The construction market is heating up (I am writing this accompanied by sounds of a Hilton being constructed across the street). For companies that provide paving, roofing, and other construction services, a hot market means more salespeople and labor crews being dispatched around the country. No matter the industry, managing remote workers, and their travel needs, comes with its own set of challenges.
Here are five tips for managing a remote construction crew.
Understand what is expected of you
Just like working remotely is different from working under the watchful eye of a manager, managing a remote workforce is different from managing a local one. Remote software team manager Juliana Slye notes: “Remote managers need more energy, because a lot of what you have to do is transfer that energy to your team.” To do this, you will need to reflect a positive attitude and build strong relationships with the members of your team.
Create a culture of trust and respect
Managing a remote workforce raises the ideas of trust and respect to a whole new level. You need to be able to trust your crew, and your crew needs to be able to trust you. Setting clear expectations, measuring performance against those expectations, and positively acknowledging when those expectations are met can go a long way toward creating a culture of trust.
Check in regularly and keep communication lines open
One of the challenges of managing any type of workforce from remote is that often you will not hear about minor problems until they become major ones. On a construction project, major problems can result in lost time, budget overruns, or worse. To avoid these consequences, schedule daily check-ins and make sure your crew knows that they can, and should, contact you when unexpected issues arise.
Establish company travel policies
For crews working outside the local area, travel adds a level of complexity. You can simplify this process by establishing company travel policies that recommend preferred partners and outline appropriate booking procedures. To streamline your hotel booking process, sign up for Hotel Engine for Business. Through this service, you can save up to 60% on hotels around the country, as well as gain access to tools for budgeting, tracking hotel spend by job and user, and much more.
Mobile apps allow managers to keep track of everything that happens on the worksite. Here are a few mobile apps developed specifically for the construction industry:
- TSheets Crew App is a GPS-integrated remote time card app that enables you to track employees’ locations with precision.
- Field Recon is a popular app that construction managers can use to document, track, and charge for all the work their crews do.
Managing a remote construction crew certainly has its challenges, but these five tips will help you overcome them and guide your remote workforce to success.
Featured image by Hydrogen Iodide [CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons