The coronavirus pandemic forced the construction industry to change how it operates in ways we could have never before imagined. Across the nation and in New York City, construction moratoriums were put into effect during the peak months of the pandemic, leading industry leaders to reimagine their approach to safety, making it even more of a top priority. Many leaned on new technologies and strategies in order to meet public health mandates imposed to help stop the virus from spreading.
As we put 2020 behind us, it’s important to look back at how jobsites changed since the onset of the pandemic last spring. Here are the top three changes the construction industry experienced last year:
- Emphasis On Cleaner And Healthier Jobsites
The virus shined a spotlight on the need for jobsites to be cleaner and safer to protect workers’ health. Local and federal government officials put in place additional mandatory health and safety guidelines for employer – including the need to establish hand hygiene/sanitation stations. Employers now must clean and disinfect work areas at least every day, if not more, which are practices that no doubt will continue well into 2021.
- Increased Use Of Technology
The construction industry has notoriously been slow to adopt new technology. The pandemic forced many to more rapidly embrace the shift to digital tools, such as video conferencing and mobile apps, in order to maintain social distancing and accommodate temporary shutdowns. This facilitated ongoing interaction between project teams, subcontractors, and clients, even when safe, in-person meetings were not possible.
- Shift In Project Demand
The virus has impacted each and every industry, but it has taken a very significant toll on hospitality and retail as well as traditional office buildings. With this in mind, there will likely be a decrease in the number of future projects related to these industries – at least in the way we knew them – and an increase in projects in the healthcare sector. It’s also probable there will be an increase in warehouse and distribution centers as U.S. companies are realizing supply chain resiliency is just as important – if not more so – as efficiency, and consumers continue to enjoy the ease of online purchasing.