Welcome to the final installment of our Coping with COVID-19 in the Construction Industry series, where our COVID-19 Task Force has answered questions and provided direction on all things COVID-related. If you missed our previous posts, we recommend you first verse yourself in the following:
- Part I: Introduction + Impacts on Health & Wellness
- Part II: Impacts on Schedule
- Part III: Impacts on Cost
- Part IV: Impacts on Contracts
Now that we understand how to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 across the full spectrum of a construction project, our final topic revolves around discussing the impacts of COVID-19 on future planning, namely:
What do owners need to think about as they prepare workspaces for returning staff?
While planning and preparing facilities for staff returning to work, owners need to consider the following:
- Implementing features for easier “social separation” in the workplace, as well as reducing workstation density by revisiting open-plan layouts;
- Broadening remote work capabilities and strengthening remote work policies for optimal productivity;
- Increasing facility cleaning protocols;
- Pursuing certifications for healthy buildings (i.e. WELL Building Standard, FitWel Standard, etc.);
- Incorporating new materials with antimicrobial surfaces;
- Increasing emphasis on employee health and wellbeing;
- Improving infrastructure to support extended telework; and
- Expanding emergency operations plans.
It is also important to remember that the reality of COVID-19 is changing daily, and there may be additional future impacts that still remain unknown. This means we must all do our part to stay vigilant and ready to respond to these unknowns. We must be proactive in our communications efforts and lean on our colleagues for information-sharing. Above all, we must continue to prioritize the health of our teams on the ground.
We hope this series has been both educational and informative, and we thank you for learning alongside us as we navigate this new normal together.