We are currently embarking on a new blog series to uncover what the construction industry will look like as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically looking to answer: What will work look like in construction after COVID? Today, let’s narrow in on how processes will change.
One of the many changes in how businesses do business since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 is the move to remote work for those who can function outside of an office. But to maintain the collaboration necessary to accomplish daily tasks, remote workers became dependent on computers, networks, and software connecting them to the main office or other locations, and with each other.
The result: the worldwide social software and collaboration market is forecast to total $4.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 17.1% from 2020, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. The need to support remote work during COVID-19, as well as social software integrations within other enterprise applications, is driving this significant growth. Propelling the social and collaboration market are such requirements as coordinating a distributed workforce and providing a “virtual water cooler” for remote workers to gather around, virtually, and discuss their needs and efforts. All of this got a jolt from the pandemic. Social and collaboration tools went from a “nice to have” to a “must have” within a matter of weeks.
Long before COVID-19 changed the way companies work, collaboration among employees and between them, suppliers, owners, subcontractors, and trades was being reformed. While in person discussions are fewer, the importance of collaborating among disciplines has never been greater. And the digital age can, if approached properly, improve the situation immensely. Whether computer, smartphone, or tablet is used, communication is the key.
Construction is an inherently optimistic act. Large projects started today won’t provide utility for years to come, and yet every month of every year the shovels go to work, beginning the construction of skyscrapers, transit hubs, and infrastructure promising future benefits. Even after the pandemic and the economic downturn hit, the industry’s confidence was shaken but didn’t collapse, with 75% of contractors still rating their level of confidence in finding sufficient new business as “high” or “moderate.”
COVID-19 and the resulting orders for stay/work at home for many occupations has led to a reassessment of how business can operate. Jobs that were office-restricted are being seen as office-optional and workers who can function productively at home are being allowed to do so, even as restrictions are being lifted in many states.
What does this reevaluation of work suggest for the near future? IDC (Intl. Data Corp.) forecasts that, by 2021, the contribution of “digital coworkers” will increase by 35% as more tasks are automated and augmented by technology. IDC also predicts that, by 2024, enterprises with intelligent and collaborative work environments will see 30% lower staff turnover, 30% higher productivity, and 30% higher revenue per employee than their peers.
With everyone looking to collaborate while working remotely, for today’s blog, I want to give you some practical advice and tips that can help your business continue to prosper during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
AR (augmented reality) is beginning to grow in popularity for a number of industries including construction.
The construction, engineering, architectural, and building industry is at a crossroads. The continued economic expansion in the U.S. is beginning to see somewhat of a little slowdown that could just have some significant consequences. The period of growth that began in March 2009, some nine years ago, is beginning to show some real signs of a recession despite what those reading this blog might wish to prepare for today’s economic climate.
I am always so inspired when I read about the latest smart cities initiatives. From Charlotte, N.C., to Philadelphia, Pa., to Aurora, Ill., it seems nearly every city has a story of how it is trying to better itself, all with the help of the IoT (Internet of Things).