A work-life balance for the construction industry: myth or reality?

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FACT
by Jeanette McLean

A work-life balance for the construction industry: myth or reality?

 

As anyone who has worked on a construction site will know, a working day in the construction industry is often long and heavily reliant on having the right skills on-site at the right time. During the pandemic, our industry stayed active and worked to adapt to new safety measures and absences on-site. So can our industry, that relies on physical labour and a great deal of teamwork, adapt to allow flexible working like many other industries did over the past year? The answer is – yes, it can.

 

I read an article recently on the flexible working pilots trialled by some of the UK’s largest construction firms. Employees trialled an ‘output-based’ model, which meant that rather than turning up for a set number of hours, managers told their teams which jobs needed to be completed and each team then scheduled work to suit them and the site as a whole.

 

The results were very positive. Employees were able to attend vital appointments, sort family commitments, and even completed some tasks ahead of schedule. A move towards more flexible working in the construction industry could allow parents to spend more time with their children, reduce stigma around job-sharing, and promote productivity within the workforce.

 

But what is the cost of flexible working? Flexible working boasts a range of benefits for employees and employers, but does require robust frameworks to be put in place and adhered to. Excellent communication would also be key to the success of any flexible working programme. However, it’s worth noting that of the companies that trialled this method of working, two have already introduced a flexible working framework.

 

What do you think? Would flexible working work for you?