Each new year brings predictions about trends that may impact the construction industry. 2020 appears to be hyper-focused on the health and well-being of employees. The current labor shortage has highlighted the need for a more strategic approach to worker’s safety, health and wellness, and innovative technology that will change the approach of the normal work-day for the better. Let’s explore some of the trends that are predicted to impact our workforce and worksites in 2020. Offsite Solutions are the New Standard To control costs, create faster speed-to-market, and incorporate better consistency and quality, companies have been choosing offsite manufacturing and modular solutions. These approaches have grown in popularity over the past decade and are more in demand than ever. The healthcare and apartment industries have seen projects built faster than ever with much of the construction happening offsite in a controlled manufacturing environment that eliminates surprises and mitigates risk. The demand will continue to grow for offsite and modular solutions in 2020. State-Of-The-Art Safety Equipment Safety is the cornerstone of the construction industry, requiring top-of-the-line safety equipment, which is ever evolving. In 2020, one of the most intriguing new gadgets to hit the market are exoskeletons. These wearable machines have motorized joints which decrease laborer injury while allowing them to safely carry more weight. Another exciting tool recently released is “smart” work boots. These seemingly regular boots connect to Wi-Fi and send GPS coordinates to alert supervisors if their employees are exhausted or have fallen. We’re excited to see what other technological advances this year will bring our way. Incorporation of New Technology The incorporation of technology doesn’t mean the need for skilled laborers will decrease. In fact, introducing new technology into the construction industry is only meant to streamline current work practices. With the introduction of 3-D printing, mobile and cloud applications, drones, and advanced BIM technology, individuals can now work more efficiently, save costs, and help projects run more efficiently. Part of the increase in the interest in new technology stems from the demographical change in workforce. The construction industry is seeing an increase in aging workers retiring, so the focus has shifted to a younger workforce who may be less knowledgable, and greatly benefit from the help of newly released tech tools. New Health and Wellness Initiatives As a leader of health and wellness and suicide prevention in the construction industry, discovering new ways to ensure our employees are healthy, happy, and heard is a top priority at RK. From early addiction intervention to on-site wellness coaches, RK is facing the health and wellness issues of our employees head-on. It’s important that the construction industry continues to destigmatize mental health and addiction issues, and embrace any new strategies meant to support our employees. Adjustment to Labor Shortage Labor shortage in the construction industry has been an ongoing challenge for several years, but leaders in the industry are finding creative ways to offset the effects. RK is addressing the labor shortage with our successful apprenticeship program, in-house leadership and management training programs, incorporation of new technology, and competitive wages. As an aging workforce approaches retirement, it’s important that construction companies begin to move into more forward-thinking policies and standards to entice today’s younger labor force. There’s no true indication of how 2020’s construction trends will impact our industry, but the focus should always ensure profitability while also maintaining the health and wellness of employees. This new decade is an exciting time for the construction industry, and as it evolves, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date on products and services that will keep the industry competitive and successful.