The impact of Covid-19 outbreak on United Kingdom infrastructure sector
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AbstractPurpose: In December 2019, news broke out from the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan China. On March 11 2020, the WHO declared Covid-19 to officially be a pandemic. The UK was put under lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020 by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the lockdown introduced strict measures put into place including the restriction for unnecessary working from offices, and only leaving houses if it is deemed essential. Therefore, this paper focuses on the changes that the infrastructure sector has had to undertake in order to adhere to the Covid-19 lockdown rules while being productive. Design/methodology/approach: Given the new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, five semi-structured interviews from three infrastructure sector organisations were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using thematic analysis for inference and conclusion. Findings: The results indicate that the lockdown is proving to be difficult to manage projects as staff members are working from home. This leads to delays on a project activities as many staff cannot physically go on site and conduct works. The managers are finding difficult to manage their teams. However, technological tools such as video chat and meetings via online platforms have proven to be most effective in communications with project teams. The Building Information Modelling (BIM)/Design has been useful as the 3D design models helps to visualise the project within team meetings in order to comply with the Covid-19 rules and follow social distancing guidelines while still carrying on works. However, induction to any new starter is proving to be difficult to manage with the pandemic and lockdown as it involves a drugs and alcohol test prior to commencing work of that project. Originality/value: This paper provides a rich insight into the understanding and awareness of the impact of Covid-19 and the changes that the infrastructure sector has had to undertake in order to adhere to the lockdown rules while being productive. This study contributes towards informing policymakers on some lessons learned from the management of the Covid-19 from an infrastructure sector perspective. Furthermore, twelve key implications are drawn for decision makers within the infrastructure sector business to rethink and act to deal with the pandemic crisis.
CitationJallow, H., Renukappa, S. and Suresh, S. (2020) The impact of Covid-19 outbreak on United Kingdom infrastructure sector, Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 10 (4), pp. 581-593. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-05-2020-0068
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Emerald in Smart and Sustainable Built Environment on 25/06/2020. The published version can be accessed here: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/SASBE-05-2020-0068/full/html The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/