Here we lay out our vision for the trends of 2022. All the projections are based on what already exists right in front of us; some are more subtle than others. Feel free to join in the fun of prognostication by leaving your predictions in the comments!
GROWTH OF SERVICE SECTOR
The field of logistics for managing supplies and inventory will dominate the service sector. This includes company operations, consulting, new hires, academia, and employee pay. If supply chain and logistics is of any interest, the field can be rewarding.
SERVICE DESIGN AT WORK
Major population centers will have much greater degrees of infrastructure designed with service design principles. Public internet will serve as the backbone for interconnectedness. Transportation, including automobiles, rail, and buses will be driverless. Through apps and platforms, passengers will be able to track where vehicles are, costs, and traffic conditions, to assist riders in planning their trips.
Those advancements will allow many to ditch their cars. This will eliminate car payments, gas bills, auto insurance, and maintenance costs. All of these services will take a massive hit unless they readdress their offerings. Electric vehicles will populate our streets, we just won’t own them. Ultimately, we can look forward to a much cleaner environment by reducing C02 emissions.
Meantime, on the retail and corporate office space front, there will be increasing trends that will have greater impacts than we have seen to date.
Retail banks, for instance, will continue to disappear. Those that remain will take up much smaller real estate since most banking is conducted online or over the phone. But banks represent a sliver of our changing streetscapes. Just about anything that can be purchased online, notably clothing and apparel stores, will find fewer customers, and hence those stores will find it increasingly difficult to pay the rent.
Departing businesses will impact retail real estate prices, until or unless something replaces them. The result may help bring back family-run businesses that all but vanished in some areas of the country due to mega franchises.
And lastly, corporate real estate is being replaced by condominiums. Many corporate offices closed during Covid-19, and not all of them are re-opening. Some corporations are finding better ways to use space with sharing offices, further reducing the need for large, extended leases.
CHANGING DYNAMICS – A HINT FOR WHAT’S TO COME
In New York City, for example, Manhattan has become a pedestrian-friendly city with lots of recreation—which was never like this since my visits starting in the 1960s.
There are fewer cars on the road and far more bikes. Nowadays, one doesn’t have to wait for long, if at all, to cross a four-lane one-way street because there are so few cars. Additionally, residents and tourists have access to free public wi-fi, which is commonly used for walking directions and to book activities along the way. Plus, the public conveniences all accept Apple Pay. On top of that, the city has dedicated miles of pedestrian lanes along the length of the West Side Highway, along the former elevated rail line known as the High Line, and throughout Central Park where many of the roads have become closed to traffic.
But what strikes many is a new skyline, an oasis of crystal triangles, that has effectively replaced old brick and mortar skyscrapers. These buildings with walls of windows are packed with residences. The condos have essentially replaced the corporate offices from just a few years back.
What are your predictions? Comment below!