Construction management is no longer able to ignore the benefits of Bring Your Own Device policies and the Cloud for staff retention.
Construction management is waking up to a new reality. For some time, the debate about the advantages of Cloud computing and Bring Your Own Device policies was framed purely in terms of costs to the business. A new factor is emerging that is more difficult to control – the attitude of staff who are increasingly used to carrying out both business and leisure tasks on their personal device.
According to a report by technology consulting firm Capgemini, BYOD is all about employee satisfaction and productivity – not business costs. The research cited the case of networking giant Cisco, which registered a 33% increase in employee satisfaction by enabling employees to use their personal smartphones and tablets – without paying a penny for the devices or service plans.
BYOD in the construction industry
The tech industry may have been among the first to realise that BYOD is a valued perk, but those working in construction management are not immune to the lure. With subcontractors spending most of their time on site, employees are increasingly reluctant to use two devices to carry out personal and business activity. If you want your staff to collaborate, they have to be able to connect on their personal devices.
Drawings, costs and work costs can all be entered on each user’s own device. This data, accessible by all parties in real time, can provide great benefit to businesses, but more importantly to staff. Using devices they are already comfortable with takes the stress out of the process of collaboration and increases their engagement with modern business processes.
BYOD and staff retention
Skills shortages in the construction management industry are no laughing matter. Staff are increasingly attracted by higher offers from rivals and jumping ship mid-project. The resulting wage inflation is only part of the story. Allowing staff to use their own device will often play a part in making them think twice about leaving. Would staff really be tempted to go to a firm that hasn’t got its act together in allowing them to get online in the way they want?
Cloud in the construction industry
Of course, for construction management firms, BYOD is intimately linked to the Cloud. Storing data on the web means that if staff do leave, then you are not faced with losing the institutional memory of a project – all the work carried out and prices paid are safely stored on your database. Increasingly sophisticated software allows firms to set access levels for different types of staff and contractors – making sure that your data is only seen by those who need to see it.
In situations where a contractor is required to use a cloud-based system favoured by the client, solutions are available that allow the data to be transferred to its own system painlessly. Storing such data centrally is not just about the life of the project – the data can provide valuable insight into the shape of projects for years to come. Just as importantly, it can also help you keep your staff happy and loyal.