Running an Efficient Construction Office – Part 1
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Efficiency in the construction office
Efficiency for the sake of efficiency isn’t enough. As a project-based organization, you often face a struggle with factors such as time, cost, and quality on each individual job site. Therefore, being efficient and effective in the office becomes paramount to supporting all the needs associated with getting the jobs, performing the jobs, and getting paid for the jobs.
Let’s start with Return on Investment
Yes, there is an ROI factor connected to the level of efficiency in your construction office. And it will be best if you have a holistic view of the hard ROI and the indirect or so-called “soft ROI.”
Because you will be able to see the hard ROI in the numbers, I’ll focus here on the soft ROI. Examples of long-term soft success metrics to look for are:
Escalation of employee productivity
Enhancement of company morale
Decrease in work related stress levels
Increase in company culture awareness
Upsurge in employee wellbeing
Improved brand perception and reputation
Boost in word of mouth advertising
These soft metrics aren’t as easy to quantify or measure. Yet, set against your immediate and long-term financial goals, they are equally important to consider.
Pour the Foundation
Before we get to system and process improvement (covered later in this series) we’ll delve into some overall office basics which play into the goal of better office efficiency. It doesn’t matter if your office is in your home, shop, or another stand-alone location, these ideas will work. Some of the recommendations will involve more effort as well as a monetary comment. Others are so simple you’ll probably wonder why you hadn’t been using them already.
Painting the office walls is neither simple nor quick, yet it is bound to have an effect on your and your employees attitude as well as efficiency. This brief article from Entrepreneur will give you a quick guide to which colors will serve your office best.
From eye strain to headaches and a few other glitches in-between, it seems that improper lighting is the likely culprit in many offices. The folks at Inc. mention five ways lighting can improve mood, productivity, and health. Their second point about making lighting more flexible is likely to be the least capital outlay for the most intrinsic gain.
The folks at PGi offer a bit of office temperature advice that might surprise you. Take a look. Even though they rely on scientific research to make their recommendation, you may wish to consider providing office scarves, sweaters, even blankets part of the year and a few of these gadgets during the summer months if you have two or more people sharing office space. BTW, the makers of the facial spray from Mario Badescu (mentioned in the link above) recommend keeping the spray in the refrigerator for “an extra refreshing and cooling boost.” And yes, since I live in the wilds of the Arizona desert I see that as a majorly good idea.
View and décor
Gloomy is as gloomy does. If your offices are dark or otherwise constrained, being efficient isn’t likely to be your strong point. Considering both the color and lighting advice above is a good starting point. From there, other simple ways to add to your view and décor are by bringing in plants, adding beautiful decorative objects, placing intriguing wall art, or simply placing framed photos of your loved ones on your desk. Do you have a small collection worth showing off? Consider displaying it in your office for your own as well as the enjoyment of visitors. If you have the funds and the desire to go all out, then by all means find an interior decorator who will understand your corporate identity and work with you to make all your interior spaces rock.
Lisa Evans over at Entrepreneur says, “Aromatherapy probably isn’t the first tool you think of to help boost your productivity and grow your business, but maybe it should be.” She goes on to describe various reasons for introducing scent into your office as well as ways to do so that won’t be offensive to others.
Stress balls and fidget spinners
OK, I saved this for last, because I like it – and it seemed like fun to me. Yet, I know what you may be thinking. What do non-productive gadgets have to do with efficiency? There is evidence that “stress toys” may actually help folks focus on their work. While the jury is still out, it may be worth the few dollars to pick up a stress toy (or 5 – depending on your office size *wink*) and give it a try. If “calm down” is the directive you’d like to give yourself or someone in your office, perhaps having a fidget widget nearby is an acceptable answer.
In the next part of this 3-part series we’ll delve into effective planning methods for becoming more efficient in your construction contracting office.
In the meantime, you can get in on the accounting service we provide (which comes with systems and processes as part of the package) by getting in touch here.