The COVID-19 outbreak has caused various industries across the US panic, and the construction industry is one of the inevitable industries to suffer. Contractors have risks in labor shortages, job costing management, and other uncertainties regarding state and federal policies, but in 2020, experts predict several factors that the pandemic can have consequences of the U.S. construction firms.
1. Employee Health and Performance
Employees’ well-being is the most significant factor of the construction industry. Without employees, the projects can be delayed. The state’s advice indicates teams to cover coughs and avoid touching face, and one of the goals construction firms face is to reduce hysteria and the spread range of COVID-19.
Another health-related concern is employees’ mental health. In Construction Dive survey, it indicates that workers’ anxiety is one of the top issues brought on by the coronavirus, rather than materials supply and government shutdowns.
2. Material delay
As China government’s efforts to shut down factories in cities, the falloff in production of materials has been affected significantly. As indicated by Construction Dive, “U.S. builders look to China for everything from steel and stone to millwork and plumbing fixtures.”
About 30% of U.S. construction materials are imported from China, and some firms mostly rely on China’s supply. Home builders have been affected by the delay of materials and supplier issues. Industries are turning to alternative suppliers, and this may cause further economic crisis to China suppliers.
3. Quarantines and Travel Bans
Companies are closing sites and businesses to prevent the spread of the virus. Construction firms need to monitor carefully for any unusual situation, and adding an outbreak can prompt a 14-day quarantine shutdown. During the shutdown period, employers will need to turn to teleworking and video meetings to keep projects running. The expense of the extra technology supports can be an additional burden for construction firms.
The COVID-19 has affected all industries in the U.S. and postponed projects. The construction firms will have to handle their future expenses and cash flows more cautiously to reduce future deficits.
Resource: "6 ways the coronavirus outbreak will affect construction" by Jenn Goodman. https://www.constructiondive.com/news/6-ways-the-coronavirus-outbreak-will-affect-construction/574042/