With COVID-19 restrictions easing throughout the UK this month (July), project managers working in the construction sector have revealed their concerns and what they deem to be the biggest opportunities post-lockdown.

The new findings have been revealed in a new survey from the Association for Project Management (AMP), the chartered body for the project management profession.

The AMP survey was carried out by Censuswide and reveals that the biggest concern amongst project managers working in construction is the shortage or lack of essential materials and supplies, post lockdown, something which was cited by 63% of participants. Cost increases for customers and clients (54%), reduced profits (54%) and delayed or cancelled projects (53%), were the main reasons given.

With 63% of respondents working remotely since March 2020, the survey also reveals that a flexible or ‘hybrid’ way of working is the biggest opportunity for the project management profession. Of those who have been working remotely, learning to manage time effectively (23%), being more proactive (19%), coordinating disparate stakeholders (18%) and developing the skills to work autonomously (18%) were all cited as being important lessons learned during the lockdown period.

Another concern raised by project managers was the level of anxiety felt about returning to the office, with over half (53 per cent) of those whose organisation is planning a return to the office saying they feel anxious.

The main reasons cited are:

  • Worried about catching another illness (apart from coronavirus/COVID-19) – 46 per cent
  • Concerned about catching COVID-19 – 32 per cent
  • Worried about slipping back into bad working habits associated with the workplace – 25 per cent

Mark Hepworth, acting CEO at APM said: “The pandemic has tested the ability of organisations to effectively deliver projects, with disruptions to the supply chain and adapting to new ways of working during lockdown.

“Our survey highlights that many in the profession are feeling anxious about a return to the office, and so it is important that the appropriate mental health support mechanisms are put in place for staff returning, alongside the necessary measures. As the chartered body for the project profession, APM is committed to supporting and helping the project community, and for individuals who are feeling anxious or concerned at this time.”

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