• John Macedo

Taking Things Slow is key to Construction Work Productivity

Updated: May 26


How to improve, sustain, and maximize Your Company's Construction Work Productivity By Applying the Principal: "SLOW IS SMOOTH, SMOOTH IS FAST"


➡️Construction projects are a very demanding industry. Construction workers are always under pressure to finish a job as quickly as possible. This can lead to mistakes being made and sub-standard workmanship. Construction companies and general contractors need to take a step back and think about ways to increase work productivity without putting their workers under too much pressure.


➡️One way to do this is by taking things slower. This may seem counter-intuitive, but by taking the time to do a job properly the first time round, construction project workers will save time in the long run. In addition, taking things slowly will help to prevent accidents from happening, which can cause even more delays.


➡️Construction companies need to realize that taking things slow is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. By increasing work productivity in this way, they will be able to get the job done right and on schedule.


Benefits of taking things slower in the day-to-day work of a construction company


Work productivity has always been a concern in the construction industry. Construction workers are often required to work long hours in difficult and dangerous conditions.


As a result, companies working on construction projects often struggle to keep up with demand. One way to improve construction work hours and work productivity is to take things slow. By taking a few extra minutes to complete each task, construction workers can avoid mistakes and improve the quality of their work.


In addition, taking things slow can help to prevent accidents and injuries. Construction workers are more likely to get hurt when they are rushed and careless. As a result, taking things slow can help to increase work productivity in the long run.


Find out here how employees and employers in the construction sector work together and share the same responsibility for any project's success.


A real-life example of improved work productivity by taking things slower

Snipers and many other types of combatants have many procedures and plans of action, such as kicking down doors, reloading weapons, acquiring targets, and so on. They train it so much that they can practically perform each action with their eyes closed under flying bullets and falling bombs, never missing a step in the process.


✳️ The questions are: Why and How?

Why do they have to do it so meticulously? And how do they still perform it even under extreme circumstances?


In this article, you will understand how having rock-solid procedures will improve your life as an individual as well as your company's profitability in the long term.


LET'S IMAGINE A SITUATION:

➡️A sergeant makes his way into a city that is being stormed by enemy soldiers. As he progresses through the streets, he hears a woman screaming inside a building. He assumes she is attacked, so he decides to act fast.


He quickly gathers two soldiers under his command and kicks down the door. As soon as the three of them walk in, they get sprayed with bullets, and before realizing they have walked into an ambush, all three of them are dead.


⚰️ End-of-the-story.


NOW TELL ME, WHAT WENT WRONG?


✳️They didn't follow the standard operating procedures and acted without thinking.


They did not surround the building and they did not assume the proper breach and entry positions. More so, they did not throw a flash-bang grenade in. The sergeant just heard screams and his imagination of what was going on inside overrode the necessity of following the proper, exact procedures. Therefore, the result has been a catastrophe.


👉Due to the death of their comrades and superiors, the morale of the troops dropped and fear spread among them. The captain had to gather all the soldiers for another briefing about a new and safer approach. The progress got slower while the enemy looted the town, which took an extra month to be secured.


THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS:

If the sergeant and the soldiers had taken it slower, the town would have been secured faster.

Clear communication is important for Better work productivity

Effective communication is a keystone in effective project success. It is great strong communication that allows team members to coordinate their actions, share resources and ideas, and work together towards a common goal.


➡️Without effective communication, project teams can quickly become bogged down in bureaucracy and red tape. In addition, strong and clear communication is one of the key performance indicators that job site managers use to measure work productivity.


By ensuring that effective communication is a priority within project teams, job site managers can improve work productivity and ultimately achieve better project outcomes.


Having strong communication skills and high levels of work productivity enables you to become an indispensable worker, you foolproof your career.


How work productivity in construction project is affected by improve communication?


Improved communication is essential to the work productivity of any construction project. Construction projects are complex undertakings that involve multiple parties, each with its area of expertise.


✳️ For work to progress smoothly and efficiently, all members of the team need to be able to communicate effectively with one another. This means being able to share information quickly and accurately, as well as being able to resolve any disagreements that may arise.


When communication breaks down, work productivity suffers. By contrast, when communication is effective, work can proceed quickly and smoothly, leading to a successful construction project.


✳️In any work environment, communication is key to maintaining work productivity. This is especially true in construction, where projects can often be complex and involve many different people with different roles.


