As the construction industry evolves, it will need to embrace more innovation to entice millennials to the jobsite — and those even younger — according to a report from the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED).
Construction is often considered one of the last industries to embrace technology. However, as construction companies look for new ways to change the mindset of those working at the jobsite, this is starting to change.
The younger generation, known as millennials, have grown up with apps and solutions to solve just about any system problem that arises.
The emerging technology that millennials appear to be comfortable with that they might leverage on the jobsite includes drones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, smartphone apps, tablets and wearable technology.
“Millennials have grown up attached to technology. Jobsites today are so far removed from what millennials have come to expect in their daily lives,” said Chad Hollingsworth, cofounder and president of Triax Technologies. “They expect new solutions to do their job better, to get rid of manual processes.”
Millennials are not afraid of innovation, and they’re willing to try things out and if it doesn’t work, they find a better solution that will.
One of the challenges is closing the gap between the more seasoned construction professional that might be more hesitant to leverage new systems, and the younger, more tech-savvy generation that might not have as much experience with traditional construction methods.
“Older generations look to millennials for how to incorporate the tech into the jobsite,” said Paul Gomori, application engineering manager at JCA Electronics.
There are advantages to having more software and devices on the jobsite besides attracting a younger workforce. This includes improvements in efficiency and productivity compared to older manual processes, according to Barry Peyton, product manager at Intelliwave Technologies. These types of enhancements are measurable and traced back to bottom-line improvements across the construction site.
“The right construction technology can centralize information and communication, improve safety, and reduce the amount of time spent on non-value-added tasks,” Hollingsworth said. “It is something that workers can use to develop their skills, streamline daily tasks, and ultimately become better at their jobs.”
As well, the attitude and outlook that millennials have towards their life and job can help entice them to work in the construction field.
“Millennials want to add value, make an impact, and find meaning in what they’re doing. This carries over to their professional lives,” Hollingsworth said.