As the majority of construction teams have transitioned to a remote work environment and handle most of the day-to-day virtually, more time has been freed up during the day. In the midst of all the craziness going on around us, this could be a great opportunity. Most of us have been granted more time in the day to knock out tasks that have kept falling to the wayside. In this post, we explore some of the opportunities that will have a positive impact on your job.
1. Consolidate data
Knowing you have multiple spreadsheets of data and various reporting dashboards spread around across different devices can be stressful in itself. But there is often a need for extracting the information they contain at any given time, posing a potential nightmare of administrative work. Consolidating these reports and dashboards into one will make your life a whole lot easier. There is no better time than now to grab the bull by its horns and get it done. Use an extra hour each day to consolidate your data and you will be thanking yourself in the future. Similarly, if you know you have audit checks to prepare for, now is an excellent time to prepare the necessary information. This will spare you the headache further down the line.
2. Study your field and best practices
Know your craft. This is an excellent opportunity to take a plunge into your area of expertise; for example the intricacies of managing the impact of the construction environment. How long ago was it since you updated your knowledge on environmental legislation? Do you know what your competitors are doing to curb costs or manage carbon? Use this time to select a few topics that relate to your specific area of expertise and dive into it. Update your knowledge on what current best practices are and make an honest comparison to how your team or organisation is operating. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to use your additional time to do this, but think of the benefit you will reap once you return back to the site with a new outlook on the construction environment.
3. Refine your skills
Taking a cold hard look at the skills your job requires and identifying where you lack can be a challenge in itself. Nobody likes digging into what they are not good at. Fortunately this time at home presents a great opportunity to really explore areas of your job that you would like to improve. Even if you can’t find any apparent weaknesses, why not take this time to proactively improve on something that will help you do a better job once things return back to normal?
4. Review your environmental impact
This crisis has caused most of us to reflect upon our lives, how we consume, and how we treat our planet. Many people have used this time to reconsider their values and determining what they are going to do to move towards a more sustainable and harmonious world once this is over. Why not do something similar, and very practical, if you are in the construction industry? To ensure you hit the ground running once this is all over, spending some time reflecting on what’s not working, where are the opportunities to have a positive impact? Sharing ideas with colleagues on how to improve process now, and on your return can open up new opportunities for creativity and more sustainable ways of working.
5. Network online
Right now, we are all in the same boat. Everyone is at home trying to adjust to remote working and everyone has a lot more time on their hands. Why not use this situation to connect with professionals in your field? There is so much to be learned from connecting with peers on the internet. Have a look through LinkedIn and send a few honest connection requests to people. Ask them if they want to join you for a virtual cup of coffee. Reflecting on the current state of the world with likeminded individuals and sharing your thoughts and ideas can be both informative and soothing. It reminds you that you aren’t alone in these crazy times. This can also help you build your professional network for when we return to business as usual. If you aren’t sure where to start, try joining a few webinars (there are plenty webinars being hosted in all fields) and connect with other attendees.
In the end, this unprecedented time becomes what we make of it. We might as take advantage of this time and stretch ourselves a little bit. Try new things, meet new people (virtually), or learn new skills. It’s all up to us how we respond in times of distress. Just remember, you aren’t alone in the uncertainty. Stay safe and enjoy the additional time you’ve been gifted!