Applying the lessons learnt

There are valuable lessons to be learnt from the extraordinary circumstances of the last few months. Harnessing those lessons will help us to become an even more resilient and agile business better able to service our clients and drive innovation.

We are in uncharted waters.

Almost no-one, even as recently as January, could have foreseen the situation we now find ourselves in.

We’ve all had to adapt, that much is clear, but what is vital, as we emerge from the other side of this crisis, is that we ensure the lessons we’ve learned over the last few months aren’t forgotten.

At Sir Robert McAlpine, in some ways, the crisis has reaffirmed that which we already knew. We are first and foremost a family business, and the safety of our people will always be our first priority.

As the virus spread, listening, acting upon concerns, and being on the front foot to safeguard employee wellbeing, was our absolute focus.

We changed how we operate, reducing numbers on site, implementing remote working, and increasing our focus on offsite and digital construction methods. Before the pandemic we were believers in the potential of flexible, remote working, now we have seen its value first hand.

Collaboration, too, is vital. The sector has demonstrated an incredible willingness to come together to keep vital projects going and to protect workers.

The CLC and Build UK have been exemplary; and when it comes to future construction challenges, be it driving sustainability or improving health and safety on site, we must see recent collaboration as the template.

Of course, Covid-19 will have left its mark on our country, and our sector for years to come.

But, once the crisis is over and begins to fade into memory, we owe it to the wider economy to ensure that we keep hold of the valuable lessons learned.

In the words of the Construction Leadership Council’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’, this could be a time to ‘reinvent’.