How COVID-19 is changing the construction industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to extensive changes within every industry in the U.S., including the construction industry. While many states deemed construction essential, companies were faced with restrictions and guidelines on social distancing, mask wearing, and other safety precautions. They found themselves adjusting to issues with the supply chain, design changes, and the increased use of technology as well as a shortage of employees.
Construction starts and put-in-place spending really took a hit once state lockdowns and shelter in place orders went into effect in March. In addition, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 has also caused owners as well as developers to hold off on going forward with any new construction projects. These factors alone have resulted in a decrease in productivity over the past ten months or so.
Looking ahead to the future, the construction industry could be radically changed due to the public health and economic effects of the COVID pandemic. Many of the changes and new approaches that the industry has adopted due to the pandemic will most likely remain in place in the post-COVID future. And some of these changes could be for the better, resulting in smart solutions for construction companies.
Embrace the change
One result of the pandemic is that it has underscored the importance of employee health and safer construction sites. Post-pandemic, there will most likely be an increased attentiveness to cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection on worksites. In addition, safety managers will have to include training and updates to their safety programs and site-specific safety plans in order to deal with future outbreaks or pandemics.
Another effect COVID is the adoption of construction technology, which, prior to the pandemic, had remained fairly low. However, many contractors have had to turn to technology to keep their projects moving, to monitor and screen employees on job sites, and communicate with the various people engaged in a project. Using tools like Zoom and other video conferencing sites makes it possible for owners, project, and safety managers to participate in multiple projects simultaneously without having to travel from site to site.
Many construction companies have been required to limit the number of workers on a jobsite or have chosen to do this in an effort to limit the spread of COVID, resulting in longer construction times to complete a project. Adopting a more streamlined assembly process used in off-site and modular construction in climate-controlled conditions would allow work to continue in shifts, 24/7.
Control what you can
The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced many companies to think about including pandemic-specific contract clauses in order to deal with liability issues in the case of a future health crisis or pandemic.
As the construction industry moves forward post-pandemic, owners, contractors, and subcontractors have come to realize the importance of working as a team, using new technology, and safety strategies as well as improved operating procedures to ensure their future success.
As part of your team, GYL CPAs and Advisors, providing accounting services for construction companies, understand the challenges of your business, especially in these difficult times. Our professional expert can provide solid and innovative solutions for all of your accounting needs.