What impact has the Pandemic had on the Construction Industry?
It seems to have been a long two years for some commercial sectors, with the government mandated lockdowns causing many businesses to close their doors for good. Others have faired well, and some have just ‘ticked over’ with thanks to the job retention or furlough scheme.
But now that almost all restrictions have been lifted, businesses in the UK are trying to return to the pre-pandemic normal.
Construction was hit hard during the first lockdown back in 2020. The effects of the pandemic happened rapidly, causing immediate changes across the world, not just in the construction industry. Some changes impacted minimally; some have been more prolonged. So, what impact has the pandemic had across the building trades?
In the Short Term
The first announcements came to us from the government about the spread of a highly infectious virus that was completely new, and from a medical standpoint, a minefield! So, in late March 2020 we were all told to stay at home. The country had come to a standstill, and at that point it looked certain to stay that way for some months. Business owners started to panic about how they would survive with outgoings not met with little or no income.
The construction industry waited for new guidelines to be implemented so that workers could return to their sites. As this took some time the industry declined by over 50% during April 2020. Although workers were allowed to go back to work in May, the knock on effect from this decline meant that not only workers had worries about being paid, but employers too; without completing projects, they couldn’t recoup their losses.
Construction businesses experienced a decrease in demand and many domestic and commercial projects were put on hold.
The Long Term
The future didn’t seem quite as bleak when building sites reopened and welcomed their workers back. Old projects could be finished, and new business started to pick up. Sadly, this came too late for some small businesses which closed for good.
The industry is still littered with issues as the cost of the pandemic is counted. Raw material prices have skyrocketed, partly due to Covid, but also Brexit. Supply chain disruptions have also played a pivotal role in decreasing turnover and halting operations. This has made many projects either unaffordable or way over budget, and lack of cash flow and turnover has sent many building companies out of the black and into the red.
Getting Back on Track
The pandemic has undoubtedly been difficult for almost all construction businesses. However, it’s not all bad news. Business owners seem generally positive about post-COVID operations, businesses are confident about COVID-19 guidelines going forward, and most staff are back at work. This means businesses are aware of how to operate safely while transmission risks remain, despite the vaccine rollout. Projects can once again go ahead without putting workers or site visitors in danger.
The pandemic has forced many people in the industry to adjust how they conduct business, and thankfully this can be seen as a positive. From outsourcing materials, supplies and equipment, we can all agree that regardless of everything that has happened, the world is getting back on track.
Here at Eynesbury Plant Hire, our service is second to none and we pride ourselves on offering a quality service at a sensible price. Contact us on 01480 215555 for information about our modern fleet of well-maintained plant and machinery.