I thought it was an appropriate time to write another blog following on from the G4C Virtual Tour 2020 launch, which I attended. I would like to say a massive well done and thanks to our co-chairs Ruth & Caroline and Alison from BRE, for hosting! I have to say it was one of the best conferences I have ever attended, and I loved speaking to so many amazing G4C members nationally for the first time and people joining forces with G4C in this annual conference. It was great to speak to people of all ages and experiences, all working for the same goal of pushing for a change in our industry to make it a better place for the next generation.
There was so many great points made, and some amazing ideas discussed during the conference, but a few of the main points which were raised which we all felt could be looked at and a few which I think are very important to look at: –
- Culture change / well-being
Culture change / Well-being
Covid-19 has interrupted everyone’s normal day to day lives. I think one thing this time in isolation has helped within our industry is a change in culture and more thought about people’s well-being.
Before Covid-19, I am pretty sure there would have been reluctance from a lot of employers to let their employees work from home for large periods in time, for reasons such as a lack of trust that their employees would be doing their work as efficiently at home. I think forcing employers to have to let employees out their sights and working from home has created a better working relationship between bosses and employees. In a few months’ time, I am fairly sure the statistics will still show high levels of working efficiency within businesses . Coupled with closer working relationships and higher levels of trust, this can surely only be a positive?
Furthermore, I feel these times in isolation has made people more aware of everyone’s well-being. Before all this happened, I think sometimes people lived in their fast-paced bubble too much and sometimes, though not purposely, it may be harder to see or miss if someone is struggling. We cannot not go back to this mentality when more normal times come back. Why can’t you still ring and video call people regularly to see if they are ok? Why can’t you have weekly/daily video call meetings with everyone in your business/department to check everyone ok? Personally I can say the conversations I have had with my bosses, directors, employees and people within this industry has made me appreciate how wonderful this industry can be and got me through these challenging times. So, don’t stop now, continue these calls and continue building these relationships and improving everyone’s well-being in return!!
I work for a building contractor as an estimator. With regards procurement, it was interesting to hear the opposite side’s comments from a public sector employer point of view. It highlighted to me that there are always two sides to procurement and sometimes the lack of understanding from either side can lead to a mentality of “us against them”. Sometimes clients may feel contractors are trying to exploit too much profit from projects when their price comes in miles over what the client expects and a lot of the time that is not the case and it’s what the market cost is. Similarly, there can be a lack of trust from contractors that clients are too demanding and expecting too much from contractors, leading for contractors being pushed into completing projects in less time than it should take and for less profit than it should be. One issue which seems to form these break downs in relationships in procurement is cost. Maybe looking and pushing for procurement routes which engage client working more closely with contractors from the start and taking cost out of the equations to procure projects may lead to better relationships from top to bottom. This could then lead to better quality workmanship done on site and in the end leaving a client happy with the final product. We’re looking forward to looking at this further through the G4C Virtual Project.
One key thing which recent times has highlighted to everyone is the need for a change in embracing new technology. One simple thing which has changed recently is the use of meetings through the use of apps like Zoom and Teams. This has shown to everyone how much time is wasted travelling to meetings which can be done over these formats as well as how much everyone has saved on their carbon footprint not travelling to meetings which can be done just as effectively using these formats. Everyone should be embracing this technology and striving for a change in reducing company’s carbon footprint and leading to less time wasted during the day travelling to meetings.
However, we also considered the issue that, at the moment many companies, simply don’t have the money to invest in technology. We have seen in other industries how much technology has advanced things such as the manufacturing industry for example. In the long term this needs to happen in the construction and built environment.
During the virtual launch divided into teams, each team consisting of members from different regional G4C members and committees as well as different companies within our industry- the variety of people involved is great to see! Each team will pick a topic to look at more closely and feedback our findings on ways to push for a change..
I am so excited to start working in my mini team consisting of people from G4C North West, G4C Oxford and people from all different roles within our industry. I am looking forward to reading, seeing and listening to all the different teams’ findings on how they feel we should be pushing for a change within our industry. Collectively this is going to be an amazing project, in which I hope it highlights a way to push for a change in our industry to make it an industry fit for the future and more importantly a better one for the next generation.
Keep your eyes peeled for all the information coming out from the G4C Virtual Project 2020 from all the teams.
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