The construction industry remains active as an essential business and continues to face both new and existing challenges.
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Not only dealing with rising material costs and a skilled labor shortage but knowing who is on the site and the precautions to take is the new normal. As demand increases, crews are no longer bound by location or region, they are now bidding on projects across the nation.
“The Construction industry needs to build 13,000 buildings each day between now and 2050 to support an expected population of 7 billion people living in cities.”
AUTODESK, MAY 2019
However, locating staff on short notice and in remote areas of the country only increases the difficulty to have a qualified and safe crew to manage and staff projects.
“29% of firms are putting longer completion times into their bids for new work because of the lack of workers, putting future development and infrastructure projects at risk.”
ACG, AUGUST 2019
In addition, to compete on contract bids, project management and procurement need to balance time, resources and expense in order deliver profit on a project. Here are three steps to better plan and manage your crew on remote projects.
1. Sourcing a Crew
With local projects, contractors know the tradesmen in the area and who they can trust. Remote projects add a layer of unfamiliarity. Working with a good staffing partner and relying on key traveling crew members can make or break a project.
2. Managing Remote Crews
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 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.
3. Lodging Management
Whether sourcing locally or bringing in a crew, having key crew coordinators and project managers on site will become necessary. Ensuring these managers and traveling crew members are comfortable and safe while managing the bottom line can be a challenge by itself.
“According to the US Census Bureau, Construction companies spent $33B in lodging expenses and spending increased 42% over the last five years.”
FRED ECONOMIC DATA, SEPTEMBER 2020
Let’s face it, crew travel management can be a hassle.
>Researching locations and amenities
>Negotiating room rates and planning reservations
>Tracking expenses and reconciling to budget and contract
>Juggling multiple and rotating crew members
>Solving lodging issues once teams arrive
“Top-notch customer service. It’s nice to know if things go [awry], you have an entire team behind you to make things right!
Well done, Hotel Engine!”
Barbara R .
A Better Way to Manage Crew Lodging
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