When devising a communication strategy for 2018, for us at mac the important question is ‘where will we get our business from in the next 3 years?’
Commercial office space has been mac’s bread and butter business for the last 16 years, and will probably continue that way. The predictions are that this sector will remain strong, and the student accommodation, leisure and privately rented sectors will also be important for the overall construction industry.
More investment is coming into residential schemes, which will contribute towards alleviating the supply shortage, and provide business for construction companies. In the last 12 months mac have expanded our teams and our service offering to comprise very strong construction capabilities with the appointment of Eddie Campion to head up and drive the growth of our Group Construction Division. This part of the business will benefit from the growth in investment in warehousing and logistics facilities. Brexit will have an impact on this market - to what extent it’s hard to predict at this stage.
The improving quality and availability of Grade A office space in Dublin is attracting firms from Europe and Asia now, alongside the American tech companies that formed a large part of the demand to date. The caveat though, is that the increasing cost of renting in our cities which is caused by lack of supply will need to be solved by a cultural shift in planning, as it will inevitably impact wage demands, and Ireland’s competitiveness in terms in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. Construction and fit out contractors like mac are happy to work on commercial buildings, but the people working in these offices need homes that are within commuting distance of their workplaces.
Speaking of cultural shifts, we are seeing an effort being made by the construction industry to attract more women. Currently only 11% of the construction workforce are women and less than 1% of trades on site are women. People often say that women have a competitive advantage when it comes to the ‘soft skills’, such as the ability to listen and communicate effectively, manage change, and inspire others. The construction industry is very welcoming to women who have both the hard qualifications and experience alongside charisma, empathy and the ability to influence. But it is important for policy-makers and legislators to introduce robust childcare supports for families, so that women are freer to pursue their careers knowing that their children are being cared for and educated without it becoming prohibitively costly.
Dublin is a very exciting place to live and work now. The plans for development down at Dublin Docklands for example will change this city architecturally, economically and socially. Planners, architects, design and building consultancy firms will orchestrate this transformation, and
companies like mac will bring it to fruition.
We are very much looking forward to it.
Marketing and Communication Director