Flexibility in an Inflexible Industry
You don’t often think of construction as a flexible industry. The word itself conjures images of concrete, rebar, towering buildings and solid frames. Construction is full of hard materials, hard hats and hard deadlines. However, when it comes to construction during a pandemic, flexibility is the key word of the year.
Unlike so many industries that came to a grinding halt in early 2020, the construction industry, including us here at Miles, has continued to work full force over the past six months. As an essential business, we are tasked with constructing new and revitalized infrastructure essential to our region, community and economy.
While work hasn’t slowed down, it has changed. Safety has and always will be the number one priority on a jobsite, but now those safety measures look much different. While pre-pandemic safety measures remain, today’s workplace protection is more about social distancing, mask wearing and sanitization. Our team is diligent about following all safety precautions in order to maintain a safe workspace. This is important not only to slow the spread of coronavirus but also to ensure employees feel comfortable coming to work and getting the job done. Each person on a jobsite plays a vital role, and making sure our team can come to work ensures the job stays on track.
To accommodate social distancing, many tasks at a jobsite must be staggered so there aren’t too many people onsite at a time, and no one is too close to anyone else while working. In a pre-covid world, we may have had several groups of subcontractors on a jobsite in one day, efficiently working together and around each other. Today, these tasks must be carefully planned out so it’s clear who is working in what part of the project and when. Subcontractors, project managers and team members all must be flexible to accommodate each other.
Staggering projects at a jobsite can, in some cases, cause the project’s timeline to extend. This means clients have to be flexible and understanding that the job may not be done when originally anticipated. While that’s not often the case, it’s important for clients to understand this is a different environment and we are having to be flexible and innovative, too.
While this pandemic has given us all our share of surprises and challenges, at Miles Construction, we’re proud that we have been able to maintain a full workforce and have continued to complete our projects on time. We’re confident that we have been able to successfully adapt to this challenge and will continue to do so for the sake of our staff, clients, and community.