What will construction look like after the coronavirus pandemic has passed? It’s a question everyone in the industry is thinking about right now. Firms need to start planning for the aftermath now so when the pandemic comes to end, they can make the transition back into normalcy easily. Here are some strategies to prepare for life after COVID-19 in commercial construction.
Changes to Construction Safety
One area that will definitely be impacted by the coronavirus is construction safety. COVID-19 has taught us that industries like construction need even higher standards for safety and health (we’ll cover this topic in depth in a future blog post). Safety has to be something that is ingrained into companies’ cultures and built-in to every aspect of their operations. Many firms have struggled to weather the current virus because they didn’t have strict enough health and safety precautions in place. The firms that already had a strong culture of safety have managed to thrive during the pandemic. You can expect firms to analyze all of their processes so they can understand their weaknesses so they can work on improving workplace safety and ensuring they are better prepared the next time a crisis of this magnitude happens.
Prepare for Delays
Whether it’s in two weeks or two months, eventually restrictions will lift, and construction firms can return to projects they had to put on hold. But don’t think things will go back to normal right away. There will likely be delays when it comes to inspections, permits, materials, and labor. You want to be aware of potential delays so you can prepare accordingly. It is a good idea to check you inventory and do some research to see if materials you need are accessible, so you can make necessary changes before the quarantine ends.
Many firms have had to switch to working remotely because of the virus. Don’t be surprised if this has some long-term effects. Firms have had to abruptly adopt new digital technology so their team members could perform work from home, and this could lead to a shift towards more emphasis on technology in the construction industry as firms see firsthand how useful communication tools and other technology can be. Doing so will allow firms to be more nimble and resilient going forward.
In the short-term, COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of the construction industry. After the virus is under control, the industry won’t look the same, at least not right away. Firms will have to contend with shortages in materials and labor, new expectations regarding safety, and more. It’s important to understand what challenges to anticipate so you can start planning now.
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