COVID-19 is going to have a tremendous impact on the business world and indeed the entire economy. Several days ago, there was positive news as employment in America seemed to rebound when the country began to open back up. Unfortunately, this number did include numerous individuals who were furloughed, and right now America is still heading into a deep recession. The rest of the world is likely to follow and many businesses are worried that they will be shutting their doors before the year is out. Indeed, theatre chains have already announced they are unlikely to survive the crisis.
Furthermore, businesses are also going to need to adapt to new challenges. Until a vaccine is created and widely available all businesses will need to operate with a certain level of social distancing. This will mean that companies need to think about how to keep both clients and employees safe which isn’t going to be easy.
That brings us to the construction industry. In some cases, construction businesses are better positioned to face the challenges that lie ahead. However, in other areas construction companies will face new issues that they might not be prepared for. So, let’s dive into how the construction business could change due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s difficult to say whether the construction industry is about to be hit with a drop in demand. Usually, through a recession to demand to build new properties and houses, both domestic and commercial would decline. Businesses, governments, and private individuals all tighten their budgets when a recession hits and this does leave much room for new builds to be funded. Some companies do push ahead with construction regardless though.
For instance, Disney World was in the midst of some massive construction projects before COVID-19 hit. While it’s likely that some of these are delayed, it would be incredible if the company abandoned these projects completely. That could ultimately cost them as much money as continuing and they need something new to drive up the demand that has been lost after being shut down for months.
Of course, speaking of Disney, they have also been known to abandon construction projects completely. The company was in the midst of building a brand new hotel when the recession hit in 2008. They packed up the equipment and the site was left completely abandoned for years before the completed work was eventually quietly torn down.
However, there are signs that demand will remain post-COVID-19. Indeed, reports are already emerging that the housing market is going to avoid a nasty fall. This stands to reason that if people are buying houses, then more homes will also need to be built.
Questions With Staff
Businesses are also going to face some difficult choices when it comes to staff levels. As mentioned, for the foreseeable future, social distancing is going to be a key part of the equation in the business world. So, what does this mean for the construction company?
Well, it could mean lower numbers will be able to work on-site. Right now, companies are dealing with this by furloughing some workers and switching around the schedules. But as businesses are emerging from lockdown we are already seeing companies abandon massive numbers of staff to try and stay afloat and maintain distancing at the same time. It’s likely the construction industry will follow suit and at least temporarily, operate with smaller numbers.
Is it all bad news? Not quite because if you are working in an outsourcing construction agency then you are likely going to see higher levels of demand right now. Businesses will be keen to save money wherever possible and ensure that they keep permanent team numbers down. This means that outsourcing agents are going to become an attractive solution. Services that provide temporary construction workers to businesses are likely to gain bigger profit increases but it’s not just that.
Construction businesses are still going to need crucial areas of their model manned, even if it’s not by permanent staff. When dealing with customer interactions they could use a service like Call Cowboy. A virtual phone system like this is a low cost and still provides the right solution to keep clients in contact buying services.
A Focus On Safety
There has always been a focus on safety in the construction world. But now, there’s going to be a shift where it’s a different type of safety that needs to be at the forefront. Businesses are going to need to explore how to keep areas sanitized and ensure that clients that visit the construction site do remain safe. It’s likely that clients are going to be encouraged to stay away from the construction site as much as possible. Updates are probably going to be given over the phone or on a video call. PPE equipment will also need to be provided to every member of the team working on a site.
It will be important to ensure that there is no risk of spreading the virus. Don’t forget that if a virus does spread through business then that company could be held liable. There’s a lot at stake here, particularly when construction businesses are usually already on shaky ground financially. A lot of construction businesses work from paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford to be dealing with a massive legal issue.
Finally, construction businesses will be exploring ways that they can make their business models far more flexible and adapt to different situations. This probably means that there are going to be smaller tighter businesses where it’s going to be easier to keep the costs under control. It could also mean that we see construction businesses that are basically run and managed from a home rather than the main office hub.
We hope this helps you understand some of the ways that the construction world could change over the next few months. There are many challenges on the horizon but with the right steps in place, most companies will survive.