As of the end of March, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, reaching almost 1 million cases and over 50,000 deaths. Many more cases are being reported globally, prompting governments to impose lockdowns and require people to stay home to contain the spread of the virus.
The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus disease as a global pandemic, affecting industries, livelihoods, and lifestyles. Because of the threat of infection and the lockdowns of respective countries, certain businesses were forced to close, including construction companies.
The Construction Industry in a Standstill
The construction industry is one of the sectors heavily affected by COVID-19. The pandemic affected the import of resources, both locally and globally. Deliveries for materials like concrete and thermoplastic road marking paint had to be rescheduled for when the community quarantine is over. The majority of raw supplies come from China, which is the epicenter of the pandemic.
Some construction companies had to park their projects or halt business operations altogether. The ones allowed to continue some of their projects had to implement risk-reduction procedures and workflows to keep their workers and clients safe. These include:
- Mandating sick employees to stay at home
- Mandating employees with ill family members to stay at home
- Imposing a partial ban on face-to-face meetings with workers, clients, and partners
- Opening offices but providing a remote work option for non-essential staff
Taking Action amid the Pandemic
It’s essential to keep your business afloat in this situation and protect your workers from the risk of infection. McKinsey recommends that you:
Support and protect your employees.
Activate a remote work setup for employees not needed on-site, such as admin, finance, and human resources personnel. Set up communication tools and policies so your team can work from home comfortably, and adjust guidelines when needed.
For workers required to report to the site, equip them with the necessary protection gear, like face masks. Set reminders for observing proper hygiene, practicing social distance, and disinfecting surfaces, tools, and equipment.
Whether they’re working on-site or at home, check up on your workers. They might have a hard time adjusting to the new setting or struggling with their commute. Provide assistance when necessary.
Monitor the situation and conduct scenario planning.
Keep updated on the latest news about the pandemic to know how it will affect your organization moving forward. Also, follow industry leaders for sector-specific updates. Speak with fellow business owners in your industry and exchange business practices.
Plan for the end of the pandemic.
It will take some time before everything returns to normal. Suppliers may be recalibrating their inventory, and your team will be readjusting their daily activities from their schedule before the lockdown happened.
Understand that you will not reach the old normal just yet; leave some room for adjustment. However, make sure that your company has a strategy in place for navigating the end of the pandemic.
Every country is taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While people wait for the curve to flatten, construction businesses like yours must do as much as you can to stay afloat and adapt to the changing times. If you don’t have a business continuity plan, you might be left behind when all of these are over.