Why Less is More when Managing Your Engineering or Construction Projects
In the professional world, most of us have been taught that “more is better”. Particularly in the construction and engineering fields, spending long hours at work are viewed as the
hallmark of good work ethic. But what if long hours are actually slowing you and your team down?
The latest research on this concept has been an eye-opener for some. Here are a few actions you can take to optimize your Construction or Engineering team’s productivity by doing more with less.
Value Quality over Quantity
Studies indicate that employees are more productive when working shorter hours. People are able to maintain a higher level of focus for shorter periods of time. In other words, more work may get done in four hours, than in eight. Being given a shorter window of time to complete a task can result in higher focus from the employee.
We’ve read in the news about the nurses at Svartedalens retirement home in Sweden, who switched to a six-hour work day while staying on an eight hour salary as an experiment in productivity. The result was lower turnover, fewer sick days used, and a higher standard of care provided to the patients.
Engineering is an analytical line of work that requires a great deal of mental energy, so working shorter hours with increased focus could result in a clearer thought process, yielding a higher quality of design, analysis, and execution. Likewise, better quality work can be counted on from a construction team that is well rested from working fewer hours.
Have a Clear Agenda
The best way to keep your group focused is to have a succinct agenda. No meeting should be held without an itemized itinerary, and each member of the group should know exactly what their task is.
For larger undertakings, break the project into smaller, specific tasks in order to keep the to- do list short and actionable.
Perform a Post-Mortem on Completed Projects
When a project is complete, have a meeting with your team and determine what worked and what didn’t, and tweak as needed. Experiment with which aspects of “less is
more” works best for you team, whether that means fewer working hours, a more focused agenda, or delegating more tasks to your team.
The Importance of Delegating
Many project managers fall into the trap of wanting to handle everything themselves in order to “get it done right”. But trying to accomplish everything yourself is a recipe for burnout.
Divvying up the duties is the most effective way to ensure that your projects are getting done properly, on time, and within budget. In short, you need to trust your team. That’s why hiring the right people for your team is so important to a project’s success.
Engineering, Construction, and Technical personnel is one of Goldbeck’s specialties, with over 21 years of experience placing the best candidate to meet employers’ needs.
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