How Commercial Contractors Have Adapted to COVID-19

Coronavirus Outbreak Global economic Recession. Small business owner affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Freelance contractor being impact by COVID 19 with loss of money, employees and no supplies.

One of the most affected sectors is the construction industry that is currently forced to stop major activities or downsize its workforce due to the financial challenges and stalled projects. Despite these challenges, construction companies are presently formulating various measures to get back in business. One of those measures includes asking workers to maintain social distancing. The health regulations require everyone to keep a safe distance of 1m apart; the construction industries are working to ensure the workers are keeping distances of a minimum 2m meter in their work area. Despite resuming their roles, these companies are also putting more strict measures to help protect their employees

Sanitizing

One of those measures is sanitizing every equipment that moves into the construction site. Many construction managers have announced their fears of the coronavirus getting into contact with their employees. One company in Boston is currently sanitizing every container that is brought into the company. It has restricted the drivers from getting out of the cargo vehicle until they leave the construction site. The manager further said that he does not allow the crane operator and other employees to come into contact.

Restricted movements at the workplace

Further measures have been taken, like ensuring every worker is restricted to stay in their department and no mingling allowed. For example, painters are not allowed to meet masons and other employees. The operators of various movables such as forklifts and cranes are only allowed to leave their vehicles when going for a call of nature. Further actions taken by these companies is to ensure that workers no longer have to assemble in one place for meals. Workers are currently having their meals in open places, and the meals are served wherever a worker is seated instead of them queuing to be served.

The use of Microsoft teams

Construction companies have resorted to other means to uphold their employee safety by avoiding close contact when giving directives. Construction companies are using Microsoft teams apps and software to provide scheduled work amongst employees and to have a meeting between the supervisors and their subordinates. The use of Microsoft teams has been extended to provide a virtual meeting between clients and contractors. For safety purposes, clients are no longer meeting contractors or construction companies, top executives, physically. Every aspect of the meeting, such as negotiations, discussing the designs are done online through the incorporation of other software such as design software into the meeting. This software enables clients to decide on the appropriate design for their projects. Other virtual meeting sites such as skype, zoom, google meetings have also been exploited.

Teleworking

Companies are also developing a working platform to enable workers to work from the comfort of their homes by logging into the work system. To avoid overcrowding, managerial, secretarial, finance, and accounting jobs are currently being performed from home. Only the employees working in the field, such as surveyors, masons, painters, and crane operators are allowed to go to the field.

Job shifting

Many construction workers are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since many projects have been shut. Companies are coming up with various means to ensure they do not downsize their workforce. One of the measures construction companies are taking is shifting the affected field workers to other departments. Some jobs are currently being given new roles in the offices for them to raise income.

Downsizing field teams

Some construction companies are currently focusing on their employee safety rather than project completion duration. To ensure employees are safe, certain companies adopted various strategies to ensure only a few workers are on-site at the same time. To meet this strategy, companies have developed flexible shifts. Construction companies are currently scheduling workers to work in shifts for half a day so that every worker retains their job. A company in Massachusetts has presently daily shifts in that one employee is not allowed to work consecutively for two days. If he works today, tomorrow he is replaced with another employee.

To meet the time deadlines, companies are currently resuming field jobs very early and closing jobs as late as 9 pm. Electricity has been installed in the buildings to ensure workers work on the interior, and closing work as late as 8 pm.