It is safe to say that essentially everyone across the country has been affected by the coronavirus – either directly or indirectly – over the past few months. While some industries, like hospitality, have all but shut down, the construction industry is continuing to operate. Although, things look very different than they did at the beginning of the year.
Some employees are affected more than others. For example, it is much easier for project managers and surveyors to work remotely, hold virtual meetings, or conduct valuations by video. For workers on-site, it is a bit more difficult.
In this article, we will take a look at how the construction industry has been changed – both for workers as well as for the companies as a whole – and what the future could look like.
New safety measures are being put in place
Some projects are deemed “essential” and cannot be put off. For the employees that need to be physically on the job site, many companies have started to require that personal protective equipment (including gloves and face masks) be worn at all times. Depending on the type of project, wearing respiratory equipment may also be enforced.
Beyond the required gear, there are some countries that conduct temperature checks before an employee is allowed on the job. The physical site may also look different, and include lots of signs up to remind employees of the new regulations (including “distancing,” where possible, and frequent handwashing). Work areas are also being cleaned more regularly at the end of each day.
Costs are going up – for both companies and clients
Beyond the day-to-day adjustments that many construction employees have had to see, construction companies are also having to deal with cost increases, which are typically passed on to the client.
Many job sites are experiencing a shortage of certain items and materials. This means that, in addition to having to pay more for the coveted supplies, many projects are also taking longer because of increased shipping times and staffing restrictions.
What will the industry look like in the future?
It is impossible to say what the construction will look like in the next six months or year. This is in part because it depends on so many different markets. Many industries have taken a real hit because of coronavirus, which means that they may not have the funding necessary for their project. That said, there are also many individuals who have been able to work from home and might not have experienced a real financial burden, they could want to continue with any home construction projects as originally planned.