Reclaiming even a few minutes here and there can pay off.
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't appreciate saving a little time during the workday. In the construction industry, however, any threat to the schedule could translate into big penalties down the road, so reclaiming even a few minutes here and there can pay off.
Start with these simple — and free — ways to add a little more sand to your project hourglass.
Hold daily morning jobsite meetings
Meetings just for the sake of meeting are notorious time wasters. But setting aside about 15 minutes in the morning so managers, supervisors and foremen can establish goals, address any special deliveries or high-priority tasks, inform personnel of significant changes and ensure everyone has the latest set of as-built drawings and specs can save days, maybe even weeks, in the overall project schedule.
Appoint one person to schedule tool and equipment use
Designate someone to schedule, and enforce, daily use of the shared equipment that’s in the shortest supply. This will reduce wasted employee time and maximize use of the equipment.
Restrict personal device use during working hours
Game scores, breaking news, calls from spouses — all these make today's phones and Wi-Fi-enabled devices major time gobblers. Make it clear that such devices are not to be used during work hours except for emergencies. Distracted workers are also unsafe workers, so implementing this policy can also save the time involved in addressing jobsite safety incidents.
Urge employees to clean and organize their work areas at the end of the day
Having equipment and tools ready to go and easily accessible at the start of each day cuts down on morning prep time, ensuring that workers hit the ground running instead of wasting time trying to locate or piece together the tools they need for the day.
Take advantage of software or templates for daily reports
Managers, supervisors and foremen are responsible for compiling information for jobsite and safety meeting reports. This can be tremendously time consuming. Investigate the free and open-source software and template options available. At the very least, take the time to set up a spreadsheet template.
Kim Slowey is a writer who has been active in the construction industry for 25 years and is licensed as a certified general contractor in Florida. She received her BA in Mass Communications/Journalism from the University of South Florida and has experience in both commercial and residential construction.