Newsflash! The electrical contracting industry is expecting a lot of changes in the upcoming year. Here's a bit of what to expect so you can take charge and electrify your business.
While it's a great time to be in electrical, 2021 might see a small decline in demand due to decreased capital expenditures. Thanks, COVID-19.
That said, you still need to make sure you're getting ready for the future of the industry. One way to do that is by embracing the cloud. Data centers have become essential, and nearly every corporation is setting one up to help with remote work. As an electrician, you'll need to know how to build and install these setups.
And don't forget about 5G! It's been heralded for a few years now, but 2021 is the year we'll finally see widespread access. Businesses and homes will want 5G smart buildings that connect every thinkable device.
Robots, drones and cloud computing, oh my! This may sound like the lineup for a sweet sci-fi movie, but in reality, it's our life now. Robots and drones are quickly replacing human labor in hazardous electrical situations, which means less risk to you and your crew.
For those times when sending in a robot might not be in the budget, a smart helmet with augmented reality might be. These let you get up close and personal with ductwork and electrical cabling inside walls without having to keep referring to the blueprints.
As for cloud computing, expect it to take over all your operations. It's an excellent way to stay up to date with everything that's happening, including planning, scheduling, budgeting and more — all without being in the office. That's actually how our FieldPulse app works. You can even use tech like this for smart scheduling. You can easily plan out every visit and track progress in real-time with just a few clicks.
By now, you must be intimately aware of smart meters, but expect them to become even more widespread. Predictive data show that there will be 115 million smart meters in service by the end of 2021 — up 7.5% from 2020. These meters provide real-time data to customers and can help them implement behavior-based programs for lowering their energy consumption.
Having a small workforce is great for those looking for a job. But it's not so great for you.
It was thought that unemployment from the 'rona would help reduce these labor shortages, but that wasn't the case. As of December 2020, there was an average of 195,000 unfilled positions in the construction industry. Even worse, 13,000 more workers quit their jobs than were laid off.
So, can this problem be fixed? Start with small steps by trying to make your business as appealing as possible to a potential worker. That might be benefits, a higher salary or even robust training.
Safety's always been important in the electrical industry, but things changed a bit with COVID. Now, staying socially distanced and screening for fever are just as important.
We expect that your efforts to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 will continue in 2021. That means staggering shifts, wearing face coverings, using one-way traffic patterns and limiting worker interactions.
Naturally, PPE is a big part of that. Masks and face shields are great for stopping viruses, but there's also new tech that can protect your workers from shock. One new armband can even sense when a person is standing too close to an electrical field and send out a warning beep.
Here's a bright idea — keep these 2021 electrical contracting trends in mind. They could be just what you need to supercharge your business. While your business' growth might shrink a bit this year, future-proof yourself by studying up on data centers and 5G technology. Also keep in mind other technology you can use to keep yourself safe, like robots, drones and smart helmets.
Labor shortages are something else you'll have to prepare for by making your business a more appealing place to work. And don't forget about safety! Both when it comes to COVID-19 and existing electrical risks.
Perhaps most importantly, you'll want to think about making the switch to cloud computing with scheduling software like FieldPulse. Our business management app simplifies running your business by letting you create invoices, organize client info and track employee hours. Ready to learn more? Schedule your free demo today.