Although the construction industry has been slow to adopt technology into its day-to-day operations, many forward-thinking companies are more open to this change. Moreover, as work processes become digitized in both the office and jobsite, project managers will experience the most drastic changes. This article discusses the current trends in construction that will have a tremendous impact on how project management will be conducted in the future, all of which have already started to take shape.
Work-Integrated Mobile Phones
Although the use of mobile phones on construction sites is nothing new, a greater number of companies are utilizing apps and mobile systems for work purposes. Smartphones are still great for calling and instant messaging, but a variety of apps and systems are now available that streamline the communication process. More and more, companies are utilizing a singular communication system to better handle the internal flow of information. In addition, mobile solutions are slowly being integrated into construction management software, which provides all employees a single method of communication. In the near future, expect to see greater uses of the mobile phone that integrates both the personal and professional realm.
Increase in Freelance Workers
A trend seen in all industries is a growth in freelance and contract workers. Contributing to the increase of freelance or temporary workers is a greater use of online software and apps to coordinate communication. The rise of global teams and multi-national construction companies means that work can now be outsourced and workers can be hired based on location. Rather than utilizing a team of construction workers, companies can now find contract workers in any given area for all types of construction jobs. Technology is the main catalyst for this shift, with companies using video conferencing and online scheduling to take advantage of a temporary workforce. Moreover, a greater number of freelancers solves logistical and travel issues that transporting large teams may pose.
Shorter Hiring and Onboarding
Another trend seen in all industries is a more flexible workforce. It is not uncommon to see people shifting jobs and careers every few years, rather than staying at the same job for a long period of time. The construction industry also experiences this, and because of it, hiring and onboarding practices will need to be altered. High turnover means that having lengthy training periods needs to be shortened and optimized. Construction companies must now adjust to this faster-paced flow of workers and make the appropriate modifications to promote employee retention.
As it stands, there are only a few fully mobile management software that construction companies can choose from. In the near future however, this may all change. With a younger workforce emerging, their comfort level with technology is much higher than their predecessors. To survive in this growing digital environment, project managers must adopt mobile technology sooner rather than later. Rather than having specific departments or teams using mobile software, expect to see more fully mobile management systems that can be utilized by all members of a company, from project managers, site supervisors and construction workers.
With the growth of mobile technology, managing projects may actually become easier. Project managers may soon begin eliminating board room meetings and lengthy back and forth emails in favor of mobile solutions. Project managers will begin to prefer access to real time updates and immediate project status changes, which can only be achieved by moving fully online.