Poor communication can lead to confusion and delays, costing the project time and money. By contrast, effective communication can help to ensure that workflows are smooth and that deadlines are met.


In construction, clear and concise communication is essential to keeping work on track and ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget. By improving communication, construction companies can improve work productivity and avoid costly delays.

👉The relation between project management and work productivity


Good project management doesn't just improve work productivity, it's essential for it. By definition, managing projects is the process of organizing the work of a team to complete a project within a given timeframe.


▶️That process includes setting objectives, developing a plan, assigning tasks, and tracking progress. This might sound like a lot of extra work, but it pays off in the form of better communication, greater efficiency, and increased motivation.


➡️When everyone knows what needs to be done and by when they can focus their efforts and get the job done quickly and effectively. In today's fast-paced world, work management is more important than ever for boosting work productivity growth.


Being a great manager has the most impact on the success of any project.


This is exactly the meaning of the saying:


👉"SLOW IS SMOOTH, SMOOTH IS FAST"


✅Remember that.

Of course, this is an extreme and tragic example of something that we all face every day: Workers not following procedures or companies not enforcing procedures.


During my time in the industry, I've worked for many different companies. Some more organized, some less. I can honestly say that as a company grows to become more professional, more systems are invented and it makes all the difference when it comes to its profitability, professionalism, and overall work productivity.


Without further due, here are a few examples of the simplest procedures that could "slow down" your work, but save huge amounts of time and money for Construction Companies and Labour Hire Companies.



CHECKLISTS AND MORE CHECKLISTS

✳️Use "Triggers"


Consider "trigger" a situation or a milestone that when happens leads to the execution of checklists. For example, The starting of a new job may trigger the "pre-start checklists". A week's starts may trigger the "Mondays checks lists" and so on, like the acquiring of a new client, the end of the quarter, etc. Think of triggers for yourself and your company that makes sense with your day-to-day activities.


✳️Create Checklists:


It goes without saying that checklists are important not only for your professional life but for your personal life as well. They save time and improve work productivity. You and I know how helpful it is to have a checklist for traveling, for example, which you can use to go through the items making sure you've got everything without having to think about every single item in the list over and over. However, most managers fail to create them and most workers fail to use them.


Pro tip here: Don't fail.


Checklists are really important and having them as a habit can do wonders for your company. For a better understanding of its importance and a dose of inspiration, we suggest this video ->


✳️Possible checklists you can implement:


  • Pre-start checklist: Check if you have everything that takes to get the job done Pre-delivery checklist: For knowing that everything is as supposed to be.

  • Tools/gear checklists: to make sure you've got everything. (The tools checklist can be attached to toolboxes)

  • End of the financial year checklist: Do your workers have enough shirts? Is there any expensive gear waiting to be bought? Want to hire a freelancer for a new website or a marketing specialist?


👉HAVE A TO-DO POOL - IN REAL-TIME


This is pretty straightforward.

You are a human being. As you live life, at work or not, ideas (like-new items for one of your checklists) may come into your head about how to make things easier for yourself and your company. You and your team must have a way to take notes of these ideas as they come and share them with each other.


That could be a to-do list construction management software or at least an online chat. The idea here is to constantly share insights and ways to improve productivity so you never have one life-saving insight being forgotten. We will suggest software to help you out with this later in this article

DO TIME TRACKING


Time is money - you heard it before. If the bookkeeping is done well, you know where your money went down to the penny (Online banking did wonders for us in that sense), but why you don't do the same with your time? Tracking how you (and your team) are spending your time is necessary for a better understanding of where it could be slower so it could be faster. Here are some examples of questions that you may ask:


➡️How much time does pre-start take?

➡️How much time is being wasted due to poor communication?

➡️How long are you wasting on low-value activities?

➡️How long is transportation taking?

etc.


Tracking the time for these things (and many others) may give you a better understanding of how much money is being drained out of your bank account in form of wasted time. Use this data to guide your decisions regarding the implementation of new systems, procedures, delegation, or even employing more people. The goal is work productivity growth and tracking set you on the right path to achieve such a goal.



MAKE USE OF TECHNOLOGY

Making things tangible is a must. You need to have the data on paper or online for you to be able to check it instead of keeping it in your head only (by the way, your head is terrible at keeping this sort of data). Many apps can do that and make your communication with your workers smoother, your projects easier to manage and your checklists easier to access.


