The New Normal: How Construction Projects are Rebounding from COVID-19
by Evan Hill | September 15, 2020
Project Restarts and the Impact to Budgets and Schedules
Continuing our series in learning from construction leaders who are adapting throughout the global pandemic, we invited two industry experts to share their insights on how their projects are adapting and restarting. Week 5 of our 6 part webinar series welcomed the following guests:
- Dodge Data & Analytics – Donna Laquidara-Carr — Industry Insights Research Director
- FMI – Greg Schoppman – Principal
In case you missed the webinar or don’t have the time to watch the full hour, we chose to highlight key takeaways from conversations throughout the series. In this blog post, we’ll break down the prevailing themes and guidance provided by our guests, hopefully helping owners navigate the complexities that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Owners Moving Forward in our New Normal
In general, there are two categories for which owners find themselves adapting throughout this pandemic: process/procedural changes & business changes. Let’s talk about the first one.
For employees capable of performing their jobs remotely (away from the physical jobsite), that flexibility is now encouraged and in many cases required. For those whose jobs require an in-person presence, strict social distancing measures have been implemented to ensure limited exposure. In addition, we’re seeing owners order mass supplies of sanitation equipment — whether it be hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and other protective measures. All in an effort to obviously protect the health of their employees, but also to ensure uninterrupted progress on their projects.
In regards to the business side of the house, many projects are continuing as normal (and by normal, we mean “not stopping temporarily”). Many owners are also reviewing their workplace insurance policies, checking with agencies to see if sickness, injury, and other COVID-19 related symptoms might be protected under their policies. In general, we’re noticing a greater attention to detail in regards to workplace safety. For a field that has traditionally been inconsistent with treatment towards contract and employee safety, this is a major advancement.
We’ve also seen some owners engage with medical personnel on a consultative basis to ensure that operations and workplaces are running as safely as possible, while still pursuing project goals. Having a medical expert on staff gives owners the ability to tweak their on-site operations as the pandemic changes in severity.
Although many insights have been shared throughout this series, one resounding takeaway we would like owners to learn from this New Normal is this: frankly, no one predicted that a global pandemic was going to disrupt the world’s economic landscape across multiple industries. A historical refusal to adapt was a reasonable mistake, but now owners and construction leaders don’t have the benefit of the doubt moving forward.
Investment in new health and safety practices, technology adoption, and process changes to smooth out operations is not a choice, it’s a must. Which vendors and experts you choose to partner with is your choice, but the decision not to adapt is no longer an acceptable one.
If you’d like to watch the full webinar on-demand, listen to it here.
Key Topics Covered: construction management software, Construction Project Management, Owners in construction