For almost a year, our news feeds have been saturated with articles about how the global pandemic forced everyone to adapt to working from home almost overnight. Some offered valuable tips, like creating a dedicated workspace at home (that doesn’t exclude the option to work on the couch) and meeting face-to-face with your colleagues, that’s to say having zoom meetings with cameras on, to talk about something not work-related.
The changes in work patterns are so profound that after this disturbing dream is over, home offices will continue to be present, if not dominant. But remote work means different things for different businesses. With construction being among the least digitalized industries, is it possible to bring your job site to the home office? In this blog, we’re looking into tips to keep construction projects going remotely.
Adopt solutions where you need them most
The first step is to decide which areas of work can rely on digital solutions more than others. While you can’t touch the materials and check their quality online, you can focus on the communication and documentation aspects of your job.
Back in March of 2020, communication was the most burning issue. When borders closed, and social distancing measures were put in place, travelling grew from a necessity into a luxury. The vital construction parties – stakeholders, general contractors, and project managers – who needed access to job sites all over the world lost it. General contractors had to concentrate on ensuring health and safety for their teams while providing the best quality work for clients, so presenting regular, detailed project updates or taking hundreds of photos to prove the progress was not in their focus. Wearing too many hats (together with weather conditions and supply disruptions) led to missing deadlines and the rise of further issues.
Getting out of the old habits to see new results
Despite messaging apps, like WhatsApp, and video conferencing on Zoom helping keep the conversation going, progress checks and updates were hardly possible to make. While the data you collect from the jobsite and share with the team must be dynamic, i.e. available at any given moment and applicable to ongoing tasks, in using WhatsApp, teams end up either working separately or getting overloaded with data they don’t need.
Although the market offers a plethora of software programs for team communication and you can even use cloud systems to track employee hours, photo documentation is still widely overlooked or viewed as an area where DIY solutions work perfectly. However, outsourcing this task to professionals adds balance and makes construction more manageable.
Leveraging Photo Documentation
Photo documentation is the key to monitoring progress on the job site from the comfort of your home office. 360 Photo is an easy-to-use tool, especially when indexed to online floorplans. 360 photos complement normal 2D & 3D Measurable images and allow the entire project team to view current jobsite conditions. This makes updating schedules faster and easier since you can view current project progress from any device, wherever you are.
Additionally, if an issue arises several months after a task is completed, for example, something’s wrong with the wiring, it will take you a couple of minutes to find the issue, validate that it’s an isolated incident, share the proposed fix with the design team, and then distribute the fix to the field. 360 photos and other visual solutions allow all these steps to take place in minutes, allowing you to focus on more important things.