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The current economic climate has been unfamiliar territory for many businesses. The pandemic has put many businesses out of operation, or financially fragile, especially if they are unable to continue working throughout the lockdown periods. For those companies that have been able to continue trading their internal infrastructure may have had to adapt, from personnel right through to operational processes.
With the government focussing on the construction industry to help kick start the economy in the UK there are a number of trends that many construction companies are going to have to embark on to enable growth and stability.
Workplace culture normally changes over time before it is fully established. However, with the pandemic companies have had to adapt their working practices overnight. Companies need to make sure staff have the ability to work from home, making systems and equipment accessible to all. Whilst at the same time, staff are changing their daily rituals. The commute to work has gone, the walk to the coffee shop in the morning has stopped, all these and other rituals have disappeared. But one area that companies need to ensure continues is the workplace culture. Even though there are no face to face meetings, there still needs to be a sense of community. Everyone needs to continue to strive towards the same goal. Everyone needs to drive for the mutual success, to ensure stability. The companies that build for the future now, will see their people foster a culture that produces results.
Data systems talking to each other will be essential. Synchronisation of all parts of the information flow will be significant bringing consistency and efficiency to the organisation. The data exchange process allows companies to be adaptable, and allows information to flow flexibly. With the flexibility you also have guaranteed cohesion.
With some companies having to suspend their projects, it will no doubt have an effect on revenues. If you can complement your existing core business by diversifying your offering, this can help your long term plans. Construction companies need to be innovative with their strategy and look at way in which they can offer another solution within the value chain, consulting, materials. Ask if you have staff that are specialists in area that can be exploited further. Alternatively retraining staff could be an option into creating tat diversification.
With the continuation of developing technologies within the construction the industry in 5-10 years the construction market will look different. One thing the pandemic has proved is the use of technology is here to change how we work, and this effect will also make changes within the construction industry. Companies have the opportunities to start this process now to train and upskill staff in the latest automated technologies and AI advances. This pandemic has moved the use of technology further and with a potential declining workforce technology might fill that gap. Using eLearning courses, digital leadership courses being run by CITB can be an a good source of information for courses.
We can see that technology has made strives into the construction industry and will continue to do so. However, for some the use of technology; AI and automated technology is an after-thought or a luxury, but construction companies need to change that thought process and truly integrate the use of technology from the very beginning of the project. Integration of AI and automated processes can lead to greater construction efficiencies and really progress and accelerate a greener and more sustainable construction build.
The construction industry has a large amount of independent contractors and self employed personnel, which means it can be difficult to enforce the use and adoption of technology practices throughout the market. One way to achieve this is to increase the availability of updated training courses that allow for more of the workforce to understand and implement additional forms of technology on building projects.
Ensuring growth within the construction industry during this pandemic is key to the wider economy. There is the potential to attract new people into the industry, especially to aid the fluctuations of the unsteady workforce. Construction can use this time to be creative and think of ways to encourage interest into the industry.
Many companies will use this time to look at the data they have internally and see what trends and learnings can be made from previous projects. Joining up the data with the analytics and implementing new ways of working will be key. Whether it be through looking at current and past client base. Or how to diversify through the use of technology. These areas can align with internal protocols to use in order to be efficient. Using historical data can have a profound and positive effect on a businesses foundation.
Now more than ever construction companies need to make strives into a greener build. The recent government announcement regarding rigorous new targets for green building revolution is set to continue. With targets set for 2025 on new builds; needing to reduce emissions by 75-80% and existing homes to meet targets by 2050, means reviewing policy and regulation is vital for companies. There has been an overall push to comply with sustainable construction, which is why we will see greener construction be a big part of 2021.