Friends, whilst trying to navigate carrying a massive couch up a spiral staircase, then firstly, you need to go watch Friends, but secondly, it’s okay, because you can probably relate to the feeling regardless.

For many agencies and other small businesses, the arrival of Covid-19 was much like carrying a massive couch up a spiral staircase.

This mini downloadable guide will provide some insight and input into how your agency can ensure they’ll be able to pivot within, and re-adjust to, a new normal in a world after Covid-19.

In this guide you will learn about:

  • why digital transformation is crucial for agility
  • ways you could restructure your agency
  • how to foster a culture of innovation
  • the importance of integrative systems.

 

 

Each year, Deltek conducts a survey of firms in the architecture and engineering industry to identify the key performance indicators, market conditions, and industry trends. Conducted for the last 41 years, the Study is developed in collaboration with industry organisations in the United States and Canada.

The Study collected responses on emerging technology trends, financial statements, business development, project management, and human capital management. The survey was developed in partnership with CMG Consulting and was fielded from January 21, 202 through March 23, 2020. Responses were collected from more than 415 companies in the architecture and engineering industry.

Get your copy by completing the form below:

 

 

Global research conducted by IDC, found that 21.3% of productivity loss in the workplace can be attributed to document management issues. Whether it’s employees being unable to find the right document, or being unable to access the document, according to Interact Source, almost 20% of business time, as much as one day per working week, is spent by employees trying to locate information in order to successfully complete their work.

In engineering firms alone, as much as 70% of the firm’s project information will not even be located within their document management systems, and might be found in desktop files or email servers. The result of this is scattered bits of information and unproductive workflows.

Migrating to a digital document management system is the wisest move, especially in an age when it’s best to go paperless, but the biggest driving factor would be the ability to access them anywhere (imagine you’re working remotely and realise the documents you need are locked away
in a filing cabinet at the office).

Get your free e-guide providing you with a step-by-step process of how to go about searching and implementing a document and email management system for your firm.

 

 

A Quick Guide for Keeping Your Firm Healthy in 2021

2020 was a big learning curve for businesses all around the world. Many engineering firms had to learn to adjust to remote working, while still maintaining a positive and motivational workplace culture, and implementing systems and processes to navigate the “new normal” way of working.

All of this change can have an impact on a firm’s organisational health, and so we decided to create a practical guide for your firm that can be a resource to;

  • Highlight the four key learnings that indicate a healthy engineering firm
  • Provide guidelines for maintaining optimal organisational health in the four areas
  • Share practical tools you can implement to improve your processes today
  • Help to equip your firm for any future unexpected challenges

Download the full guide by completing the form below.

Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?

Silversoft is offering Engineering Consulting firms a free health check to determine how they compare to others in the industry in terms of the 4 key learnings from 2020.

This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.

Take the health check survey

“86% of organizations see failure to digitize and automate business inputs as a key transformation bottleneck.” 

There is no denying that 2020 has been a year for the books. Within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry, project managers, engineers, surveyors and more have shifted their processes to accompany a more diverse, remote way of working. Creating and processing information may have been a struggle prior to 2020, and now with a workforce that can be partially or even fully remote, inefficiencies with project information management can certainly come to the forefront.

In this whitepaper, you’ll discover solutions to some of the AEC industry’s most common challenges with managing project information, particularly when managing information remotely.

How to tackle project information management:

    • Identify process holes within your organisation
    • Review your data management approach
    • Take stock of on-site practices
    • Have the hard conversations

76% of companies experience significant business risks and/or compliance incidents due to broken document management processes. 

Silversoft conducted a survey to engineering and consulting industry players with the aim of bringing you key trends and insights from the South African industry.

Get your free copy of the survey results to benchmark your firm against others in the industry when it comes to your document and email management processes.

Some key trends the survey highlights:

    • 62% of respondents said that their firm stores emails and files in the cloud
    • 36% of respondents said that they spend 1-2 hours per week searching for important project information
    • 94% of respondents said that their firm stored project information in a central location

Finance has the important task of supporting the organisation in delivering profitable projects to clients.

Architecture, Engineering and Consulting companies are undergoing rapid transformation and businesses are moving at an accelerated pace in order to keep up. The recent need for mobility coupled with increased competition and demand from clients puts pressure on margins. This has made it it increasingly important to deliver projects on time and budget whilst ensuring efficient finance processes.

This report will provide you with best practice recommendations to consider applying to your business.

Consider these four areas as the foundation for sound financial management:

    • Manage Working Capital
    • Control Costs
    • Accelerate Month End
    • Provide Accurate Reports for Decision-Making