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By: Gregory V. Chapman on September 10th, 2020

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6 Issues Impacting the Commercial Construction Industry

Operating Insights

The construction industry has always been important because of its fundamental role in building society as we know it. However, the industry is facing some critical issues that will be crucial for its future development. Here are some of the most essential issues impacting the commercial construction industry.

Worker Safety

First and foremost, there’s the issue of safety. The construction industry has been struggling with worker safety for years. The commercial construction industry is one of the leaders in the total number of worker deaths. Keeping workers safe has been a major source of concern among employers within the industry.

There are several ways to protect workers from accidents and injuries while they do their job. The most obvious is training. Training employees to become better at protecting themselves in critical situations can prevent them from getting injured and prevent accidents from happening. Training employees to be better specialists, on the other hand, will help them perform their tasks more accurately, precisely, and safely.

Another way to reduce the number of accidents and injuries in the workplace is by getting rid of hazards. All the safety measures for storage, transportation, and use of potentially dangerous objects should be strictly followed to ensure that the risk of disaster is reduced. Continuously training your workers can also help employees better understand what should be done in different situations and what objects should be stored in what conditions.

Technology Use

Another issue that will ultimately impact the commercial construction industry is the adoption of technology. The construction industry is notorious for adopting new technologies very slowly. Many construction business owners tend to underinvest in new technologies despite knowing that these technologies can significantly improve the results and performance of any project.

Emerging technology like virtual and augmented reality, robots, drones, and 3D printing are all examples of such new underused technologies that are being adopted by the construction industry day by day. Hopefully, more projects will be completed with the help of new technologies.

Many issues and problems listed in this article can easily be solved by using a certain technology. For example, drones can be used to improve security and keep employees safe by monitoring everything from above and ensuring that every process is performed correctly. Project management software can help with scheduling and planning while VR and AR can help with visualizing the final product.

Labor Shortage

One thing that not everyone anticipates in the construction industry is the labor shortage. Ever since the Great Recession, the employment numbers in the construction industry have been struggling to get back to their prerecession statistics. Over 2 million jobs were shed by the industry during the economic downturn of the late 2000s with workers either leaving voluntarily or being fired.

These workers mostly found jobs in other industries that sustained them for a while. But what happened next is that many of them realized they were better off in those jobs. Many of these specialists didn’t come back to the construction industry creating this labor shortage. Moreover, the construction industry is not attracting enough talent to meet the growing demand for qualified professionals and specialists.

Employers should be more mindful of the experts they already have employed in their firms. More and more companies are realizing how important it is to create the right offer to “sell” their unoccupied positions to potential candidates. If employers have opportunities to offer that others don’t, they are more likely to get to hire the specialist they are looking for, i.e., skilled, experienced, educated, and motivated.

Decreased Productivity

Decreased productivity seems to be a pain point for many spheres, so it’s obvious that the commercial construction industry suffers from it as well. The problem is that construction projects are becoming more and more complex every year which is why the decreased productivity is way more damaging than it seems. Multiple factors lead to decreased productivity which is why it is so hard to prevent it completely.

For example, improper scheduling and planning are some of the primary causes of decreased productivity. When employers and employees have no idea what they are supposed to do and what aims they should be pursuing, they become increasingly demotivated. That’s where the decreased productivity starts setting in. It’s crucial that the proper amount of time is dedicated to planning and preparation.

The lack of collaboration and communication can lead to a lot of time wasted on insignificant matters which also results in less work completed and, consequently, decreased productivity. In addition to all of that, the shortage of labor can contribute to this issue as fewer specialists can be working on one project at the same time. In other words, there are multiple things you should keep in mind to truly start increasing productivity on a construction project.

Higher Material Costs

One of the expected issues that probably most employers in the construction industry have already anticipated is the higher material costs. Inflation is affecting every industry, so it is only logical that the costs of the required materials for every other project are growing too.

The only thing that can be done about this is a smart balancing and management of the budget. The budget needs to be directed at the right aspects of a project. For instance, if one part can be done with reduced expenses, this “saved” money can be then used on other parts that need more funding.

Environmental and Sustainability Issues

Environmental and sustainability issues are becoming way more relevant as the question of climate change and global warming is more discussed. This also leads to more companies in the construction industry adapting to them.

Of course, the only way to deal with these issues is by finding solutions to them. More mindful and sustainable construction projects are being completed successfully which paves the way for others to do the same.

Final Thoughts

The commercial construction industry will have to overcome several problems in the near future, but once you understand what challenges you need to prepare for, this becomes much easier.


Gregory V. Chapman is passionate about researching new technologies in both mobile, web and WordPress. Also, he works on writing service review websites Online Writers Rating and Best Writers Online. Gregory in love with stories and facts, so he’s always trying to get the best of both worlds.


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