What Will The Early Days Of Post Covid-19 Construction Look Like In The UK?
Post Covid-19 construction, what implications will the lifting of lockdown have for the construction sector?
The lifting of lockdown seems like a dream. For over a year businesses both large and small have struggled many having had to close their doors, sadly to never to open again.
Having looked at the benefits of lockdown and how roofing can help fight the pandemic we wondered what implications the lifting on lockdown would have, and how the coming months might look like for the construction sector.
As commercial premises reopen and restrictions ease, confidence to visit offices will return. This will not only feed much needed revenue to smaller auxiliary business but, drive life back into city centres.
Office culture that’s been in hibernation for over 12 months will flourish. Innovation will be allowed to blossom not from living rooms but, from board rooms once again.
Our way of working may never return to how it was pre-pandemic, there will be a desire to combine remote working with the opportunity to repopulate office space. Resulting in a hybrid working culture suiting, both our social desires and accommodating a far more productive work-life balance.
As normality returns, so will industry. This is likely to be seen initially through investment and opportunities within the public sector. But, inevitably as purse strings are tightened, as seen already with underwhelming NHS pay rises, the private sector will regain its confidence and construction investment will follow suit.
Recent data published by the Office of National Statistics showed that private residential refurbishment work was down approximately 7%, while public housing projects had increased by 5.7%. Proving that this approach is already in motion.
As spring turns to summer most firms are expecting to see an increase in new business opportunities, as seen in our business report, and slowly we will return to normality.
However, as construction output increases, fears of labour shortages associated with Brexit are likely to come to fruition. Brexit related labour shortages were an area of great concern prior to the pandemic and since Covid-19 tore through the country, the Financial Times reports that over 1.3 million workers have left the UK.
This will inevitably lead to an increase in cost to contractors and end users. To counter this expect to see a huge push by the sector to drive talent through numerous methods, in particular taking advantage of new government backed apprentice schemes.
While we all can’t wait to put the pandemic behind us and move towards a far more optimistic future. We must not forget the lessons that we’ve learnt, and we must ensure that “returning to normal” doesn’t mean returning to bad habits.
Construction is a sector considered by many as outdated and ridged. One where levels of flexible working and equal opportunities fall significantly behind others. However, when push came to shove the industry showed that adaptation in unprecedented times was not only possible but, change was fast, flexible and filled with untold benefits.
We are now presented with an opportunity to shed some of the outdated and unproductive working practices that are hindering the sector and continue to modernise and innovate. Combine this with a rise in consumer confidence and increased investments, and the future certainly is something to look forward to.