Even in construction, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted an emergency push toward remote and hybrid work—even if it meant going home. While carpenters and bricklayers remained on job sites, construction businesses sent a slew of other personnel homes, from engineers to estimators.
Now, as pandemic safety precautions relax, employers are calling for the return of cubicles and conference rooms. However, that isn’t what many people want.
Employees said they’d like to work remotely at least three days a week. Research shows that some individuals are more inclined to leave their jobs than go back to the office.
Deciding and Crafting the Right Policy
Of course, not everyone may be at home all of the time. To ensure fairness and avoid discrimination claims, organizations should exercise caution when developing hybrid and remote work rules.
Here are some steps to follow when deciding the right policy:
Be wary of policies that may have a detrimental influence on one type of employee, such as women or minorities. To ensure the policies are properly written and address applicable local, state, and federal employment laws, consider hiring a lawyer or an HR expert.
Consider Job Descriptions
In small organizations, job responsibilities are frequently changing. Take a hard look at each position to verify that job descriptions are correct; this is something experts advise. Employers may identify which portions of a task, if any, can be done from the comfort of their homes and establish the appropriate policies when they accurately describe a job’s activities.
Communication is crucial when it comes to workplace policies that allow for a more adaptable experience. Leaders must provide an update on policies and standards regularly. Managers should pass along the message to smaller groups of workers again. HR also must guarantee that the stated rules are obeyed.
Construction and Hybrid Work
Hybrid work is here to stay, according to the research, even though it is commonly associated with in-person employment in the construction sector. Many businesses reported obtaining several advantages by using a mix of in-person and remote working for field teams.
Even though COVID-19 problems exist, many building firms have flourished in hybrid arrangements, with 80% of survey respondents reporting that they were just as productive or more productive when working remotely than in person.
Some of the benefits of remote working are:
- Saving time and money due to decreased travel to and from sites.
- Improving work-life balance.
- Being able to utilize the best people on more jobs.
Construction firms are increasingly turning to hybrid work because of technological solutions such as virtual meeting software and video walkthroughs, which have made it possible for them to work safely during the epidemic. Over the past year, OpenSpace’s customer base increased by more than 150 percent and site captures rose by more than 300 percent, according to the company.
What Makes Hybrid Work Different in the Industry?
During the early days of the pandemic, many organizations began to allow their workers to work from home. Company executives stated that they were pleased to see that the transition to telework had increased productivity since employees had reclaimed time previously spent commuting and traveling.
Companies need to invest in IT and Technology-based tools before even considering shifting to remote working environments. Executives said the quick pivot was a distinguishing feature for the firm, allowing projects to continue and teams to collaborate with clients without delays.
In the long run, these adjustments may help to drastically reduce real estate requirements. Businesses spend approximately $400 million each year on rent, so even a 20% reduction in that amount might provide additional margin growth in the future.