Construction projects often work with extremely tight deadlines. As a result, it is inevitable to schedule overtime schedules, especially when a critical activity needs to be completed to keep up with the schedules. Whether you are new in the industry or an experienced project manager, overtime is something that everyone tries to avoid, and it can lead to additional costs and unhappy employees. The reason is simple: prices go, and profits go down for every extra hour worked. Not to mention your employees may feel overworked and exhausted with everyday tasks.
The government places strict labor laws to ensure every employee is compensated for their hard work. Although it may be complicated and hard to understand, many construction companies are determined to follow the rules since you could get fined or even go to jail.
In this article, we will discuss several ways how you can reduce or eliminate your overtime schedules. But first, let us dive into how overworked employees can significantly impact your organization.
How Overworked Employees Can Affect Your Company’s Profitability and Productivity
You might think that more work hours mean more work gets done. However, this is far from reality. In fact, less work gets done when there are more overtime hours since your crew’s productivity drops significantly after around 45-50 hours of work. Overtime can dramatically affect a construction company’s profitability and productivity – that is why handling it well in this highly competitive market is crucial.
In this section, let us talk about some of the worst things that can happen when you let your employees work too much and why it hurts your company.
It Harms Your Employee’s Well Being
It is no secret that construction activities are challenging tasks – physically and mentally taxing. Men and people in the middle of their lives or older had the worst health effects from working too much. If you let your employees work overtime, they have less time to recover. They are prone to many health issues – mental, physical, and emotional.
Exhaustion May Lead to More Mistakes
When people work more hours, it’s more likely that they’ll find it hard to turn off and relax. This causes people to lose sleep and make more mistakes. It may be something as simple as a painter dozing off and may fall off a ladder – mistakes are costly and may result in dangerous events. Even if employees come to work and look busy, they will still make mistakes.
Overworked Workers Are Often Unproductive
Overworked workers pick up bad habits like sitting around all day, snacking on junk food, or drinking to relax. They may also spend less time with friends and family, making them feel alone. All these things can cause stress and problems with your health – stressed-out employees tend to get depressed, lose sleep, gain weight, and have high blood pressure.
Employee Burnout Often Ensues
People will only be able to do an excellent job if they have enough things and more time to do them. They may do things half-heartedly to finish each task on time. People who are overworked and stressed for a long time may be present in the workplace. Still, their mind is elsewhere and not doing anything useful – which is terrible for them and the company.
Reduced Employee Retention
Even if employees need to learn precisely why they are unhappy at work, they will start looking for a new job. Many businesses now offer more flexible hours and fun places to work to attract new workers, making losing employees easier than ever. A “culture of overwork” is terrible for business and could also be expensive. Hiring and training new hires takes a lot of effort, time, and money.
How to Cut Down On Overtime Schedules
Most construction company owners and managers want to avoid considering the possibility of paying 1.5x pay for extra work hours. Luckily, there are several ways you can try to cut down on or eliminate overtime, which is good news. In this section, we have listed twelve simple ways you can utilize it.
Prepare and Plan Ahead
Every builder gets a job or project that might take longer than expected. The construction industry is notorious for being prone to delays – it may be due to miscommunication or inclement weather. If that happens, the workers get paid extra for their extra time. Always make plans ahead of time – add contingencies to your schedule baselines to account for possible delays and roadblocks.
Hire Subcontractors To Reduce Overtime
One way to reduce overtime is to hire subcontractors – this way, you can get additional crew members when you need to – letting your staff only work their prescribed hours and avoid overtime. Subcontractors can come to your site and do time-consuming jobs that would otherwise force your full-time workers to work extra hours.
You can save on overtime costs by hiring subcontractors to handle certain parts of your project, such as concreting or painting. Remember that contractors are not your employees; they are your partners, so you should treat them differently.
Try To Schedule Short-term Workers For Overtime
Using temporary workers who can be called in quickly can help you avoid paying for overtime. Temporary workers can be just as skilled as your regular employees, and they can take on the extra responsibility of doing tasks and jobs on-site. Most of the time, you can pay temporary workers the same or close to what you spend your regular workers, depending on your agreement.
Use a Construction Time-Tracking Software
When you only get time records at the end of a pay period, assigning more hours to your employees is easy than you thought unknowingly.
Overtime happens because there is a need for more people to do the job, resources are not being used well, tight deadlines due to delays, or an employee have extra time and wants to get paid more. Suppose you have a bird’s eye view of how much time was spent on different projects and how that time was divided. In that case, construction managers can make intelligent decisions about resources and overtime.
It is much easier to adjust and plan schedules if you always know how much time everyone is putting in and how much of the project budget has been spent. Pro Crew Schedule offers one of the best time-tracking software for construction – you can get a clear overview of each crew member’s schedules and see which ones need to be adjusted.
Develop Your Employee’s Skills and Experience
When you have a clear overview of your crews’ tasks for the period and their shifts, it will be easier to see who has more time and who is busy.
There is a problem with overtime when some workers can only do specific jobs. This can lead to different amounts of overtime if one job needs more time than the other but not the other. Teaching your crew members how to do more than one job can make your business more flexible and save money on overtime.
Developing your crew’s skills to fill other roles when needed is an excellent idea. This helps you reduce overtime by assigning work to other crew members with the right capabilities. You need an efficient construction crew management system to schedule the right persons for the right tasks without compromising one activity for another.
Hold Fewer Meetings for Simple Status Updates
Meetings are essential, but more than sitting in a forum for an hour is needed to give a two-minute update. Construction Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can help you manage daily tasks, track a project’s progress, and cascade updated information with just a few simple clicks instead of just status meetings to better use your time. You do not have to waste much of your crew’s time at work that they could have used to do real work.
Provide Enough Resources and Tools to Your Employees
If you are still using the traditional way of email, spreadsheets are great for communicating and keeping track of budgets. You might be having a tedious time tracking and monitoring every project detail. Efficient and effective construction software can help construction managers keep an eye on costs, keep employees happy, and cut down on paperwork.
Create a Well-Planned Construction Crew Schedule
You can also hire a crew scheduler to manage contractors’ schedules and assign jobs in real-time. You can turn workaholics into well-balanced workers by correctly setting up your team’s program and utilizing their skills.
Automate Your Tasks
A good construction schedule management software can help you automate your crew’s tasks and activities for the day. This allows you to cut down on paperwork, increase productivity, and make the most money possible. Even a tiny increase in speed and accuracy will significantly affect your bottom line, and you can only get these results by replacing manual methods with a faster system. As a result, you can focus more on the more essential parts of project management.