It seems very few industries are emerging from the current COVID-19 pandemic unscathed and the construction industry is no exception. With projects stopping up and down the country, both suddenly and by grinding to a halt. For those of us working on-site or independently, these changes have had a significant impact on our businesses and finances. In this blog, we take a look at the ways in which the construction industry has been influenced and how this is predicted to evolve as we move through 2020.
What are the current implications?
When the Prime Minister announced the temporary closure of most of the UK’s businesses, there was a universal shock wave that flooded the country. Construction sites were forced to close, particularly if they were unable to uphold the new 2-meter social distancing regulations. Those that chose to lockdown were given the green light to reopen a matter of weeks later, allowing workers to get back to the project at hand. However, the main reason for delays and disruption came down to the supply chain – people were simply unable to get the materials and equipment they needed. Even with sites open and workers back at their jobs, work has been slow while stock levels return back to normal.
Force majeure or the clause in contracts that allows for a change in the contractual agreement due to unforeseen circumstances has also resulted in extended completion dates. Contractors claiming this must take measures to minimise the disruption as much as possible by ensuring work continues, even if this is at a slower rate.
In addition, we cannot ignore the impact that employee sickness has had on the industry. As the virus spread through the population with some records recording up to 18% of illnesses relating to coronavirus in one way or another.
What implications do we expect to see in the future?
One of the most significant predictions held for future working is an increase in remote working. This primarily relates to those in higher management and the design process – namely architects, technologists and project managers. An improved ‘work-from-home’ culture is expected to stay on for longer in an attempt to reduce unnecessary costs while focusing on the health and safety of employees.
Social distancing will see people adopt new technologies to keep the industry moving including VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). And, an increased focus on health and safety will create environments that uphold the need for appropriate distancing and hand washing, no matter the size or scope of a project.
The construction industry is one that continues to be essential to our economy and one we expect to see flourish, once the pandemic has come to an end. When your site returns to work, consider Jay Bee Plant Sales for world-class machinery that will support your project from start to finish. Contact us here today.