How to Optimize Construction Productivity

Rhumbix Editorial StaffApril 29, 2020 • 5 min read

Construction sites are a mess, with all the workers, products, debris, and plans. Sometimes this normal, part of the job, mess heeds productivity.

You don’t want reduced construction productivity. It leads to money loss and makes products take more time.

But what can you do? A lot, actually. There are a few ways new construction technology and software are changing workspaces.

Even without newfangled software, taking a little longer to plan things out makes a big difference.

We’re all about making sure projects are fast and efficient. Read our construction productivity tips below.

Hire Right

Any construction project requires tens to hundreds of people. Everyone has to work together and do their specialized task as an individual member of the team.

The worst thing that can happen? Having a team that doesn’t work well together. That could mean hiring the wrong contractor with the wrong employees. Or they take one too many smoke breaks.

We know you want to get your project finished and so taking good time to hire seems counter-intuitive. It’s not. An ounce of preparation is worth finishing your project.

Isn’t that how the saying goes?

Map Out Your Project

Sure, you’ve got your blueprints, measurements, order number and all that, but do you have a written out plan?

This is another place where preparation takes longer but saves time in the long run.

Take a day to sit down with all the team leaders of your project. Write down what needs to get done first. While people are laying the foundation, can others be welding pipes?

This reduces the time you pay people for standing around and gives you a good look at your end goal. You can provide this working map to your client so they have an idea of what’s getting done when.

That way you’ll also save time by not having to answer their “where are we at?” phone calls three times a week. No one likes that!

Work Your Inventory

Of all the products it takes to build a project, do you know how much money you have on the ground at one time? What about loss or theft?

A great way to keep tabs on project materials is to keep a running log. This means you have to know what you need at the beginning, which makes ordering easier.

It reduces trips to the supply store because you ordered less than you needed and lets you know if your estimations were correct.

With a system, you can get supplies back on the ground before you run out and your workers can stay productive.

Keep Records

All these papers and records we’re suggesting you write? Keep them! Almost 95% of data from construction sites are thrown out.

How crazy is that? Especially when you can show a client a working map of a similar project so they know what they’re paying for.

While each project is different, there’s no reason not to reuse parts and pieces of old projects.

Encourage Breaks

We all work in not-great conditions sometimes, but if it’s going to be a record hot day, let your crew take a day off. They won’t work as well or as quickly in the heat and they’ll resent the hours they work.

If you can’t take a break from the project, plan ahead and have them work in the non-hottest hours. This is in the morning before noon and in the afternoon after three.

This long lunch break will be a gift to your workers and you’ll build rapport and respect.

We suggest you pay them for it, they can’t control the weather!

They’ll work harder when they feel valued and like you see them as humans, not workhorses.

Find New Technology

How many times have you walked around a site with a contractor who had a clipboard with pen and paper? That’s ridiculous! Not only can weather-related things happen, but papers get lost.

You don’t have to get rid of paper but invest in some construction management software. It’ll reduce losses, time spent deciphering handwriting, and be much easier to organize.

Move Towards Integrated Project Delivery Contracts

You want to work in a team, but you need trust. This is an issue on most sites. Are the people you hire getting done what they say they are, in the time you need?

Most of the time, yes, but there are bad apples in every batch. Changing from a traditional construction contract to an integrated project delivery system helps.

Be Transparent

If there are issues at the top level of a project, they’ll affect those on the ground. Don’t try to hide a funding or permit issue from workers.

They’ll find out one way or another and resent you for not telling them.

If you tell them what the problem is straight out, you reduce gossip time and apathy. They may even have ideas to help you around the setback.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork people!

Construction Productivity

The reason construction sites are so hard to manage is all their moving pieces. There’s never one person who knows what’s going on 100%.

Even the contractor has to wait for people to call them back or to get together with them.

You’ll increase construction productivity by using the tips above. Keep communication open and check in daily.

Even if you only use one tip on this list, you’ll see changes in how smoothly everything goes. Want to try out our tips? Request a demo here!


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