Could COVID-19 Improve Site Productivity Long-Term?

Inevitably, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on productivity on site has been troubling. Although construction output grew by a record 23.5% in June it remained 24.8% below the February 2020 level.

Productivity on site during COVID-19

However, while some developers report a 50% reduction in workforce as a result of social distancing, they are also experiencing only a 30% reduction in output. One of the reasons for this improved efficiency is the way the times have altered the way work is carried out on site. Fewer labourers on site means greater planning and preparation, streamlined working and the adoption of digital tools.

These exceptional times call for exceptional measures and have challenged the conventional ways of working. As we look ahead to the future of construction, we have the opportunity to take these lessons learnt and become more resilient, efficient and boost productivity. COVID-19 is unlikely to be the last hurdle faced by construction as concerns remain about labour shortages, supply chain efficiency and the ongoing housing crisis.

Turner & Townsend have stated that the solution to the inefficiency and poor planning of the past could lie in MMC. The consultants mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and beyond by “embracing digital platforms, offsite construction methods” and reduce the impact on resources by “taking processes off site”.

This article was originally published in INSIGHT Magazine, sign up for your free copy every quarter here. The INSIGHT Magazine is a quarterly news magazine from Sapphire, which is filled with editorials about industry news, case studies, Ask the Expert correspondence, supply chain news and more! It is produced in-house by our teams and is published every quarter.