How will COVID-19 impact construction teams into 2021

Sean Robinson / Buildertrend

The weirdest year in modern history is over. Finally.

With 2020 in the rearview mirror and a rollout of COVID-19 vaccines already in full swing, there is hope for the first time in a long time. However, the impact of the pandemic isn’t quite gone – yet.

It’s true. Better days are coming and sooner than it seemed just months ago. However, construction teams would still be wise to plan for a range of obstacles when they forecast the upcoming 12 months. As we embark on a new year, contractors can expect to face both new possibilities and new challenges.

It’s those that choose the proactive – not reactive – approach that’ll get ahead and stay there. The year is still in its infancy, but there’s no better time than now to prepare for speedbumps that lay ahead. Admitting to adversity is the first step. Finding solutions for success despite it all is the next.

Here are common challenges construction teams might expect in 2021 – and how to push forward.

1) Continued social distancing

By now, we all know the magic number. Six feet. This distance slows the spread of the virus when around others and wearing a mask. With pandemic numbers at an all-time high across much of the world, social distancing has never been more important.

And it may stay that way well into the year. Not to panic. Your jobs can continue, and team communication needn’t face a headwind. The industry’s social distancing solution is construction project management software.

From homebuilder apps like Buildertrend, work continues whether you’re on the job site, office or working from home. Using tools like Messages, Daily Logs and comments, you can keep all communication with your crew and subs in one place. This decreases the need for close face-to-face discussions and increases collaboration.

Of course, you want to keep your clients safe, too. Buildertrend’s Customer Portal is perfect for that. Keep all communication with clients centralized here – and that’s just the beginning. Clients can make selections and online payments to further eliminate the need for meeting in person.

2) Increased contract tracing

Like social distancing, contract tracing is sticking around for at least a chunk of 2021. Unlike other jobs, construction work can’t all be remote work. At some point, there’s got to be bodies at the job site turning empty lots into dream homes.

If a crew member does unfortunately get sick, you’ll want to know when and who he was around. Buildertrend has your back.

The Scheduling feature lets you easily see who you assigned to the job site on any given day, but you can take it a step further, too. Share the accountability with your team.

Require project managers to create a daily log documenting who – including subs or even clients – was at the job and at what times. The Time Clock tool can further make it easy to contract trace. When implemented, employees have to punch in from an app on their phone to get paid. And they can only do so while in the field – automatically tying them to a certain location and time.

3) Change in demand

The normal ebb and flow of work might be a thing of the past for now. Our 2020 trends showed work significantly slowed down during the initial lockdown last spring then picked up full swing – even increasing month over month in 2020 compared to 2019.

This could happen again in 2021 as COVID-19 numbers rise into the winter. Some homeowners may wait to start building until vaccines are more widely administered come summertime. Then, suddenly, business may go from a dull mummer to a booming roar.

So, how do you handle that influx of jobs? Easy. Construction job software. Buildertrend comes equipped with features for every step of the building process. From bidding to closeout, you’ll streamline your work to find extra hours and fit in more projects.

Demand may change in another way, too. Renovations are on the rise as people spend more time indoors. Buildertrend is also the leading construction project management software for remodelers. It helps these teams boost their efficiency, organization and communication, too.

4) Fluctuating resources

Who would have ever thought toilet paper would seem as precious and hard to find as gold? Like we said, 2020 was a weird time – but it also taught us to never take advantage of everyday items. Construction teams can apply this lesson to their businesses during 2020.

Supply chain issues are almost a universal problem now. Dr. Pepper, craft supplies and even the materials used to build homes have all seen shortages since the pandemic begin. Unfortunately, this challenge compounds considering prices are increasing on these materials as demand rises.

To work around this, teams should plan ahead and diligently track all resources. The best way to do that is with digital financial tools like those found in Buildertrend. Every expense, every order on materials, every penny can be monitored and reported with the Budget tool.

With smart reporting right in our system, you might be able to find ways to cut costs but not cut on quality. In times like these, count on tech to help make every penny count.

 Buildertrend can help you win 2021

 We’re hopeful that the hardest year has already come and gone. While 2021 will still present pandemic-related challenges, recovery is near. Vaccines are starting to safeguard our health – let construction project management software do the same for your business.

Schedule a demo with Buildertrend today to learn how it can help you meet your 2021 goals.

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About the Author

Sean Robinson
Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson is a copywriter at Buildertrend

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