The competition for top talent in the construction industry is fierce. We duke it out with our competitors, fighting like elite boxers to secure an in demand professional in a limited and dwindling talent pool.
We offer above market pay, quality training and other incentives all the while eating into our precious profit margin to entice the coveted construction professionals into our ranks.
The thing is, we often fall short in our hiring endeavours failing to recruit the right professional or after spending precious time and money on hiring and training our new employee, we fail to keep them for a significant enough time to get a return on our investment.
As an industry we solve problems on site everyday of the week but we are failing at the most significant problem of all: How to attract, recruit, retain, develop and reward our people.
Other industries are already finding better ways of working. Why can't we? Construction offers a myriad of careers and must also offer a similar range of ways of hiring and methods of working.
Methods such as flexible and remote working or utilising virtual workforce's are already deeply entrenched in other industries such as technology and media. So why is Construction burying its head in the sand and still employing and utilising our people the same way as twenty years ago?
Granted there are some jobs that require bums on seats and hands on tools but these jobs are limited to providing the actual physical works on site.
For construction professionals such as surveyors, estimators, planners and the like, there is no need to be cattle herded on a daily commute to be sitting in a dreary office or in a cramped cubicle on site to do work which could be done more productively from the comfort of their home, or wherever else they choose to work.
The Construction industry needs to wake up to a different way of doing things. Simply sticking with the status quo isn’t the way to go.
The technology and infrastructure to enable collaborative real-time remote or virtual working is here, we just need to get out of our own way and empower the transition to being flexible with how we and our employees work.
We need to move away from the stigma associated with remote workers. You know the one where they just laze around in their PJ’s all day watching ‘Jeremy Kyle'.
We need to stop being control freaks and trust that our people are professional and will dutifully do their job wherever they are.
Shepherding our people into one space where they can be clock watched by their managers, is just an obvious means of clinging to control which millennials and generation Z see right through.
Offices are just interruption factories that eat away at productivity and sap our creativity and problem solving aptitude.
Instead Imagine a world where our people are empowered to get their work done in an environment that suits them and instead of being assessed by what time they clock in and out, are assessed on their results.
It is estimated that 50% of the UK workforce will work remotely by as early as 2020. This new way of working is inevitable, it’s coming like a tsunami and though we in construction are usually a little slow on the uptake when it comes to new ways of doing things, we cannot afford to be so.
Those of us that do get on board will be at a distinct advantage:
We will not be restricted to the local talent pool and will be free to recruit the best talent no matter their location.
We will be better adapted to recruit millenials and the younger generation Z.
We will benefit from reduced office costs as we can dramatically reduce the size of our office and cut down on office related overheads
We will benefit the environment by reducing our work related carbon footprints as the awful commute becomes a thing of the past
Above all we will have improved staff morale, retention and output.
The wave is coming and we all need to make we can surf it.
If you want to find out more about how you can integrate remote working into your business feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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