The growing trend of working from home applies to all industries that allow for it, including construction. While certain roles obviously make working from home impossible, many roles, especially in preconstruction and management, can be adequately fulfilled off-site.
Why Employees Appreciate Working from Home
The reasons that construction employees want to work from home are the same as those in other industries. Remote work comes with benefits such as:
- Eliminating commutes
- Reducing the driving team between meetings and appointments
- Making it easier to find a work-life balance
Companies Can Also See a Benefit
Construction employees are not the only ones to benefit from the option of working from home.
As mentioned, employees that have this option will be easier to recruit and retain. That can lead to significant savings in terms of hiring and training costs.
Additionally, many construction companies have noticed that their preconstruction team collaborates more efficiently with their engineering and architectural partners when working remotely.
Technology Allows for Remote Work
The ability to let your construction employees work from home depends primarily on whether that is possible for their role. The rise of technology has made this much more likely.
For example, digital plans let foremen and other leadership access the information from anywhere. The ability to make annotations on plans makes collaboration easier. Cloud-based collaboration tools are essential for this. The ability to generate automated reports also reduces the need to be on the job site.
Another example of technology allowing for this is the use of drones and mixed reality headsets. This can give construction supervisors and other workers real-time input on the construction site. This practice is called digital twins, as it creates a digital replica. The result is the ability to complete remote surveys and inspections.
How to Properly Implement Remote Work in Construction
If your construction company does not already offer the ability to work from home for certain roles, you should strongly consider doing so. Remember that this will improve employee satisfaction and retention.
Even if you already offer remote work, there may be ways you can streamline your processes and boost creativity. Keep the following steps in mind.
Use Digital Copies Instead of Paper
Whenever possible, switch to paperless or digital methods instead of relying on physical paper. This works for paperwork, billing, and payroll. There are also numerous construction programs that let you digitize your construction plans and other documents.
Prioritize Other Communication Methods
Communication is among the biggest challenges for anyone who works remotely, including in construction. If you don’t already have a solid method for your team to communicate with each other remotely, invest in one. There are many solutions to choose from.
You hopefully already have standardized routines in place, especially for processes such as inspections and compliance. Confirm these routines are established and check if they need updating. Creating a routine reduces the risk that employees will skip tasks when not on site. You can use project management software to help remote employees stay on track with tasks.
As with every other industry, the ability to work from home is important to those in construction. From preconstruction roles to those in the back office to supervisors, many roles can be done remotely. You simply need to invest in the right technology and communication to offer this benefit to employees. Once you do, you will find it much easier to recruit and retain construction talent.
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