5 Ways the Construction Industry Changed in 2022 Because of COVID-19
COVID-19 is causing Canadian contractors to develop and implement changes to how they work to comply with ever-changing rules and restrictions. Many of these updates will likely remain even when the pandemic eventually recedes.
Construction contractors are responsible for ensuring staff safety and conforming to new regulations while completing projects. That includes adapting to supply chain shortages or substitutions as work rules are sometimes updated overnight.
Here are the ways the construction industry experienced changes in 2022 because of COVID-19 – and why these updates aren’t necessarily seen negatively.
1. Transition to Digital Marketing
The construction industry experienced less word-of-mouth marketing, with more people spending time inside. That, combined with fewer projects to complete, made it harder for organic conversations to create job opportunities. The companies that pivoted to website development, brand creation, and client reviews discovered the most success because online access became readily available to most prospects.
2. Additional Workplace Technology
Construction sites are often crowded places. Trying to follow social distancing rules in traditional settings became challenging. Investing in technology upgrades, including video conferencing, making it possible to conduct remote inspections or host meetings remotely.
An emphasis on smaller gatherings and specific pandemic-related safety procedures is expected to remain since technology reduces the need for large meetings. Staggered scheduling can bring highly-skilled workers to complete their jobs at different times to limit exposure risks further.
3. Ongoing Supply Chain Disruptions
Construction companies were hit hard by the global supply chain problems that the pandemic created. It became difficult to source large quantities of essential materials from China, which provides approximately one-third of those basic Canadian essentials. Even now, items that come from overseas are prone to higher costs and longer delays.
Contractors are looking to the United States and Mexico to find new suppliers, but that access comes at a higher price.
4. Worker Shortages
Most industries are finding it difficult to hire qualified employees. It’s not unusual for new hires to put in two weeks of work, take their first paycheck, and walk off the job. This trend has caused many construction businesses to operate short-staffed. Previous recruitment resources, including LinkedIn, Kijiji, and Craigslist, have not proven to be as fruitful as in the past for filling open positions.
Numerous challenges exist in this space because of travel restrictions and quarantine rules. Workers are also looking at pay and benefit offers from employers. Companies that implement comprehensive safety policies, flexible sick leave, and educational options typically have more recruitment success.
5. More Time to Complete Projects
Timeline delays are causing project completion estimates to rise across multiple sectors in the construction industry. A project that may have required three months to complete before the pandemic might come with a six-month expectation today. That means prices and wait times rise, sometimes because people or materials are unavailable to complete the work.
Contractors will continue needing to establish longer estimates for project completion, which means each project team member must be more flexible with their scheduling. Clients might not be happy with this information, but they’ll understand when you communicate these challenges honestly and authentically.