Three Ways COVID-19 Has Affected the Construction Industry

2021-06-22 加盛工程

As soon as the World Health Organization confirmed the presence of COVID-19 in different countries as well as its alarming rapid spread, all of the countries acted immediately. The emergence of Covid-19 occurred almost within a blink of an eye. Here are the some of the ways Covid-19 has affected the construction industry:


  1. Instantaneous adjustments

Since the Covid-19 measures were implemented almost instantly, the construction industry was left in a state of momentary shock. As the lockdowns were initiated, travel was restricted, and constructions were halted. Many countries entered in a state of emergency.


The effect in the construction industry? Construction sites were left hanging as the government thought of remedies to ease back into a “new normal” which, ideally, would allow the workers to work efficiently and safely with only a limited percentage of the workforce in the site. Demand in the industry declined due to government restrictions. In short, in a span of three to four days, the construction industry was paralyzed, indefinitely.


  1. Workers safety and limited workforce

The construction industry has always been, since time in memoriam, a vital part of the Hong Kong economy so to halt it would cause a noticeable decline in the economy. To ensure the safe continuance of this industry, safety protocols must be set in place to safeguard the workers. Aside from the protocol on social distancing, sanitation, and disinfecting the premises, the government has imposed a work from home set up. However, for industries that operates on manual labor, limited allowable percentage of the workforce in the workplace shall be adhered to.


The effect? The construction time has increased dramatically. Deadlines had to be adjusted, contracts had to be renegotiated, and conflicts had to be compromised. Aside from those, the worker’s health and safety had been put at risk. To ensure the safety of all, the health protocols must be strictly followed.

Construction business adapted to this change in different ways. Some adapted a rotational schedule where they incorporated a mid-day or night schedule to account for the work that was supposed to be done during the day. Some expanded their medical resources and conducted rapid testing to be able to ensure the worker’s safety. They also installed sanitation booths and temperature checking devices.


  1. Shortage in Supply

Not only was there a delay in the construction of infrastructures caused by the restrictions in the workplace, there were also delays brought about by the shortage in supplies. The delivery of supplies were limited – especially those coming from the overseas. Due to the Covid-19 protocols, the manufacture, production, and transportation of the supplies were also affected the same way as any other industries. Since the construction industry rely on other industries like those which provide for the supplies, the delay in the latter will, of course, cause a delay in the former. It created a domino effect in the economy as a whole.

To mitigate the effect, the construction industries started adjusting their risk management strategies. Some expanded their strategic radius from big, well-known suppliers to smaller, local suppliers. The advantage of this is that it is easier to contact, the prices are usually negotiable, and there is also an altruistic feeling of helping out local or small businesses.


As a conclusion, Dhananjay Sharma, Construction Analyst at GlobalData comments: “Although construction works could gradually resume pace, with the government easing social distancing measures, investments on major infrastructure projects could be affected due to funding issues as well as the fear of the resurgence of COVID-19 or due to the continuation of last year’s civil unrest.”


Since this pandemic is an unforeseen event, it is difficult to plan long term strategies. In the meantime, it is best to focus on short-term goals while ensuring and prioritizing the health and safety of the workers as well as the community in general. We can only hope that this pandemic will be resolved soon so that we can ease back into the normal life that we lived prior to this.