This year has been almost entirely doom and gloom. Everywhere you look the news is filled with concerns: coronavirus cases surging, leading to lockdowns, downturns, recessions, and yet more complex industry legislation to be implemented. Unemployment is on the up and consumer confidence is down.

Is that the whole story in the construction industry though? At McGill, we don’t think so. It’s been tough of course, for us, our suppliers and our industry as a whole, but there have been opportunities too. In fact, McGill is facing a healthy 2021, as we – and the construction industry overall – begin to recover from the impact of lockdown and the ongoing pandemic.

Keeping customers and people safe

Of course, when the country went into lockdown in March we did too. As we saw lockdown approaching, we decided to take a step back. We took the time to build a measured response instead of panicking. Ultimately, we chose to be led by what our customers needed from us.

That meant we worked on for as long as we could – keeping our people safe of course – until we had closed down all our sites securely. And because we took this measured approach, we also gave ourselves time: time to work closely with our customers so they knew exactly what would happen, and time for them to talk to us about any issues or questions they had at that point.

That’s been our tactic the whole way through 2020: step back, evaluate, communicate, and do the next right thing.

Building customer confidence

We did those things not only because we hoped they’d stand us in good stead with our customers, but because health and safety has been our top priority for 40 years. Coronavirus is just an evolution of our decades-long commitment to the safety of our people and our customers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to consider how we could work differently, and the investment that might require. For example, we’ve hugely increased the number of vehicles we use, so that our workers can spread out more as they travel to jobs. Lockdown afforded us the chance to invest time and money in upgrading our IT systems, an investment that’ll serve us well as we grow over the next few decades.

That aside, our steady handholding approach actually has reaped rewards for our customer relationships. We have secured a number of contracts this year, even being awarded some during lockdown. We know that our customers have confidence in us to deliver, and we’ve given people new reasons to put their trust in the McGill name.

Construction begins to recover

That renewed confidence should be true for the construction industry overall. Yes, as a sector we were faced with a massive challenge back in March. But we’re coming back. Across the industry, new orders grew by 89.2% in Quarter 3, and there was record quarterly growth in both new work (40.8%) and repair and maintenance (43.4%).

The sector is coming back to life, and you can be part of the recovery. We know that some people have held back on kicking off their next piece of work due to uncertainty; but we can say with confidence that construction is recovering, and McGill is ready to race in 2021.