An unforeseen improvement from Covid-19

Academic research into the impact of post-Covid-19 working arrangements on construction sites has found that far from being diminished, productivity may actually have improved.

Although total output on construction sites has been reduced by the constraints imposed by social distancing requirements, output per person appears – in some cases at least – to have gone up, reports The UK’s Construction Index.

Reasons for this include better task planning, reduced waiting time between tasks, increased space and therefore less ‘overlap’ of trades, more use of technological solutions, more responsibility for individuals and less time spent in meetings.

The research was carried out by Loughborough University at five sites with the participation of Balfour Beatty, GKR Scaffolding, Kier, Mace, Morgan Sindall and Skanska UK.

Typical comments received included: “50% workforce reduction but only 30% reduction in output” and “With the productivity and the new ways of thinking we believe we only need 7½ people to do the same as 10 people”.

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