This blog post will go through how COVID-19 is affecting the construction industry along with a few tips and tricks on how to still be productive while working from home.
Construction industry status
A global domino effect has already begun in which non-essential businesses and activities have been asked to close for an undisclosed period of time. Although the construction industry will be affected by the current situation there are strong indications that construction sites will continue to be operational.
For instance, in the UK, the government confirmed on the 2nd of April that construction sites should continue to operate, and Alok Sharma the Secretary of State for Business & Industrial Strategy confirmed that they will remain operational under new health guidelines.
A similar approach to the priority of construction is also being taken within North America as many regions see it as a necessity to the economy. Statista reported in 2018 that the value of the U.S. construction industry as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) is 4.1% with total value of new private construction in the U.S. reaching $974.7 billion in 2019.
With that said, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in North America have asked the Department of Homeland Security to deem single-family and multifamily construction as an “Essential Infrastructure Business”. Although this designation is not binding to state and local governments, we can expect to see some workers on job sites.
What can the construction industry do?
As a global community it is possible for us to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and aid those who are in need through building modular construction for the healthcare sectors.
China was an example of this in their rapid response to their lack of healthcare infrastructure after being the first country to be impacted nationwide. On January 23rd, 2020 the decision was made to build a new hospital capable of treating 1000 individuals at once. Known as the Huoshenshan hospital, it was fully constructed by February 2nd, 2020 - taking a mere 10 days.
Historically the development of healthcare facilities has proven to be beneficial in combating these types of pandemics. For instance China suffered an outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) back in 2003 and their response was to recruit 7000 construction workers to build the Xiaotangshan hospital within 6 days though prefabricated units. The fatality rate dropped by almost 8% when the Xiaotangshan hospital was finished. This was an outstanding effort to help relieve the over stressed medical system at the time.
How can I do my part?
As construction professionals have traded in their busy jobsites for their (sometimes!) busier household, we ought to remember that we are in this together.
We can all do our part in this current situation to help save lives and assist our healthcare systems by following advice and guidelines set out to us. As some of you may be going through this process already, here are a few a few tips to help you maintain a good work ethos:
- Stay focused
Many of us have grown accustomed to working within an environment with little or no distractions. For instance, you may be used to having your employer watching your every move. This is a perfect time to test your self-discipline. Make sure your workspace as ergonomic as possible, set daily objectives, take regular breaks and create deadlines/ tasks.
- Keep connected
If you work in an environment where you would regularly be in contact with your peers there’s no reason to stop that (no one expects you to be a hermit!). You can use a range of different applications and softwares to check in on each other and stay in the loop. Staying connected to family and friends is also important. However, be mindful to avoid talking too much at the expense of work to be done.
As many of us will be trapped inside for the foreseeable future, there is no better time than now to develop new skills. Enroll in online course or sharpen some of your current skills – StrucSoft is currently offering customized training programs of Revit® and MWF at a reduced cost!
- Find/Revisit a hobby
Having to sleep, eat and work in the same confined area is enough to drive most of us insane. That’s why now is a good opportunity to pick up a hobby that helps to relieve anxiety and stress. Maybe dust off that guitar you have hidden away (guilty!), read, practice yoga or try that new recipe you’ve never had time for. Whatever your calling is, be sure to incorporate into your day as much as possible, it’ll help you temporarily escape from the current, albeit surreal circumstances we’re in.
- Be grateful
In this day and age, the phrase ‘it could be worse’ has never be truer. For those of us able to work from home, remember that there are many among us who have had their careers, health and loved ones affected by the epidemic. Keep in mind that we are all doing our best. Expecting everyone to work at optimal productivity levels all whilst balancing other priorities will take time.
In order to tend to the projected number of people that will require care, Strucsoft Solutions is committed to contributing in the effort against COVID-19 by providing design services. Our Liverpool team are available to aid to companies tasked with constructing makeshift accommodation, hospitals and/or testing clinics.
For more information on our discounted training or design services, visit strucsoftsolutions.com, email us at info@strucSoftsolutions.com or call us at 514-538-6862