More than two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the construction industry continues to navigate its fair share of changes, challenges, and setbacks. From rising materials costs and labor shortages, to advances in technology and new government regulations around safety and pay transparency, stakeholders from across the industry can expect another eventful year ahead.
Here are a few of the industry trends I’ll be keeping an eye on in 2022 and beyond.
- Costs will continue to rise
In 2021, the costs of raw materials like concrete, lumber, and steel grew by about 20% on average. These costs are expected to remain volatile throughout 2022. Between ongoing shipping delays, increased tariffs, and other extenuating circumstances impacting global supply chains, stakeholders will need to be proactive to protect the budgets and timelines on their projects.
- A dwindling workforce will raise demand for labor
According to Deloitte, job postings in the construction industry have risen by over 50% since 2014. New hires, however, have stalled out at 14%. While labor shortages in the construction industry pre-date the pandemic, Covid-19 has certainly exacerbated the issue. Nearly half (44%) of firms surveyed reported that furloughed or laid-off staff have passed on opportunities to return to work, many citing concerns about the virus.
Similar to how companies in other sectors have had to pivot their recruitment and retention strategies in the face of “The Great Resignation”, project owners and other stakeholders will need to ramp up their investments in their workforce and culture to remain competitive in this market where employees have the advantage. This can include everything from offering better compensation and benefits packages to providing stronger safety guarantees and other perks.
- Safety will become a primary focal point
In an industry as labor-intensive as construction, safety will always be a top concern. In fact, more than 20% of all workplace fatalities in the US occur within the construction sector. In 2019 alone, accidents and injuries on American construction sites cost over $170 billion in wage and productivity losses, medical and insurance costs, and other administrative costs.
The human cost of these workplace accidents, of course, is immeasurable. We created Odin to help address this problem. To improve safety, Odin has focused our efforts on building a suite of powerful tools to help site owners and managers leverage the data generated on their jobsite to minimize their workforce risk.,
We’re also encouraged to see other visionary companies in the space tackling the problem from multiple angles. We’re seeing innovative wearables, like WiFi-enabled work boots that can detect worker falls and noise-canceling headsets that help workers stay in tune with their surroundings.
- New government regulations will cause some growing pains
A few recent regulations in the construction industry have the potential to change the sector for the better. That said, those on the front lines of implementing these new rules and requirements are sure to face challenges along the way.
One such piece of legislation is Local Law 196 in New York City, which just completed its multi-year rollout in 2021 after being passed into law in 2017. The law standardizes stricter safety training requirements for workers, supervisors, and permit holders. With early data trending in a positive direction, it’s likely we’ll see similar laws rolled out across the United States and globally.
Legislators in New York and California have also recently stepped in to standardize pay rates for certain workers on government-funded low income housing projects, creating more work for site owners who are vulnerable to fines and other penalties for noncompliance and pay discrepancies.
While these new requirements do come with additional investments and hurdles for workers and employers alike, a partner like Odin can drastically reduce administrative headaches. Our platform makes it easy to automate compliance with existing and new regulations by capturing multiple streams of meaningful data.
Which brings us to our fifth and final trend…
- Project owners will becoming increasingly reliant on leveraging advanced technology and data
In the face of the rising costs, labor shortages, and stricter regulations discussed above, the construction industry is ripe for innovations that can aid project owners in successfully navigating these challenges while still meeting budgets and deadlines.
To minimize labor needs on a project, stakeholders might look to self-driving construction vehicles and other robotic solutions to outsource more repetitive tasks. On the administrative side of the business, smart software solutions can improve efficiency and drive down costs associated with human error.
In our view, the most compelling use for tech and data-enabled solutions in construction is in its potential to improve job site safety. With Odin’s fully integrated construction risk management platform, site owners have more control than ever when it comes to limiting their vulnerability to costly–and often tragic–workplace accidents.
How can partnering with Odin help me stay ahead of the curve?
From safety and security to labor and payroll, Odin is the integrated solution for workforce risk management. In addition to streamlining your operations around worker onboarding and reporting, our construction software platform and proprietary technology can improve safety and reduce risk on a site in a number of ways, including:
- Improve site safety and security
- Ensuring that only qualified workers are allowed on your job site
- Digitize worker, contractor and file records so they are accessible in seconds
- Improving the accuracy of your onsite risk data to help manage jobsite exposure and negotiate better insurance rates
Ready to tackle 2022 together?
If you want to stay on the leading edge of construction trends in 2022 and beyond, I’d love to tell you more about the multitude of solutions offered within our full-stack construction management software platform. Use the link below to tell me more about your project, and I’ll be in touch soon to schedule an intro call.