Although construction sometimes has been viewed as one of the last industries to embrace technology, many companies are taking steps to implement useful technology on job sites. And as the industry evolves, it will have to embrace more innovation to attract millennials and those even younger, according to www.forconstructionpros.com.
Some emerging technology construction companies could incorporate on job sites include drones, artificial intelligence, augmented reality/virtual reality, smartphone apps, tablets and wearables.
"Millennials have grown up attached to technology," says Chad Hollingsworth, co-founder and CEO of Triax Technologies, Norwalk, Conn. "Job sites today are so far removed from what millennials have come to expect in their daily lives. They expect new solutions to do their job better, to get rid of manual processes."
One challenge is closing the gap between more seasoned construction professionals, who might be more hesitant to leverage new systems, and younger, more tech-savvy individuals, who might not have as much experience with traditional construction methods.
"Older generations look to millennials for how to incorporate the tech into the job site," says Paul Gomori, application engineering manager for JCA Electronics, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Additionally, the attitude and outlook millennials have toward life and careers can help entice them to work in the construction industry.
"Millennials want to add value, make an impact and find meaning in what they're doing," Hollingsworth says. "This carries over to their professional lives."
But attracting millennials in the face of a labor shortage is not the only advantage to having more technology on job sites. Newer devices and methods can improve efficiency and productivity and produce tangible results.
"The right construction technology can centralize information and communication, improve safety, and reduce the amount of time spent on non-value-added tasks," Hollingsworth says. "It is something that (workers) can use to develop their skills, streamline daily tasks and ultimately become better at their jobs."