We thought we’d start a new start-of-year habit here at Script&Go by taking stock and evaluating the global trends that are likely to impact the productivity of our construction clients and their personnel in the new year.
So here goes for Script&Go’s 2018 Construction Productivity Trend Forecast
1. Leadership style and human interaction change through digital collaboration
Despite a continued need for some desk-bound communication, as construction organisations digitise and their personnel free-up time in the process, we forecast changes in leadership style and in the nature of human interactions. We believe construction leaders will not only continue to promote their workplaces to enhance interpersonal relationships, but also embrace changes to their style through their own approach, mindset and behaviours. They will encourage greater use of user-friendly mobile devices, software solutions and social networks to collaborate, engage and share data and information, including with remote workers, in a more open and transparent yet secure way to achieve common goals.
This will be a significant change for Script&Go’s clients’ personnel, whether working remotely from an office, a production facility, on site, in the field or anywhere between. They will become more agile, more mobile and increasingly paper-free. Field staff, such as site managers or subcontractors, will be able to monitor or perform their tasks more effectively on a day-to-day basis, referring to their mobile devices for real-time updates from their colleagues.
We also predict that collaboration will become easier through high quality software solutions and the possibility of real-time data synchronisation via the cloud will become increasingly important to our clients to enhance their workers’ productivity.
2. High quality solutions and user training become key
As construction organisations digitise and their personnel become more mobile, we forecast an increasing need for their leaders to focus on ensuring their personnel not only have user-friendly high quality construction management solutions at their disposal but also the basic digital skills necessary to optimise the use of them. This will enable them to operate efficiently in mobility and produce high quality work, even with devices they already have – such as tablets and smartphones.
This will be an important change for Script&Go clients’ personnel operating remotely from an office, in a production facility, on site, in the field or anywhere between them and allow their work processes to become leaner and more mobile. Professional staff, such as construction managers, or project managers will find that their time on site will become more productive as they are able to transfer their workplace to a mobile device and perform previously office-based tasks on the move.
User-friendly construction management software solutions and cost-effective user training in them will be key to improving organisational and individual productivity.
3. Artificial intelligence and automation become more commonplace
We challenge the negative impression that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will replace the need for human work entirely. We forecast the increasing need for business leaders to recognise the more valuable aspect of such development which views artificial and human intelligence as complementary and to recognise the increasing need for personnel to carrying out construction performance checks, controls, and analysis to meet increasingly stringent requirements for inspection, commissioning, monitoring, testing reports and so on. Productivity will also be enhanced as automated report generation eliminates the need for data re-entry.
This will be a visible change for Script&Go’s construction clients, not only for all their personnel in managerial positions, but also for those performing controls in the field. Continued development in areas such as automation, handwriting recognition technology and voice recognition technology, will assist in steering them to become more productive through the use of such technologies. Personnel will also become increasingly at ease with the ‘mechanics’ of technology as time goes on.
User-friendly software features that provide a streamlined user experience that recognise and can adapt to user habits will also be appreciated to further their productivity.
4. Adding value and enhancing well-being become priorities
Despite the fact personnel currently operating with construction organisations with low levels of digitisation are invariably not only less productive but also have lower job satisfaction, derived from lower pay and/or a higher level of stress, we forecast the increasing need for their leaders to realise the win:win scenario of equipping them with the tools that both make their working life easier and improve their organisations’ bottom line.
There will be particularly interesting changes for Script&Go’s clients who seek to reduce stress and improve productivity. Many previously professional office-bound staff, of all ages, will be able to work more easily and more productively on the move. They will have more frequent access to their work, anywhere at anytime, through improved communication with their colleagues across their digital devices. As result they will be able to complete tasks faster and more accurately. Through improved communication processes, part-time or flexible working options for workers should also continue to increase to allow positive work-life balances to be struck and current gender imbalances in the sector to be improved.
Cost effective software solutions that aid rather than hinder the day-to-day work of their users will be preferred to improve productivity by adding value and enhancing well-being.