These Are the Top Challenges Facing Construction Companies Right Now

Published on December 10, 2021 by Betty White

BLD – 12.10 Blog

It is fair to claim that the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to construction companies. Months of being unable to do any work have left budgets in tatters. It has also turned away a lot of construction workers who started to prioritize finding work that could be done online. All of which has resulted in an even longer list of top challenges facing construction companies.

An aging workforce

It is an unfortunate trend, but some of the best and most skilled workers are steadily retiring. And it is getting harder and harder to find replacements for them. Younger generations typically tend to perceive construction work as extremely hard and challenging. And it often is! But the fact that they avoid it for what they perceive as better paying and cushier jobs helps contribute to one of the top challenges facing construction companies. If the trend continues, it will become nearly impossible to hire genuinely qualified workers, which will, in turn, lead to long training periods and slower construction work. Fortunately, however, there are many organizations across the country that are trying to get more young people interested in the construction industry.

Frequent lack of long-term workers

A workforce shortage is not the only issue construction companies have with workers. We have mentioned needing to train fresh employees. However, this is simply wasted effort and often not a viable option if they keep quitting after a couple of months of working. Even something like pest-proofing your warehouse works better if your workers have prior experience. So, it goes without saying that construction work demands well-trained employees. But this tendency to only work in construction in passing or as a last-resort job creates a downward spiral in the industry and presents one of the top challenges facing construction companies. Namely, you can neither find already skilled workers nor is it worth it to invest in training them.

Overly ambitious schedules

Another of the top challenges facing construction companies is the unrealistic expectations of employers. It is not easy to organize a construction site. Even with knowing all the transport logistics tricks to deal with transportation of materials and other minutiae, delays are inevitable in the current global situation. And this, particularly with the tight schedules construction companies are presented with, reflects poorly on them. Disregarding, for a second, the loss of reputation and employer trust, we also have to consider the fees and breaches of contract companies might be facing for delays. And through no fault of their own! No one can work without necessary materials, after all.

Rising material prices

And, speaking of material, we need to mention the prices of necessary construction work goods. The recent building material price spikes are doing immense damage to the industry. The pandemic has already dealt a considerable blow by making it impossible to do any work for months at a time. Now that the industry is struggling to recover, logistics costs have presented a dire challenge. Obtaining the required means to continue their work is cutting so deeply into the construction companies’ profit margins that they are doing everything to stay out of the red. And with mediocre results, at that.

Safety concerns

Of course, one of the ever-present top challenges facing construction companies are safety concerns. Keeping your employees safe on the job has been one of the main concerns since practically the inception of the field. Unfortunately, this has been made somewhat complicated by the current circumstances. Employers are pushing for fast completions of projects long delayed due to the pandemic. The material shortages and sudden availability make for start differences which cause rushes to get everything done on time to avoid breaches of contract. And, of course, new safety codes being implemented due to the effects of the pandemic are only further muddying the waters.

The challenges of the post-pandemic

Of course, we would be remiss not to mention the unique trouble posed by the pandemic and its still-present echoes. Sickness is still a significant concern in the industry. Thankfully, most construction work takes place out in the open. But this does not mean construction workers are spared the fear of contracting the virus. Physical work is challenging enough on its own. Doing the same work with a mask on is downright unreasonably difficult. Unfortunately, until the vaccine does its work and things stabilize, there is nothing anyone can do to fix this issue.

Updating equipment

Another source of expenses presents itself in the form of new equipment. Better, more efficient, and reliable machines are constantly being created. And construction companies often have to rush their acquisition if they want to remain competitive on the market. Oh, you can skip some of the new equipment. But you would eventually have to knuckle down and get it if you do not want to start lagging behind the competition. And, considering some of the aforementioned financial difficulties the industry is facing, this is becoming more difficult.

Fear of another long-term isolation period

The final of the challenges facing construction companies working in a post-vaccine world is the fear of the pandemic relapsing into what it was before. Realistically speaking, the industry cannot withstand another months-long period of isolation. The recovery, which has only barely started, would fall through. And coming back from that would be even more challenging than it originally was. Not to mention the damage it would do to the workforce’s morale and the chances of even more people abandoning their jobs in the industry. This would, in turn, make the difficulties of finding skilled workers in the construction industry even greater.

Final comments

Now that you know more about the top challenges facing construction companies, it should be evident that the industry is not in a good spot. If things get worse again, it will be difficult for construction companies to recover without considerable assistance. Thankfully, the recovery of the industry is currently on track. We can still hope for things to get better.