Adapting to Disruptions Caused by Pandemic Measures: How Has the Construction Industry Rolled with the Punches?

30th October 2021

Global lockdowns had a tremendous impact on the construction sector. Like any other sector of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a sea change to construction and crane hire in Brisbane. Learn more about the effects of and insights from the pandemic, and how innovations in the construction industry helped businesses to adapt.

How Australian Construction Was Affected

The construction industry felt the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic early, even during its very beginnings when the pandemic’s effects were limited to China. At that point in time, lockdowns in China meant the closing of factories that supplied Australian construction with many of its building materials, leading to a squeeze in availability. The expectation was for a short-term impact on supply chains, but of course, the pandemic dragged on and so did its implications for the construction industry.

When the pandemic came to Australia in full force, as the roads and offices emptied, so did the pipeline of construction projects. Construction projects were cancelled or delayed, as everyone from home renovators to development investors became cautious with construction projects.

The show must go on, however, and construction was one of the key industries underlying Australia’s economic recovery. Construction work returned in a changed form, with many new hygiene and other practices implemented in response to insights from the pandemic.

Valuable Insights Gained from the Pandemic

The construction industry was quick to see and respond to how the once-in-a-century event could mean for them. Australian business owners and government bodies acted in a variety of ways to adapt to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep Supply Chains Open

The majority of Australia’s building materials come from China, so from the get-go, managing the pandemic meant managing the supply chain disruptions. Australian construction companies shifted to sourcing from domestic suppliers, and since the start of the pandemic, many Australian factories have seen large increases in demand for building materials.

Keep Working, Safely

The impacts of the pandemic are here to stay for a while, and construction must go on. Construction sites have adapted to stay open while keeping workers and public health at large safe. As many jobs as possible, such as in architecture and civil engineering, have shifted to working from home. Of course, the majority of construction jobs can only happen on-site, under new practices such as shift work to reduce the number of people on-site at any one time.

Accept Lower Productivity

With new practices such as social distancing and staggered shift work, the slower pace of construction work is inevitable. However, it may also create breathing room that construction firms can use to re-prioritise and invest. For example, while on-site work is impacted by the pandemic, now may be the best time to invest in technology that will raise productivity beyond the pandemic, such as implementing new software or online tools.

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