With this afternoon’s news from PM Boris Johnson about working from home where possible, many people are predicting that the UK could go into a full second lockdown if infection rates don’t improve. There will be many people in the fenestration and construction industries wondering how their livelihoods will be affected by another national lockdown.
Although there is much uncertainty out there about what to expect in the fenestration and construction industries, in theory, we are better placed to understand what might happen. This is because we have already experienced widespread national lockdown and the shutdown of some infrastructure. Although a second lockdown may look different to the first, we are sure to experience similar things.
At Insight Data we are experts at using data to predict industry trends. Using what we learnt from how the industry performed in lockdown part 1, here are five things that could happen if the UK goes into another lockdown:
1. Home improvement market will experience a sustained boom
The RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) market witnessed a huge plume of activity during the first lockdown. This is because people turned to DIY to alleviate boredom while they were restricted to staying at home. The public decided to invest in their own homes rather than move. High-street DIY stores made a roaring trade during this time. A wider theme here is ‘home improvement’. Although DIY stores were busy, small scale builders were also inundated with work.
If another lockdown happens this could be great news for builders and installers. Equally, trade counters that supply those builders could see a spike in business.
2. Sales teams will lean on technology to get new business
Although the fenestration industry has been incredibly busy over the summer, we are now starting to see the effects of a looming deep recession. As providers of digital solutions for data marketing, our message over the last few weeks has been ‘Don’t press pause on your marketing.’ This is because we know that, although you might be busy now, your work may dry up as companies start to cut back on spending.
With that in mind, we know that sales teams will react to emptying sales pipelines. If the UK goes into a second lockdown expect all face to face meetings to stop. This is when technology will again take a prominent place in customer prospecting and marketing outreach. This happened during the first lockdown, we expect to see it happen again.
3. More companies will go under
Unfortunately, we all know that a second lockdown (in whatever form) will again negatively affect fenestration and construction businesses of all sizes. Some of those companies will go bankrupt. Unfortunately, we know this because we saw many businesses go under between March and August this year. This makes it very important to ensure that the companies you are doing business with are financially safe and secure.
Protecting yourself during difficult times should be an absolute must if you want to future proof your own company.
4. Furlough (or something similar) for team members will continue
The UKs Furlough scheme was due to cease at the end of October. However, with recent pressure from Sir Keir Starmer on the Conservative Party to replace the existing furlough scheme, combined with the new ‘work from home directive’ we will likely see the introduction of something similar to furlough, if not a continuation of it.
With team members furloughed, there will be even more pressure on team members that aren’t furloughed to deliver results. This is something we witnessed during the first lockdown. If those team members are working from home, expect to see a host of efficiency monitoring measures being introduced to ensure business success.
5. Get ready for more Zoom calls
Even though workers may not be in the office money still needs to be made. The last lockdown saw the rise of the Zoom call. Many people had never experienced a phone or video meeting prior to March. However, after a few months of Zoom calls we are all very familiar with speaking to our work colleagues through a computer screen.
If a second lockdown happens, expect lots of video meetings, conversations and maybe even some team bonding quizzes.
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