New Ways of Working for Post-COVID-19 Construction Sites
The COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting closure of global commerce, has shown just how fragile a state “business as usual” really is. In a matter of weeks, construction sites and offices, around the UK became all but deserted as social distancing measures went into effect. But the pandemic itself isn’t the only threat the industry faces.
With increased competition, fluctuations in materials costs and trade uncertainties all weighing heavily on contractors’ minds – construction companies should look to new ways of working with technological solutions to shore up profitability and remain competitive in the face of such challenges.
Staying Safe and Staying Open
Strict health and safety protocols are expected to be at the forefront of every site post-COVID-19, although deaths and new cases of the coronavirus pandemic continue on a downward trend, there is still an incredibly high-risk of catching the disease. The construction industry, in particular, has taken big health and safety strides in order to adhere to social distancing measures that are in place. Due to the busy nature of construction sites, social distancing has already proved incredibly difficult for many firms on sites big and small.
Site Diary, powered by Script&Go Ltd., can support contractors with these new ways of working to comply with health and safety regulations – thereby allowing sites to stay safe and stay open.
With seamless integration between the field and the office, Site Diary provides best-practice at social-distancing and communicating with geographically spread teams. The app allows real-time site monitoring allowing contractors and project teams to specific actions remotely – including capture and record data such as manpower, equipment, localised weather conditions, incidents and allowing to add photos to reports.
Warren Hill, UK Country Manager at Script&Go Ltd. says: “Having Site Diary technology at your fingertips has enabled our clients to continue working during the pandemic, and most importantly to do this in a way that has allowed them to make quick decisions and keep everyone connected safely. The flow of information can be fast-tracked, allowing teams either working on site, working from home or working remotely in another location access to the latest information, in one place and in a format that everyone can understand – whether it’s observations or drawings.”
Site Diary also enables the facilitation of construction task allocation, allowing to plan and assign which task operatives will do each day and the number of resources that will be needed for that task. At the end of the day, supervisors can record in the diary the actual number of people that was on site, in which location and which task they were working on. That way you can have a good visibility on where people are and if there was a congestion in a specific location so we can adjust the schedule proactively.
Warren adds, “Social distancing will clearly be with us for some time and it’s vital that as people get back to work, they can do safely. Our team has moved quickly to ensure our technology can cope with the demands in a post-COVD-19 industry to help businesses continue to work safely, and so stakeholders not physically on the jobsite can have a transparent view on progress.”
“Additionally, having stakeholders working remotely will aid in speeding up projects,” Warren says.
Becoming More Productive
The coronavirus pandemic will be an opportunity for the construction industry to rethink construction priorities, how to better use technology and innovate the use of joined-up data to support immediate societal needs and the creation of a more resilient built environment.
The pandemic has forced more connection between the site and office, as shared data and connectivity is becoming the norm as project and construction managers to site agents and managers need up-to-date information no matter the construction environment.
However, Site Diary is more than a social distancing tool – it is a professional site journal app designed specifically for construction task allocation in the field. It provides a site management platform which connects entire project teams, from the office to the field and across companies, providing technology to replace out-dated paper-based site journals. This enables seamless integration between the field and office-based teams to provide a real-time look at what is going on in the field.
“We’ve seen contractors proactively making the move away from manual methods and excel towards platform technology. Construction won’t be the same as it was before, with connectivity and mobility driving a new way of working. The emphasis will remain on the ability to connect people wherever they are – on one platform – so they can be productive and safe,” Warren says.
Reducing the number of workers in a space can help protect them and reduce the spread of COVID-19, but, that practice is essentially the same as scheduling workers for one section of a job at a time. For example, ensuring there are only 10 drywall workers on one day then five painters the following day allows for better monitoring of productivity.
Investing in technological solutions will go a long way to reinforce operations against the many other business challenges construction firms will continue to face down the road.
Warren goes further to say: “Intuitive, people-first technology has been instrumental in keeping many industries connected during the COVID-19 lockdown. Using site monitoring technology will become more prevalent, and field teams who are not physically on the site will require to have a transparent view on progress. Technology is going to play a crucial role in helping us overcome the long-term challenges presented by COVID-19 and I firmly believe having contractors working remotely using innovative technology such as Site Diary will aid in speeding up projects keeping them productive.”
If you would like to know more about how our tech solutions can help you during COVID-19, then please get in touch.