Four contractors back ‘shift life balance’ for sites

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
Share

Four major contractors that trialled flexible site working patterns through the pandemic have boosted workforce wellbeing with no adverse impact on budget or programme.

Skanska's Flex-it policy supported a return to full productivity, brought significant mental health and wellbeing benefits for staff
Skanska's Flex-it policy supported a return to full productivity, brought significant mental health and wellbeing benefits for staff

And some data from the 18-month trial shows adjustments to working patterns could drive savings on labour costs due to enhanced productivity.

BAM Construct, BAM Nuttall, Skanska UK and Willmott Dixon took part in the trial that re-designed shift patterns in onsite roles to enable more flexible working.

The pilots organised by flexible working consultant Timewise ran between June 2020 and February 2021 in several locations,  from a HS2 site in London through to a substation build near Weston Super Mare, among teams employing between 14 and 120 workers.

Workers involved reported a strong jump in a sense of well being, with those who thought their working hours gave them enough time to look after their own health and wellbeing rising from 48% to 84%.

Overwork decreased with those that said that they regularly worked beyond their contracted hours falling from more than half, to just over a third (51% to 34%).

At the start of the trial, nearly half of all participants felt guilty if they started later or finished earlier than others onsite. This portion decreased to a third (47% to 33%).

Adrian Savory, CEO for BAM Nuttall said: “The results of the pilots have demonstrated flexibility for operational roles is possible, and has been a win, win, win – for the business, teams and improving individual’s wellbeing.

“We have started implementing the approach across the whole of our business. And it’s encouraging to see people having conversations that wouldn’t have been possible without these results and the clear guidance for a successful approach. ”

Rick Lee, chief people officer at Willmott Dixon said:  “The scheme has allowed us to progress our pre-existing agile working programme and has helped us develop our knowledge and skills to enable our people, whether they have a site or office based role, to achieve a greater work/life balance.”

“Being able to embed a successful approach to agile working at our sites is critical for achieving a diverse business and realising our aim to achieve gender parity across our workforce by 2030.”

Andrea Singh, HR Director for BAM Construct UK, said: “Thanks to this pioneering work, our managers are thinking differently and that’s making a real improvement to people’s lives. We now ask, ‘how can we make flexibility work?’ and not, ‘can we make it work?’. Managers are finding flexible approaches that work for their team and clients.”

 

Shift-life balance – different flexible working approaches


  • BAM Construct: team-based approach to flexible working. Tested setting shifts that takes workers’ personal preferences into account, similar to work Timewise has conducted with nurses in the NHS.
  • BAM Nuttall: flexi-day approach. Workers could accumulate additional hours in exchange for one day off each month.
  • Skanska UK: earlier starts and finishes – Skanska UK trialled two different approaches with two different teams on HS2, both revolving around earlier start and finish times:

Output based: Site supervisor works with a planner to develop a more detailed version of the schedule of work, broken down into weekly and daily objectives. Working hours are set, based on the outputs to be achieved each day.

Staggered: Site supervisor alternates start times between the teams each week,  so that all workers get the pattern they want every other week. In addition to this, workers are given a choice of break times.

  • Willmott Dixon:Limit hours worked to 45 per week inclusive of breaks, and to ensure that an agile working plan is in place for all teams and on all new projects.

Latest news

Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Contractor in talks to save parts of the business
1 day ago

RG Group signs £121m Newcastle rental homes job

Developer Olympian Homes advances 519 flats plan at Pottery Lane site
24 hours ago

Winners named for £260m Manchester Uni framework

B&K, Henry Bros, Graham, Robertson and Vinci among new line-up
1 day ago

Shed specialist Benniman rides out market lull

Worcestershire warehouse builder says industrial and logistics work is picking up again
1 day ago

Another contractor cleared after high profile immigration raid

Adana Construction employees were working legally on site swooped on by Home Office
1 day ago

McAleer & Rushe wants to meet new London suppliers

Contractor holding Meet the Buyer event in London: Register now
1 day ago

McAlpine signs £500m Broadgate dual towers deal

Work to start on iconic 36-storey and 21-storey towers
2 days ago

Worker rescued from collapsed four metre deep trench

Fire crews take six hours to save trapped builder near Blackwall Tunnel
2 days ago

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
3 days ago

Greenwich University tenders £300m framework

Up to five firms will carry out upgrade and newbuild work at three campuses
2 days ago

Work starts on Manchester 26-storey Obsidian tower

Contractor Domis starts Salboy's 10th Manchester scheme in seven years
2 days ago

Race for £1.3bn West Midlands social homes framework

The Community Housing Group reboots tender race for new build housing
2 days ago

Delancey submits £400m King’s Cross lab plans

200,000 sq ft lab/office project will be built above railway and tube tunnels just 4.5m below
3 days ago

Winners revealed for £150m fire safety framework

New deal will help organisations comply with the Building Safety Act
2 days ago

Sellar plans £500m City tower next to Walkie-Talkie

Consultation starts on London 60 Gracechurch Street tower
3 days ago

Severfield ends year on high with record order book

Orders top £500m with strong future pipeline of opportunities ahead
3 days ago

Second senior director exits National Highways

Commercial director Malcolm Dare set to move on to new role
3 days ago

New scheme fuels London lab building boom

Plans in for 160,000 sq ft Whitechapel scheme near Royal London hospital
3 days ago

Contract race starts for next £155m section of A9 dualling

Prior Information Notice published for Tay Crossing to Ballinluig stretch
4 days ago

£55m Sheffield build-to-rent scheme approved

Demolition to start later this year for 158-flat Sheffield Garden project
4 days ago

London back as most expensive place to build in world

Capital leapfrogs Geneva to top costliest construction rankings
4 days ago

Gas supplier Regent to buy TClarke for £90m

£491m turnover listed building services specialist to be sold
4 days ago

Steel contractor Billington launches into bridge market

Steelwork firm hires staff from failed architectural and bridge specialist SH Structures
4 days ago

McGee employees benefit from rise in profits

Pre-tax profit doubles boosting payouts for Employee Ownership Trust
4 days ago

Lendlease veteran is latest new McAlpine director

Paul Sims joins as Operations Director after 40 years at rival contractor
5 days ago

Costain signs site labour supply deal with four firms

Contractor to use only a quartet of providers for temporary labour supply
4 days ago

BAM go-ahead for Leeds 200,000 sq ft office

Latitude Yellow will complete final plot at Doncaster Monk Bridge site
5 days ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £30m logistics job

Latest deal to build five distribution units for Prologis UK
5 days ago

Trio win new Scape utilities consultancy framework

Perfect Circle, AtkinsRéalis and Arcadis win places on
4 days ago

Precast firm FP McCann cleared after immigration raid

Home Office takes no action after public raid on construction site
5 days ago

Contractor services