Nearly every industry is feeling the COVID-19 impact from the shutdown which occurred earlier this year. It’s been no different for the construction industry. Here are some ways COVID-19 has impacted the construction industry and the expected lingering effects going forward.
The COVID-19 Impact on Construction
Studies show that COVID-19 is affecting construction companies differently depending on their location, the level of the project, and state responses. But here are four ways construction has been impacted directly.
- Creating new safety measures.
- Continuation of remote work and work from home.
- Reshaping budgets — public and private.
- Permanent changes in suppliers.
Below, we’ll dive into each of these topics to discuss the COVID-19 impact on construction.
Creating New Safety Measures and Adjusting Old Ones
With new policies such as fewer crewmembers and new security measures in place, essential construction projects are getting the green light to return to work. As a result, timeline extension, limited workforce, and staggered shifts are affecting construction project budgets.
Similarly, as more information is released regarding the virus, plans for both company office and worksites are continuously updated to comply with OSHA regulations. Part of this guidance includes an increase in the documentation internally.
The pandemic placed an emphasis on thorough detail and copious amounts of record-keeping. Thus, allowing companies to review the actions taken to mitigate the risk to crewmembers and a timeline to reference at later dates.
The Continuation of Remote Work
Many construction companies believe recovery lies in the strategic investment in marketing and networking from a distance. Businesses are focusing on bringing in new clients and securing their relationship with current patrons.
Telecommuting platforms are continuously upgrading to adapt to the increase in users. As a result, some companies are recognizing the benefits that telecommunication and remote work can have on a long-term basis.
Furthermore, some construction companies are seeing a positive effect on their budget due to telecommuting. A study revealed that a high percentage of companies intend to transition a percentage of workers to permanent remote work.
COVID-19 Impact on Construction Budgets
In addition to the impact that telecommunicating and schedule changes have on construction, the demands of the industry are changing as well. In April, close to one million construction workers had lost their jobs. Now, many of those who lost their jobs have returned to projects that were already under construction — not new work.
Industry prioritization is shifting to accommodate new demands and companies are adjusting budgets due to additional costs. Construction categories such as health care and public safety are receiving a resurgence while once popular categories like commercial construction are declining.
Moreover, government-funded construction projects are encountering a level of protection in comparison to privately-funded projects. Additionally, COVID-19 has driven costs of construction up in some places. It is not yet clear whether this change is a permanent one.
Permanent Changes in Suppliers
Supply chain constraints emerged at the beginning of the year due to China’s shutdown. Construction suppliers struggled to keep up with the high demand and prices increased. Currently, many construction companies have established additional alternative suppliers to avoid the risk of relying heavily on a sole supplier.
It is important to stress that any economic improvement in the construction industry will not be consistent. How the subcontractor middle-market proceeds during this crisis will influence how the construction industry can succeed in the long term.
Stay Safe with Sigalarm
With all the uncertainty moving forward, it’s important to find a product and service you can rely on. Here at Sigalarm, safety is our top priority. We’ve been providing safety solutions for decades, and we’re proud of our reputation and track record. Contact us today to learn about how to stay safe on the job site.