Why construction companies are focusing on mobile working
Construction companies are increasingly looking to provide mobile working options.
This is one of the ways businesses are responding to people’s changing work habits and experiences, with employees now more likely than ever to want to do their jobs on the go, whether it’s because they live in a different part of town or simply don’t like being stuck at their desk all day. It also reflects broader market trends, as seen by a quick search for “telecommuting” on LinkedIn bringing up almost 1 million hits.
But why should construction firms be interested in offering this service? What benefits does it have? And what challenges might it face?
Here are some of the marketing director at a construction company:
Q. What are the main benefits of mobile working for construction companies?
A. A major benefit of offering mobile working options to your employees is that it can not only improve their quality of life, but also increase productivity levels by reducing distractions and making them feel more connected to the business. This leads to less absenteeism among staff, which in turn saves money because fewer people need to be employed on a given project. Firms can make additional savings too by encouraging staff to work while they commute or while at home, perhaps when transport may be cheaper or quieter during quiet times of day.
The other advantage is that it can attract new talent , where workers tend not to want to work in an office anymore if they have flexible options available
Q. Why are construction companies increasingly looking at mobile working?
A. It’s down to a couple of reasons. First, the rate of change in the world of work has increased dramatically over the past few years, which is very different from how it was even three or four years ago, where there were defined roles with clear boundaries.
Nowadays people are expected to be more flexible and agile – able to move between projects or teams as required – and this is something they’ve come to expect from their employers too. Undertaking aspects of your role away from an office environment can make these transitions much smoother by allowing employees to still have some continuity when moving between job sites or clients without time off in between. So that’s one reason.
Secondly, mobile working is very much in keeping with several of the core principles of construction – being reliable, transparent and accountable are just three that spring to mind. So by allowing people to work remotely it encourages them to be more effective at their jobs while also ensuring you have a better handle on how they’re actually spending their time. Which means you can get more done in less time, or get rid of deadweight, so it’s win-win really.
Q. How are businesses responding to the changing workforce?
A. As I mentioned earlier, the rate of change has increased significantly in recent years which means that not only do employees need to adapt but companies also need to develop too; basically there is no time to sit still.
Ensuring that your team members have the ability to work away from a traditional office environment is an essential part of this, as it allows you to attract and retain the best talent for your business. It also helps to make remote workers feel valued as an integral part of the organisation rather than someone who is ‘out of sight out of mind’ because they’re not sat at their desk every day.
In addition, employers are increasingly recognising that people are actually more productive when they’re allowed to work in different ways . So by allowing them to use mobile technology in their roles it means they can be working towards particular outcomes wherever they are – which has obvious benefits for project timescales.
We’ve seen a number of high profile examples in the media over the past 12 months where firms have been able to save money by making people work from home, or offsite. We have been encouraging flexible working for a while now so it’s something that our staff members are very used to and comfortable with. It also helps us attract talent too because if someone is only available during certain times of day then you need to be open to that otherwise they’ll go elsewhere.
Q. What does your business look like in 2022 and beyond?
A. The pace of change will continue but I think remote and mobile working will become increasingly normalised and therefore accepted as a fact of life rather than an alternative way of doing things. Don’t get me wrong, some workers will always prefer to be in the office every day but for those who are on the go a lot – which is most people nowadays – being able to work flexibly gives them peace of mind that they’re still being productive. So basically I think that what’s happening now is just part of an ongoing shift towards more mobile working. It won’t be long before you see it become the norm across all sectors too.
Q. What advice would you give businesses looking to implement mobile working programmes?
A. Be flexible and open-minded about how people choose to do their jobs.
If someone requires certain software or equipment to complete their role effectively then make sure this is available or at least provided without charge wherever possible (e.g. laptops, smartphones).
Encourage each member of the team to work in a way that suits them and provides them with reassurance so they can get on with their jobs without being worried about missing deadlines or falling behind. It’s not always possible, but if you can help people to reduce their commute time by allowing them to do some of their work from home then it will ultimately benefit your organisation because people are more productive when working under those conditions.
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