One of the biggest responsibilities of a successful business owner is to stay up-to-date on their industry, and whether you’re in the construction industry already or just looking to start running a franchise, this article has you covered. These are the seven latest tech trends, currently shaping the future of construction and home improvement.
After the past year, plenty of people are looking to shake up their professional life. If you’re one of these people - and making a career change with a construction franchise appeals - keep reading to get all the newest information about trends in the dynamic, constantly developing sector.
2021 is likely to bring significant opportunities for growth. Adequately funded construction companies, which take on the right contracts with financially stable customers will reap the rewards of the government's likely desire to reinflate the economy through infrastructure spending, as well as projects delayed from last year.
- Alistair Wardell, Grant Thornton
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The 7 biggest tech trends in the construction industry right now
Many of these tech trends were born out of necessity during the pandemic, but still, they seem here to stay. Companies found better ways of doing things when COVID struck because they needed to, and to protect their employees and keep innovating going forwards, many will keep doing things in these new ways. Here are seven of the latest tech trends innovating the construction industry...
1. Equipment with a tech spec
Every sector has been drastically impacted by COVID-19, and health and safety principles have been refreshed. In this space, technological innovations have also been made by construction companies - think touch-free sanitisation stations and streamlined temperature checking machines.
Other construction equipment has been technologically beefed up in very useful ways. It used to be that construction professionals were adjusting to the transition from planning on paper to planning using computer-aided design (CAD). Now, things are so advanced that some companies are trialling Smart PPE, like working boots that connect to Wi-Fi and alert people if a worker might have fallen/gotten injured [Intellinium].
Smart PPE refers to smart wearable equipment that connects to the Internet or other devices, such as Bluetooth, to deliver real-time safety information to workers in the field as well as managers remotely. These wearables can track movements, send voice messages, monitor body temperature, issue alerts and record audio and/or video. They’re often paired with a cloud-based analytics platform, and sometimes they pair with a smartphone app, too.
- Nicole Stempak, EHS Today
2. New ways of communicating with colleagues and highly connected hybrid workforces
Many large corporations around the world have announced that they will allow more workers to continue working from home post-pandemic, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. As we all reimagine the future of work, the benefits of remote and hybrid work for employees and employers are becoming clear.
Though construction professionals who are office-based have the government go-ahead to return to work as normal, many construction companies in and out of franchising are trialling hybrid working models in 2021. When supported correctly with quality tech, a hybrid workforce can achieve incredible things and be more productive than ever before.
The old concept of a home office is out of the window as some construction businesses settle their employees in for the long haul with extremely advanced audio-visual equipment, speedy internet connections and ergonomic, fully supported workspaces. 41% of surveyed home workers in 2020 didn’t have a proper desk [Rated People], but that figure looks set to keep on decreasing.
Along with better workspaces and offices that are designed to host hybrid meetings (at which some people are present in person and some people are calling in from home), there have also been some great developments to professional communication softwares like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Now, employees can be just as connected to their colleagues at home as they would have been in the office, with plenty of different open channels of communication making things feel more natural.
The construction industry will never be fully remote, as site visits are often necessary for franchisees and always necessary for labourers, but in 2021, the idea of a hybrid workforce seems to be becoming increasingly viable.
3. New ways of doing business
Today, an increasing number of construction sites are already leveraging many Smart Construction techniques, such as machine control, which directly contributes to improved profitability and operator efficiency.
- SMS Equipment
It’s not just communication that’s been improved in the construction industry in the last year. Some of the biggest recent changes to the way that construction businesses and franchises complete their work include:
- Construction drones - From dropping off Amazon deliveries to landing takeaways on your doorstep, drones are becoming a firm feature of 2021 (and will continue to grow in popularity into 2022). In the construction industry, drones are mapping large areas over long distances, while producing detailed aerial heat maps and thermal imaging results.
- Augmented Reality (AR) - In the construction industry, AR equipment and technology enables builders and developers to access a 360-degree video which presents future projects, including measuring, structural changes and safety training.
- Intelligent Machine Control (iMC) - Using complex sensor technology, certain construction machines and pieces of equipment now incorporate iMC. Labourers can, for example, dig automatically with an intelligent excavator which will never go too deep or damage the target surface [Komatsu].
- Autonomous construction robots - In August 2020, the world was introduced to the first robot decorator. This robot from tech start-up Okibo can plaster and paint, and is designed to autonomously traverse the potentially rough terrain of a construction site [BIM+].
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Start running your own business in the construction sector with a home renovation franchise
If these incredible trends in construction technology have left you bursting to enter the innovative industry, maybe it’s time to do exactly that? Browse available home improvement & construction franchise opportunities, or stay on Point Franchise and keep up the research. You could check out some top tips for running a construction business, or find out how to choose the best construction franchise for you.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©