92% of construction professionals around the world said they expect their business to survive the COVID-19 pandemic in a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and its Global Construction Review publication, gauging the financial, operational and personal impact of Covid-19 on the global industry.
Taken by more than 500 construction professionals from Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and the USA, 56% of survey respondents said their organisations were keeping all or some sites open. 76% said their employees were able to observe social distancing on their way into work, and 84% said they were able to observe social distancing onsite.
Caroline Gumble, Chief Executive of the CIOB, said: “Firstly, many thanks to everyone who completed our survey. It’s a busy time for most people in our industry so the responses are much appreciated. Secondly, it’s good to hear that there is so much activity getting underway and much hope and positivity in the industry. While it was necessary for some sites to temporarily close their doors, we are glad to see that the majority of construction workers are optimistic in their outlook and are able to maintain a safe environment whilst working. However, we want to remind everyone that it is imperative to stay safe and follow the appropriate guidelines, including, for the UK, the latest CLC Site Operating Procedures.”
Most respondents worked for larger companies, with nearly half (48.8%) working for companies employing more than 500 people. Of those, 37.3% work for companies employing more than 1,000 people. In terms of employer organisations, most (37.4%) were main contractors. The main types of other employers were project manager/QS (14.2%), public-sector client (10.9%), consulting engineer (10.4%), private-sector client (9%) and specialist contractor (5.7%).
Among the personal stories from the survey, many CIOB members have been stepping up to ensure that vulnerable people – in construction and in society at large – are protected during this pandemic. The survey found that 44% have volunteered to help people in their community, such as shopping for the elderly, 42% have volunteered to support essential workers and 36% have donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line health and social care workers.