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National Association of Women in Construction, Safe Site Check In Survey Reveals Digital Transformation is Top Priority in Construction Industry

Mon March 07, 2022 - National Edition

In celebration of Women in Construction Week, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Safe Site Check In announced the results of the "Digital Technology in Construction: 2022" survey.

Participants included 600 women throughout the United States working in the construction industry at companies with revenues between $500,000 to more than $1B annually. Participants were asked a variety of questions about digital transformation, the construction labor shortage and the impact of supply chain disruptions.

Among the key findings, digital transformation is a priority at 71 percent of construction companies. When asked about the benefits of digital transformation, 77 percent of respondents believe it will make their jobs easier while 17 percent believe it will have no impact. Only 5 percent believe their jobs will be harder while 1 percent believe digital transformation will eliminate their jobs.

"Digital transformation is gaining significant momentum in the construction industry. Along with making work easier without compromising the quality of the finished product, it also opens up more opportunities for women," said Crissy Ingram, executive director, NAWIC.

"The survey shows the importance of digital technology and, ideally, its potential to address some of the issues driven by the construction labor shortage."

When it comes to the impact of new technologies designed for the construction industry, 95 percent report being more productive. In terms of learning new technology at work, 70 percent of survey respondents are excited, 24 percent are indifferent and 6 percent are frustrated.

When survey participants were asked which of the latest construction technologies are most helpful, 72 percent said smartphone apps for managing projects and the workforce. This was followed by GPS Layout at 13 percent, and drones and robots at 9 percent. Other technologies cited include augmented reality and wearables, each at 3 percent.

In light of the construction labor shortage, it's important to note that among the survey participants, 52 percent work in the office, where they are less likely to feel the impact of the jobsite workforce deficits. Another 44 percent work on job sites and the office, and 4 percent work solely on job sites.

In response to the question, "In what ways does the construction labor shortage impact your job?" respondents shared:

  • Projects take longer: 53 percent
  • It doesn't impact my job: 26 percent
  • Days are longer: 19 percent
  • More accidents: 2 percent

When it comes to pandemic-related supply chain issues impacting the ability to consistently work, survey respondents were almost evenly split. A full 51 percent report supply chain issues affected their ability to consistently work while 49 percent say it did not have an impact.

"For a long time, the construction industry has been ripe for disruption. A disruption driven by the need for streamlined, digital approaches to replace outdated processes and protocols that cut into productivity and project profitability," said David Ward, CEO, Safe Site Check In.

"Our partnership with NAWIC on this year's survey underscores what we've been hearing for years — digital transformation is a business imperative for the construction industry on the job site and in the office."

Survey Participants

In celebration of National Women In Construction Week being held March 6 to 12, 2022, the survey was conducted in February 2022 and 600 NAWIC members participated.

Survey participants represent all areas of the construction industry across private and public sectors. Job titles and roles include: C-Suite executives (CEO, COO, CFO), vice presidents, business owners, attorneys, accounting, administration, appraisers, architects, draftsman, electricians, engineers, estimators, HVAC technicians, inspectors, interior design, HR, pipefitters, plumbers, project managers, roofers, safety officers, sales, schedulers, welders and more.

The majority of survey participants, 53 percent, have been working in construction for 16 or more years. This was followed by 20 percent of participants having five years of less work experience. Those with 6 to 10 years of experience made up 17 percent of survey respondents while workers with 11 to 15 years of experience represented the remaining 10 percent of participants.

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