In today's world, technology is constantly evolving and the software of project management is becoming increasingly sophisticated. In the construction industry, this new technology is essential to improve work productivity.


Construction management software enables workers to track project deadlines, budget constraints, and safety concerns. By using project management software, workers can improve their workflows and make sure that projects are completed on time and within budget.


👉In addition, project management software can help to prevent accidents by highlighting potential hazards on construction projects. As a result, new technology and project management software are essential to improve work productivity in construction projects.


That software eliminates the negative impact of time mismanagement and reduces the waste of time and energy. It is one of the external factors that contribute to the overall success of any project and any off site and on site work productivity increases.


✅Here's some FREE software that we recommend

And links do download them:


  • Whatsapp: Perfect for talking with all your workers individually and as a group. it also lets you share pictures from mobile devices and shows if your messages were read or not. Fast clear communication is key for higher work productivity.


  • Google sheets: It's exactly like Microsoft Excel, but can be edited online for all your team members. We suggest you create a table with Allows you to SEE your processes as projects. Just by seeing it you will have a way better track of it and will diminish the chances of you forgetting anything.


Here's an example of our articles creation process:

  • Microsoft to-do list: It's our favorite to-do list/checklists App. You can create multiple lists, share them with your workers in real-time and reuse your checklists multiple times. We suggest you share the lists with all your workers and supervisors so nothing gets forgotten next time.

  • eTimeLogger: Time tracking app that will give you a great view of how long each task is taking. I've tracked myself (every activity) for a month and discovered many points that were "leaking" my time. This app is perfect for you to base your decisions on. It is essential for maximized work productivity and time management.


ENFORCE UNTIL IT'S A HABIT

Habits take 60 days to be created. Discipline is nothing more than the power of will for creating habits without quitting half way. Keep that in mind when implementing new procedures for your team and yourself. It may be painful in the begging, but after a new habit is "installed", keeping it up is quite easy.


You can do this before your workers start any new or significant job on the site for increased work productivity. It may seem a “waste of time” but it would save you valuable resources in the future,


✳️like man-hours, time, money, and why not, your nerves.



Even if our or your workers are already skilled and qualified, do not rely on your assumptions and do not skip any important details. When applying them to your construction project, take your time and make sure all the people involved know what to do. Above all, we are all human beings and our brain does not work as a computer. The systems are here to make our life easier and increase productivity levels.



NOW DON'T LET THEM KILL YOU


OK, now let's make a U-turn before you get overexcited. More is not always better. Even though most construction companies do not have enough procedures and systems (Especially the small and medium-size ones) We know of big companies that have so many methods, down to the most specific things, that they tangle themselves in, causing them to be TOO SLOW in taking action/making decisions.


The one thing to keep in mind is that balance will always be the key and efficiency and creativity are both important in the long term. Workers must be empowered to take action for improved work productivity,

Your workers MUST be included, or at least share their opinions, in the creation of these systems and you must always leave the door open for improvements and adaptions with one thing in mind: Balance.


Example of work productivity impact on the supply chain of materials in the construction industry


Every building relies on construction materials, which flow through a complex system of suppliers before reaching the construction site.


The materials industry is worth billions of dollars, and its health has a direct impact on the construction industry and the supply chains of the global economy.


👉Construction activity is highly sensitive to changes in the building materials market, making it susceptible to economic fluctuations with new materials manufacturers emerging every year. For example, during periods of recession, builders may delay or cancel projects due to the high cost of construction materials. This can cause a ripple effect throughout the supply chains, leading to layoffs and factory closures.


Conversely, an increase in construction activity can lead to a boom in the building materials industry, resulting in new jobs and increased economic activity. The interconnectedness of the construction projects and building materials market makes it essential for policymakers to understand the inner workings of the supply chain to make informed decisions about infrastructure spending.


KEEP IN MIND


These gave you simple examples of how to make your operations leaner and raise your company's efficiency. We suggest you constantly evaluate how to implement new systems and techs that will make your life easier in the long run and always. ALWAYS. Think long-term.


Here you can find opportunities to find the best labour in the construction industry for the best work productivity and the highest rates of any project success.


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JOHN MACEDO

Founder and Director.
I believe together we can create a "people first" Australian Construction Industry 

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