Keeping your Construction Team Productive While Working Remotely

Ben Conry
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More employees than ever before are working remotely, which is presenting new challenges for organizations. Especially for the construction industry, where the overall industry is down by 13% according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Companies that don’t shift to remote operations (where appropriate) are at risk of a 7% financial loss, so setting your team up for success is vital.

Here is a simple list of best practices that are helping construction companies across the country keep productivity up and improve efficiency.

Communication

  1. Video conferencing software provides an easy and remote way for teams to meet from home. The most well known option is Zoom (https://zoom.us), but there are great free options as well, like Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/).

  2. Set a standard of over-communicating. The biggest struggle with remote working is communication. There are numerous messenger tools that can facilitate quick answers, since email is not always the most effective option. We use Slack (https://slack.com) here at Flashtract, but Skype (https://www.skype.com/en/) is a long standing option as well. Google and Microsoft offer great services as well if your office is already using these platforms.

  3. Schedule daily “stand up meetings” or water cooler talks to help keep your team in the loop and know what others are working on. This activity can also help prevent team members from feeling isolated. These meetings are quick and efficient, with the goal of addressing any blockers that may keep employees from moving tasks or projects forward.

Morale

  1. Encourage your team to designate a workspace at home. It is easier to stay mentally focused if you choose a specific area in your home to get work done. Allowing your team to bring their computer monitors or other office equipment home with them is a helpful way like they usually would have.

  2. Keeping your team focused on the big picture is important, but it’s also important to check in on their mental health regularly. Those not accustomed to remote work may struggle working every day on their own. Team members and management remembering to incorporate more than just “work talk” will be important to keep relationships healthy and morale high.

Efficiency

Create simple processes and workflows that your team can follow to transmit essential documents to one another. These measures can help prevent important or critical paperwork from getting lost in an email inbox. A great option for project management is Trello, as it is really user friendly and provides progress tracking.

Going paperless is our last, and most important, suggestion. Now is the time to make the transition, and your business will likely see an increase in productivity. Many of the products on the market are cloud-based, and extremely secure. Some of our favorites:

  • STACK: takeoff and estimating
  • PlanGrid: digital plans and drawing
  • Fieldwire: jobsite management
  • Flashtract: billing and document management
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    But remember...

    All office and field duties might be difficult or near impossible to transition remotely, so look into the Stay at Home Orders for your specific area and determine if some responsibilities of your employees follow under essential business. Here is an example of a letter you can issue to your employees that still need to go to the office or the field: Essential Industry - Sample Letter 1.

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