Time tracking in construction is not a new concept—the technology has been around for more than two decades, and the practice has been along longer than that. But are construction companies really leveraging the data that comes along with time tracking? Let’s take a look.
Naturally, one of the main reasons many construction firms track time is for payroll purposes—but the benefits extend much further than that.
Raken App sums the potential benefit up in one sentence: “The whole story, collected from the field.” Using the app, construction professionals can track time, safety talks, production, and more—all from a mobile device. This then compiles a log about who did what, where, and when, creating an accurate picture of what happened on the construction jobsite.
Here is why this is important. It is far too easy to tell ourselves stories about what happened in the past, but if we track our time, well, we have a more accurate visual of what really happened. This is one of five time-management principles in my new book, Becoming Resilient Parents—and it is perhaps one of the most critical ones that can be applied to the construction industry. If time blocking is what you intend to do with your time, time tracking is a look back at what actually happened with our time.
But first, let’s back up. Why track time (aside from payroll)? I think it is too easy to tell ourselves stories that sometimes aren’t true. Consider this example. If you travel for work, it is easy to say I never see my kids. But the reality might be you are gone three days, but then you are home with them four. Tracking your time gives you a clear picture of how you actually spent it.
Another benefit is it helps you identify timeslots that you might not know have existed. I have loosely tracked my time for two years and I was able to see there was an open spot every morning where my husband was home and could take care of the kids before he left for work. I put this time slot to good use.
Here are my questions. Are you using the data you are collecting on your jobsite to make realtime decisions about your labor? Can you identify opportunities that you didn’t know existed? Or are you simply funneling the data into your payroll system? With the labor shortage, I am not sure we can waste data that can be put to work for us.
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