A significant increase in remote work was the result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as companies had no other choice to keep operations afloat. For many employers and employees, remote work proved convenient and successful, so companies decided to grow their remote workforce even more.
To help manage a remote workforce, companies began using technology and software specifically designed for that purpose. However, when we think about the construction industry, it has been notoriously difficult to integrate technology to help with these sorts of issues.
The good news is remote construction management using technology is a potential game-changer for the industry. Let’s explore how construction communication software can help you save both time and money in our CLC Guide to Remote Commercial Construction Project Management.
Find the Best Short-Term Housing for Your Crew
The safety, comfort level, and happiness of your work crew is high on your priority list. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re providing them with the proper comfort levels is by finding short-term, temporary housing options that meet your employees’ needs. There are three criteria to consider here: comfort and safety, proximity to the worksite, and your project’s budget. Here are three options to consider.
Extended-stay hotels can be found about anywhere now. Most are chain hotels, so you know exactly what to expect in terms of amenities, cleanliness, and safety. Extended-stay hotels include conveniences such as free Wi-Fi, a fitness room, and a complimentary breakfast. Either a fully-equipped kitchen or a microwave/refrigerator combination are common, as well, making them ideal for heating up meals and snacks.
A furnished apartment takes the extended-stay hotel option and bumps it up a notch, providing an even greater level of comfort and privacy. When on an extended project, your team will really appreciate the feeling of a home-away-from-home. The downside is that this housing option can be more expensive. The limited supply of open units can also be an issue.
Create a Corporate Travel Policy
This is the most crucial step you can take in remote construction management where you are dealing with a moving workforce. If you are not used to managing a travel program, here are a few things to consider when drafting a corporate travel policy.
You will want to include information on
- How to book a hotel
- Housing budgets
- Meal allowance, per diem and reimbursement
- Preferred hotel partners
- Ground transportation and rental cars
- Guidelines for when significant others/family can accompany the traveler
Be specific and as detail-oriented as possible when crafting your travel policy so that it is crystal clear to your employees. You also want to ensure that it is easily accessible for them by posting it in various locations including the company website, employee handbook, and even an emailed copy each time it is updated.
Duty of Care
The number one priority of your travel program and policy is the safety and health of your employees. In fact, there is a name for this – duty of care. As the employer, you are responsible for the welfare of your employees when they are traveling for the company.
Your travel policy should encompass that duty of care by including travel policies that minimize the risk to employees and offer 24-hour support.
Establish Project Management Software and Technologies
No matter what size construction company, the project management software available today can be of significant benefit to any company. With just an internet connection, team members can access a variety of crucial, up-to-date information regarding project details, changes, budgets, contact information, and more.
Travel Management Applications
Managers will save time, money, and yes, headaches, when they upgrade to a travel management platform like we offer at CLC. Everything from booking hotels and car rentals to consolidating reports and single source billing can be accomplished easily. We even offer easy ways to create bid estimates and assign project codes when booking or paying for travel costs.
A variety of convenient payment solutions make billing, bookkeeping, and paying easier than ever. For example, CLC offers an online bill pay solution utilizing Corpay One. This allows you to scan invoices, pay bills, and control spending in a single, easy-to-use platform.
Another convenient payment solution offered by CLC is a virtual payment card. Ours is called the Trip Card and it allows employees to use it like a credit card to cover costs for travel expenses or per diems.
How frustrating is the traditional way of reporting project information and other changes throughout the term of the construction project? Cost reports and budget analyses are extremely important to the success of the project for both you and the client. However, that information must be based upon accurate and current information.
CLC can help you ensure that your travel payment information and other changes are communicated properly, thus reducing time, and money, and reducing the potential for errors. We provide audited, centralized billing and actionable insights for program improvements.
Manage Burnout for Your Team
In any industry or job, burnout is a concern, but it is more prevalent in the construction industry. The reason is that workers are asked to perform at an elevated level, logging long hours, and dealing with the bureaucracy of filling out reports and paperwork. In fact, the average construction worker wastes up to 14 hours per week on what is deemed non-productive tasks – i.e., filling out paperwork.
In order to reduce burnout for your team, make a plan to reduce those non-productive tasks. Other ways you can help reduce burnout and show your employees you care about their time, productivity, and happiness are by updating equipment, prioritizing safety, instituting innovative technologies from companies like CLC to consolidate travel and payment tasks, and most importantly, keeping lines of communication open and listening to your employees’ concerns.
Team Building Activities
It is hard enough remotely managing a crew of construction workers who are happy and work well together. A team that is working against each other in two different directions is detrimental, which is why it behooves you to offer team-building activities.
Virtual Team Building Activities
With remote construction management, it can be difficult to get to know and engage with your team, which is why team building activities are so important. A remote team-building activity might simply be hopping on a video call with your crew members. Introduce, or reintroduce, yourselves to each other. Putting names to faces is important to establish a connection and build trust.
Begin by sharing small, but significant details with the team. There are many icebreaker questions that can help you get to know each other. Sharing personal details with each other not only builds affinity but also helps them to find common ground with one another.
In-Person Team Building Activities
You have a bit more freedom when it comes to in-person, team-building activities. It can be as simple as sending the crew out for an informal meal where they can socialize, get to know each other, and bond.
If you’re seeking a more structured format, you can find companies that offer a wide variety of team-building activities, from escape rooms and scavenger hunts to cooking classes and survival excursions.
Ready to improve your process and procedures? Look no further than CLC Lodging to help you adhere to a travel policy and update your payment and reporting solutions. We are here to make your job easier, so you can focus on project execution and employee satisfaction.
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