It’s been more than a year since the coronavirus outbreak caused drastic changes in everyday life. Until now, people around the world are still adjusting to the new normal.
And because the risk of getting infected by the virus is still out there, global health organizations and government institutions continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases and take necessary measures to mitigate the effects of this public health crisis.
However, due to the prolonged lockdowns implemented to prevent the spread of the virus, businesses across different industries are experiencing major losses. If this goes on, the economy will suffer.
Fortunately, with the development of COVID-19 vaccines and rapid vaccination rollout, more and more businesses are starting to reopen and resume their day-to-day operations. Construction companies, in particular, contribute significantly to the US economic recovery.
As a matter of fact, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP from construction in the country increased to $684.40 billion in the first quarter of 2021. This means that it’s crucial that construction companies operate efficiently amid the pandemic.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Construction Industry
Construction companies face a variety of challenges in these unprecedented times. Two major challenges make it more difficult for them to complete construction projects.
To follow social distancing requirements, only a limited number of construction workers can report to work. With less workforce on-site, project delays will most likely happen. In some cases, projects are put on hold indefinitely, while others are terminated completely.
Global supply chain disruption
Some building materials and equipment are imported from overseas. Many factories have stopped their operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On top of that, the closure of borders and export restrictions issued by different countries have been causing delays in international trade.
Tips for Managing Construction Operations During the Pandemic
To complete construction projects in the middle of this crisis, some workers will have to work on-site, while others will have to work remotely. With this, you have to ensure that your distributed workforce stays connected no matter where they are.
Here are some tips on how to make your construction operations go smoothly:
Provide cleaning and disinfection training against COVID-19
The health and well-being of the members of your construction team should be a top priority. Make sure that they know the steps of proper handwashing.
They should always wash their hands when arriving and leaving the construction sites, before and after breaks, and whenever they touch surfaces. They should also disinfect tools, equipment, and common areas after each use.
Implement strict policies for site visitors and deliveries
Check where all the deliveries are coming from before they arrive at the construction site. Make sure that they are disinfected properly. It’s recommended to have a separate area where deliveries are placed. This way, your workforce won’t have direct contact with any items.
For site visitors, you should always verify if they received approval from the site project manager. They should also answer and submit a health questionnaire before their visit.
Establish clear lines of communication
Always keep your workforce updated with the latest news about COVID-19 from credible sources. Encourage overcommunication between your construction team and clients.
Stay on top of daily project status updates and actively check on your employees’ well-being. Remote communication and collaboration is the key to the success and completion of your construction project.
Prepare a backup plan
In a worst-case scenario, some of your employees will get infected by COVID-19. That’s why it is important to create guidelines on how to handle symptomatic employees. You should have proper procedures in place for contact tracing and seeking medical treatment for your employees.
There are also instances when construction equipment malfunctions. If this happens, you should always have someone to call instantly for repair and replacement.
One of the most commonly used tools to fix mechanical failures is the hydraulic hose. The good news is many entrepreneurs are exploring franchise opportunities for hydraulic ventures. With more franchises available, you will have more options for having your construction equipment fixed immediately.
Use construction management software
To make a hybrid work environment work, you should use digital tools like construction management software. This will help you streamline workflows, minimize errors, and improve efficiency.
When choosing the right construction management software for your business, always check if the features meet your needs. Some must-have features are project scheduling, project tracking, document management, timesheet tracking, job costing, and bid management.
For construction businesses to thrive during the pandemic, it’s crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of your employees. To do that, you should update work policies, implement strict rules and guidelines, and upgrade your tools.