The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes to the construction industry, and while most of these changes are negative we have also seen some positive effects that could be beneficial when looking at the future of the industry.
Since the start of the pandemic the construction industry has seen a loss of over a million jobs. If we compare this to the Great Recession, where the construction sector lost 2.3 million, we can see that the industry is headed into some dangerous territory. However, since June of 2020 we have seen some improvements as the industry has gained back over 60,000 jobs which is definitely a step in the right direction.
The construction sector had a small period of closure from mid-April to the beginning of June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but have now been able to get back on site with specific guidelines and restrictions (i.e. physical distancing, mask wearing and other safety protocols). Construction companies will also be required to limit onsite teams to comply with physical distancing, likely leading to more off-site and modular construction. This means that projects will take longer to complete due to the shortage of workers and more time spent on health and safety protocols.
The demand within the industry is also expected to change, where we will see a decrease in projects for the hospitality, retail and entertainment industries and an increase in health-care related construction. However, some construction companies may be forced to hold off on moving forward with new projects due to the economic decline resulting from the pandemic.
Let’s move away from the negative and discuss some positive outcomes that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction contracts may start to include detailed pandemic clauses that will be responsible for protecting companies and their employees from any pandemic related liabilities.
We will also be seeing much more technology adoption on construction sites to aid with physical distancing and minimizing worker contact, which is a great advantage in an industry that is usually hesitant to implement new technologies on site. Construction sites will also be required to keep up with more strict health and safety requirements and guidelines, which in turn will lead to cleaner and safer jobsites.
Although we have seen many changes in the past few months as a result of the pandemic, it is important that the construction industry does not let these changes hold them back, but instead makes the necessary adjustments to allow them to move forward and continue to grow.
If you need help adjusting to the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are here to help. Download Rebar’s FREE “Back to New Normal” kit today and get your team safely back on the tools.