Impact of Skilled Labor Shortage on Smart Homes and Intelligent Buildings Explored

Contractors who employ the labor responsible for installing smart infrastructure must revamp human resources practices to retain skilled labor

May 02, 2023

A new report from Guidehouse Insights explores the impact of skilled labor shortages on smart homes and intelligent buildings.

The “Great Reshuffle” in labor brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has worsened an already existing skilled labor shortage, but its origins can be traced to government policies from the 1980s, when the workforce associated with creating goods declined precipitously. According to a new report from Guidehouse Insights, while the widespread lack of skilled labor and its effect on the global supply chain affect many markets, the effect on smart infrastructure is particularly acute. Intelligent buildings and smart homes—the core of smart infrastructure—rely on skilled and semi-skilled labor to construct and maintain their smart hardware and software.

“When experienced workers retire, move to management positions, or change industries altogether, the remaining labor force loses in several ways. Besides expertise leaving the labor pool, fewer people are on hand to train new hires or develop workers—and the remaining labor pool must work harder,” says William Hughes, principal research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “Without focused attention on this situation, including fundamentally rethinking several established practices and policies, the situation will worsen and become a significant delay in the clean energy transition.”

Accepting the status quo—the lack of skilled workers in construction—will blunt the impact of many desirable government programs, public-private partnerships, and private efforts associated with installing smart systems. This will, in turn, jeopardize the timeframes for installing these systems and make some projects unviable, financially, according to the report.

The report, Skilled Labor Shortages Impact Smart Homes and Intelligent Buildings, identifies a range of ways to overcome this undesirable situation. It suggests that hiring organizations increase wages across the board for construction workers. Analysis shows that real wages for construction have decreased in the past decade despite increasing demand and worsening skill shortages. It recommends that construction subcontractors who make up much of this labor force, abandon conventional HR practices and focus on nurturing employee loyalty from all productive employees. An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Guidehouse Insights website.


*The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Skilled Labor Shortages Impact Smart Homes and Intelligent Buildings, summary and reflects the current expectations of Guidehouse Insights based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Guidehouse Insights nor Guidehouse undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.