I’m not the first to state that these are challenging times – the Covid-19 situation is changing the way we are all working and living at the moment. But as a community we can come together and bear many of the challenges we face collectively.
I’m aware that the specifics of the situation mean that, with self-isolation and social distancing, we feel like we are dealing with it as individuals. There are CIOB members working from home for the first time in their careers. There are those who are, quite understandably, worried about the future of their business. And, yes, there are members who are still physically running on-site projects with skeleton staff, some of whom will in turn be worried about how to manage social distancing and keep their families safe. Some, at home or on site, will also be dealing with supply chains, client pressures, cashflow problems and complicated versions of the everyday tasks of the industry.
It's important to acknowledge all of this – and to acknowledge that everyone is having their own version of these difficulties at this time.
Hopefully, our members are aware that the CIOB has already done a number of things to try to support members and the wider industry. Caroline Gumble and her team have worked hard to make it clear that, as your membership organisation, the CIOB is working differently but is still ‘open for business’.
It's also important to me, as this was the theme I chose for my year as President, that we acknowledge the importance of good mental health and support for our well-being. I want to remind members that the CIOB Benevolent Fund is available to support you. All our members, and previous members, have access to the advice, financial assistance and mental health support offered by the Benevolent Fund. Click here for further information.
The CIOB has also, just this week, set up an initiative to support those who want and are able to undertake physical activity and exercise, even though our usual routines and activities have been disrupted – and I want to remind people that physical activity is also good for mental health. It’s also on a platform that can help connect us as a community, wherever we are in the world. For those who are able to participate, information on how to join the new virtual fitness club, available for free, can be found here.
We are continuing to use our publications to reach members and the wider community with regular updates. Global Construction Review and Construction Manager magazine are following the latest news and how it is impacting on our sector. Construction Manager is now embarking on a series of detailed briefings, covering NEC contracts and JCT contracts so far this week. I encourage you to have a look at the web sites and at the daily briefings published by CM. And, if you can spare just a few minutes, complete the CM survey and let us know which issues are the most pressing for you and your company.
Many of you will know that collaboration and the sharing of ideas are important to me; I believe collaboration is vital in addressing big issues facing our professions. I’ve been pleased to see our work with the Construction Leadership Council, Build UK and others to provide a clear voice to government and a central resource for UK-based members, which is updated daily. Click here to see the updates.
And, as ever, the CIOB Customer Services team is standing by to support members; do contact them if you have a question.
In the meantime, I hope you, your loved ones and colleagues are well and able to stay safe and healthy.