This is an article in the series adapting to the pandemic, where we intend to share useful tips for making it through these troublesome times.
Businesses in many different industries have transitioned to remote-only operations as we try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Even for those still open, many strides have been made for social distancing and improved sanitation.
Construction is still considered an essential service in many states. Still, there are many things construction businesses can do to ensure the safety of their workers and prevent the spread of the virus.
1. Use technology to facilitate communication and business transactions.
Many businesses, including those in the construction and architectural design industries, are now using virtual meeting technologies to support remote communication between their employees and clients. Companies are using tools and apps like Slack or Zoom to conduct meetings and share files like blueprints between designers. Use cloud-based tools to facilitate collaboration across distances, time zones, and offices.
The timely receipt of payments is always critical for a business’s cash flow, and it’s even more vital in times such as these. Construction companies can process client payments remotely using online payment processing, so there’s no need to wait on a client’s check to arrive in the mail. Find a payment gateway to set your business up to receive online payments.
2. Provide employee support in all areas.
Whether the employees for your construction business are behind a desk or at a worksite, the new remote-focused environment will present some technological challenges for some of them. Your IT team is the key to providing critical support to help your staff work efficiently and safely from home.
Don’t forget your team’s mental health during these challenging times. Many workers are struggling to feel connected. You can help fight any feelings of isolation or disconnection by promoting video conferencing for meetings that would have taken place in-person. Encourage your managers to check in with their teams regularly, even if they are just sending a joke or interesting link. Remind your workers to take breaks, which are essential for better productivity and mental health.
3. Take advantage of reduced workloads to promote learning.
Your company’s workloads may be slower than usual social distancing or the postponement of some projects. Your workforce can take advantage of any extra time to develop their professional skills. There are many resources available for online learning, where they can learn more about the technologies or techniques specific to their work.
By encouraging your employees to use their extra time on the clock for professional growth and development, your company can benefit in a few ways. Your workers will be more knowledgeable and skilled when they’re on the job, and they may also develop new skills to expand and enrich your service offering.
We’re all experiencing a period of extreme adjustments in this unusual time, and it is necessary to be patient and understand the unique challenges your staff is facing. Although it’s undoubtedly vital to continue meeting project goals as accurately as possible, remember that your team is learning to adjust to their new routines and work environments. It probably won’t be possible for every employee or contractor to work at optimal productivity levels, so keep that in mind as you encourage and support your staff during this outbreak and beyond.