The impact of Coronavirus on the construction industry
The rise of COVID-19 has shaken up our daily lives and has put construction under extreme pressure. As the coronavirus outbreak escalates, this is a battle that all of us have to give as one, both in the construction industry and our societies around the world. We know the coming weeks, and possibly months, will be different and challenging, but we also know that if we all do our best to contain the disease then we can soon move on.
At the moment, construction is facing a challenge. Business activities need to continue with limited face-to-face contact, and some processes may be a bit slower or even interrupted, because of precautions.
In a nutshell, here are some of the most critical effects that the Coronavirus is having on construction:
Health and safety concerns about the workforce
During the last couple of weeks, the concerns around the health and safety of the people who work on the field have increased. That is one of the biggest obstacles construction needs to overcome at this point.
It’s a situation that affects everyone on site and it is of paramount importance that the suggested hygiene guidelines (i.e. frequent hand-washing, no face-touching, covering coughs, etc.) are strictly followed.
Contractual disputes are another serious headache for many contractors as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many projects are being delayed due to the quarantine limitations and several legal claims are expected to be raised in the near future.
It is crucial that all stakeholders in construction have a good understanding of their contracts so that all disputes can be resolved with the least amount of damage possible.
Many material factories around the world, and especially in China, have been closed due to containment efforts or quarantine restraints. This will eventually lead to an increase in the material cost in construction. In addition, the increased demand is already resulting in delays in the delivery of materials pushing many construction projects off-budget.
Travel and quarantine restrictions
In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, many institutions, workplaces and schools have now closed and remote working has been chosen as the way forward. That can also be applied to construction, in some cases, but there are still people who need to show up on the construction sites in order for the projects to continue.
Digital tools could help connect the site to the office enabling Directors and Managers to stay on top of their multiple tasks and projects and allow people on the ground to flag critical issues in real time.
Keeping your projects on programme despite the outbreak
LetsBuild stands by your side as you might now be grounded at home but you still need a precise overview of what’s happening on the field to keep your projects running.
On your sites and projects, the Coronavirus outbreak will surely mean a lot of readjustments to your planning. How will you carry out your communication in the coming weeks? By email or WhatsApp? The risk of administrative overload and loss of information is real in both cases.
And the reason is simple. WhatsApp, or Slack or any other similar platform, isn’t a tool that has been made for this purpose. As a result, there are a number of challenges that appear when you try to connect your 3-6 week planning to the master schedule.
First of all, the data you have shared through WhatsApp is static and lacks the context project teams need to plan ahead and monitor the progress of their tasks. If you decide to use WhatsApp for your reporting and monitoring processes, you will eventually need to employ someone just to extract information from the platform on a weekly basis so that everyone can stay updated.
So this quickly turns into a manually intensive approach and you end up working on outdated programmes surrounded by endless bits of critical information without any context or connection to their respective tasks. This can open the path to more interruptions and more delays that will have a serious impact on your project’s budget.
How to avoid this? By communicating the latest updates to all teams in real time across one platform. With the right tools, people and processes in place, everyone in your team will be able to generate instant progress report updates.
LetsBuild can help you get rid of micro-decisions by offering you full traceability on your multiple projects and by making it easier for you to delegate decision-making to the right people. Once a critical issue emerges, all task participants can exchange information in real time and reach a conclusion within 10 minutes. That’s also a great advantage compated to tools such as Microsoft Teams.
Like that, you will be able to make better decisions instantly, using the platform’s unique stakeholder tagging feature, where critical updates and directions can be immediately shared between team members.
And more importantly, that’s something you can make good use of after the Coronavirus outbreak is over, as well. It’s a long-term solution rather than a quick fix. So even if your construction sites are already closed, make sure to explore LetsBuild today and see how it can help you in your coming projects and tasks.
How can you help your colleagues stay connected while in quarantine?
As construction sites start to reopen, the different European construction federations are now preparing checklists to help you restart your on-site activities and track compliance with health measures on a weekly basis.
To support your effort to ensure that your teams stay safe at all times, our customer success teams have worked hard over the last few days to go through these official guidelines and digitise them.
And we didn’t stop there. We have also created a dashboard that shows in real time which sites have safely reopened.
We invite you to see an example of how you can restart faster and safer and request our free digitised COVID-19 checklists and dashboard, just by clicking on the button below: