Hybrid work improves employees’ job satisfaction, according to Forbes. Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, hybrid working was relatively unheard of within the construction industry, with 86% having never worked remotely. But the pandemic forced the sector to adapt and allow its employees to work from home. It’s been a success, too, as 80% said they were just as productive or more productive. So, will the construction industry stick with hybrid working, or are there too many downsides?
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reports that 40% of construction businesses made employees redundant during the pandemic. Worldwide shutdowns meant subcontractors and contractors were backing out and a stop was put on construction projects in many cities, including Boston. Hybrid working meant many construction jobs were saved, though. AECOM states that it was able to have 90% of its workers working remotely at one time. But McKinsey doesn’t believe that this figure is sustainable. They report that just 15% of construction staff can work remotely at any one time. This is due to workers physically needing to be present for things such as building, safety checks, and providing adequate supervision.
When hybrid working was introduced in the construction industry, there were some challenges that went with it. Technology suddenly played a big role in the typical construction worker’s day-to-day job. Many workers didn’t have the skills or technical knowledge to use these tools and in-depth training was needed. Not all construction workers had the type of housing where it was easy to set up a home office. It’s been reported that construction workers have been priced out of buying a home in some states, including Idaho, Utah, and California. Thankfully, ways around this were found. Understair offices, closet offices, bookshelf desks, and loft-bed offices have all been used to create a suitable working area in construction workers’ homes. This was crucial for encouraging construction workers, who usually spend their days out in the field, to get into a working mindset from the comfort of their own homes.