How to Increase Productivity on the Construction Site

With the relentless battle of labour shortages still troubling the industry, contractors are trying to find suitable methods to get the most productivity out of their workforce whilst ensuring safe jobsites and satisfied clients. The construction industry has become somewhat infamous for the lack of productivity beknown over previous years. Pre-construction planning, site management, health and safety, employee productivity and risk mitigation – these are the things that determine the construction site efficiency.

According to industry statistics, only a third of projects stay within their forecasted budgets and even less are completed within the proposed timeframe. Due to this, more and more industry officials are searching for ways to increase the productivity and efficiency on their sites without causing too much disruption to the current working manner. Statistics show that 35% of construction professionals time is spent (over 14 hours per week) on non-productive activities such as looking for project information, conflict resolution and dealing with mistakes and rework. Its clear to see that across the board, something needs to change. Below we have summarised some of our top tips on how you an increase productivity on your construction site.

1. Properly plan ahead of time

Organisation is key within any project and creating a map of the entire workflow should be your starting point. Properly organising and planning ahead of time allows for any errors to by resolved before the work actually starts. Although this step can be time-consuming, by planning ahead you can ensure that the project runs smoothly and efficiently, as well as keeping costs to a minimum. You are able to keep a steady order to the job and knowing who is doing what at any given time is a great starting point for many professionals wanting to increase productivity on site. Proper planning allows for you to forecast any issues that you may run into and resolve them ahead of time, giving you more time to work when the project begins.

2. Make use of digital applications and services

Although research shows industries that digitize enjoy increased productivity of up to 1,500% – the construction industry is the second least digitized sector in the world. Many construction professionals are still using manual and paper methods to plan and keep track of their work which tends to be time consuming and oftentimes human errors are made, or paperwork may be damaged or lost. By shifting this to digital applications, its much more efficient to input the data and it can be securely stored, with back-ups, to prevent any loss or damages from occurring. Software, applications, and mobile or digital tools help managers design, prepare and complete onsite tasks as well as scheduling these daily tasks and activities into suitable project phases.

Digital technologies help to increase productivity on site as they make it easier to communicate and receive faster responses when action or approval may be necessary. Workers are able to share and collaborate on key documents easily resulting in them being completed much sooner.

Technological advancements mean that many machines now come with mobile apps that allow you to track and manage your equipment remotely and can generate data on equipment usage and downtimes for better insights. Having the ability to track your tools and other types of equipment, as well as their status at any time is key to improving productivity.

3. Implement strict punctuality and attendance measures

Without your workforce, it is impossible to get any job done. Implementing rules and regulations and being strict with punctuality and attendance is utmost important if you are aiming to increase your sites productivity – by ensuring you taking every minute into consideration. Do your employees go for their break a couple of minutes early? Do they get ready to clock off 5 minutes before the end of the day? If you total this up across your whole workforce, and multiply it by the working week, you are potentially losing hours of labour. These marginal issues soon mount up to a much greater loss.

Take the time to carefully explain to your workforce just how important it is and how these small contributions can result in project success. Take action in the least aggressive way and your workforce can follow your request to work on a new habit and ultimately increase productivity.

4. Host regular team meetings

Communication is key throughout any project. It is vital for employees to understand what their tasks are and to be kept up-to-date with any changes. Hosting regular meetings also gives your employees the chance to feedback any issues they may have and allows for you to be able to resolve them in a timely manner, ensuring it affects the site productivity as minimally as possible.

5. Provide regular training

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Site safety is top priority across all construction sites, and it’s a well-known fact that employees who know what they are doing, will get the job done faster. Ensuring your employees are kept up-to-date with health and safety regulations and the correct procedures for certain jobs helps to increase productivity, as your workforce are skilled and knowledgeable to carry out their jobs with minimal risk of an incident occurring. Any employee that has injured themselves results in less manhours on the job, resulting in more time being required to then recruit and replace this person. It is crucial to have a clear Health & Safety Risk Management plan in place and to work with your teams and suppliers to seek opportunities to minimise risk to as low as reasonably possible. Ensure that all employees are wearing the correct PPE and are knowledgeable on site safety rules to reduce the risk of accidents.

6. Ensure your employees feel valued

As mentioned previously, the job is nothing without the workforce. Ensuring that your employees know they are valued is a major factor in productivity. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 employees who feel valued will channel those emotions into an enthusiasm and drive for maximum productivity and are determined to do their work. Hosting regular team meetings is a great way to show employees they are valued by listening to their feedback and opinions regularly and taking them into consideration when making decisions. Encourage recognition for employees who are contributing to an increase productivity by following these extra steps, make sure that your team know that their hard work is an important asset to the project.  

7. Ensure your equipment is serviced and up-to-date

Before you begin your project, ensure you have all the correct heavy plant machinery to complete the job organised and ready to be put to work. Ensure your equipment is serviced and up-to-date so that it does not deteriorate to the extent that it may potentially put your employees at risk. Malfunctioning machines could cause a great loss in productivity levels if you are then having to repair or replace a machine mid-project. Even worse, if an employee were to be injured due to these faults!

At Omnia Machinery, all of our heavy plant machinery is inspected before being prepared for shipment enabling you to buy in confidence. Should you have any used machinery requirements for your upcoming projects, please do not hesitate to contact us! Alternatively, you can browse our extensive selection of quality used plant machinery here.