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Social Value Portal

Wellbeing and diversity in construction and property

Learn how Social Value can improve wellbeing and diversity in the built environment space.


The construction industry faces a variety of challenges. Many of these are commonly overlooked, however, such as employee wellbeing, diversity, and the Social Value delivered by assets.

The breadth of these issues - and the need for change - becomes clearer when we take a closer look at each of them.

Employee wellbeing

A considerable amount of work has gone into minimising physical hazards and risks to keep construction workers safe. The problems they face from a mental health and wellbeing perspective, on the other hand, have been brushed aside far too often.

The construction industry loses more staff to suicide than any other profession, and thousands of productive working hours are wasted due to work-related problems, including anxiety, depression and stress. This is thought to stem from various parts of the job, including the long hours, extended periods away from home, and the precarious nature of certain projects.

The COVID-19 pandemic created fresh challenges, with many projects paused, delayed, or cancelled, and many employees either made redundant or asked to ‘work from home’, without necessarily receiving sufficient training and support to do so. 

The legacy of assets and delivery of Social Value

Over the past few years, there has been an increasing focus on the positive legacy generated through the design, development, and regeneration of assets. Rather than only looking at profitability and commercial benefits, businesses are now starting to think about how their projects can influence the wider economy, environment, and society.

Updates in government legislation have played a huge part in ensuring that organisations consider such factors. However, the ambiguity around what the relevant terms mean, let alone how to embed them into operations, has left many companies with more questions than answers.

As such, it is important to have a structured approach with quantifiable goals that allow us to measure what ‘strong Social Value’ and a ‘lasting legacy’ mean, as well as how they can be achieved.

Diversity within the industry

The construction industry’s association with labour-intensive and physically demanding manual work can often lead people to assume that it is exclusively for big, strong men.

In addition to the previously mentioned effects on the wellbeing and insecurities of those who work in the sector, this ‘macho’ perception of the industry’s workforce tends to deter various demographics from considering it as a career.

Women and disabled people, for example, are very under-represented, thereby creating a vicious cycle that perpetuates these unfavourable views. It is crucial to tackle this by removing unconscious biases and making the industry more open and inclusive.

Driving Social Value in real estate and construction

To learn more about the impact a robust Social Value strategy can create in the sector, check out our Social Value Success Stories in Real Estate report.  

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About Social Value Portal

Since 2017 Social Value Portal has been at the forefront of the Social Value movement. As creators of the endorsed Social Value TOM SystemTM, hosts of the annual Social Value Conference and founding members of the independent National Social Value Taskforce – they set industry standards and lead the business agenda.

Their unique mix of consultancy, cloud platform and programmes offer organisations the complete solution to accurately measure, manage and report Social Value – and create lasting impact.

In 2022, SVP achieved B Corp status, scoring above average in all assessed. The company’s aim is to promote better business and community wellbeing through the integration of Social Value into day-to-day business activity across all sectors.

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