Pandemics and Productivity: Quantifying the Impact

New Horizons Foundation Pandemics and Productivity Report on COVID-19


Michael McLin
Dan Doyon
Brian Lightner
Maxim Consulting Group




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The New Horizons Foundation and ELECTRI International, the National Electrical Contractors Association’s foundation, commissioned this report assessing the productivity impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the sheet metal and HVAC industry.

Before these findings were issued, no specific resource existed to help contractors quantify the cost impacts of lost productivity working under pandemic-driven protocols.

Data collection focused on two areas: mitigation tracking and productivity benchmarking. Key findings include:

  • Based on data collected, 8.7% of hours available on projects are lost due to mitigation requirements. These include personal protective equipment management, cleaning and disinfection, access rules, and extra administration time.
  • There is a 9.2% average productivity impact — time lost in installation labor — and an 8.7% mitigation impact on contractor productivity as a result of the pandemic, resulting in 17.9% productivity impact.

In addition, the report includes a roadmap to help members adapt to the new industry landscape. Companies with pandemic mitigation processes in place saw lower productivity losses.

This report also includes a new change order calculator spreadsheet to help determine the impact amounts. Download the Change Order Calculator Tool . (Note: This file will download as an Excel Spreadsheet. The download will show in most browsers in the bottom left corner.)