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How COVID-19 Changed Construction Workflows

Learn how construction companies adapted at the onset of COVID-19—and how this shift has continued to improve project documentation across the industry.

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At the start of 2020, the construction industry was forced to adapt for the COVID-19 global pandemic. While the initial outbreak and added protocols of COVID-19 may be past us, it continues to have an impact on construction workflows. Read on to learn some of the most significant changes we saw from the pandemic—and how you can continue to improve productivity and documentation.

1. Toolbox talks keep safety top of mind

The safety of your construction crew—and their families—will always be the main priority. That's why we saw a rise in Raken's toolbox tool feature at the start of the pandemic. In March 2020, 18% more toolbox talks were given than in the prior month of February. The top five toolbox talks given in March were:

  • COVID-19 & Other Communicable Diseases

  • Social Distancing for Protection

  • 3 Types of Poor Housekeeping Hazards

  • COVID-19 Worksite Safety

  • What to do if you develop symptoms

Consistent, timely safety trainings in construction are crucial to ensure employees are informed and aware of the latest precautions and protocols. The more organized and streamlined your safety documentation is, the more confident you can be that crews are practicing proper safety measures.

2. Daily reports document project progress

A staple to any construction project, daily report usage increased by 5% from February to March 2020. Documentation becomes especially critical during times of uncertainty—especially when projects are at risk of being delayed or even closed.

Notes that became especially important to include in daily reports during COVID-19 included:

  • Any issues or delays due to COVID-19

  • Any sick workers

  • Any orders to stop or resume work

  • Any extra safety protocols completed

  • Any supply chain delays in materials/equipment

3. Photos & attachments provide visual proof

March 2020 saw nearly 2 million attachments (including photos and videos) uploaded through Raken—that's 7% higher than the prior month of February.

Attaching photos, videos, and supporting documents to daily reports provides time-stamped evidence of exactly what happened (or didn't) and when. Having organized documentation of jobsite progress provides a level of protection for your company, which is especially needed during uncertain times where litigation may occir.

4. Production tracking improves data collection

In March 2020:

  • 8,605 material logs were added

  • 2,089 equipment logs were added

  • 11,000 time cards were added (31% more than in February)

All this information provides evidence protecting companies in case of future labor disputes. By digitally capturing this information with an easy-to-use tool, data accuracy and document organization improve.

5. Final takeaways to protect your business

While COVID-19 continues to be an ongoing reality, what should you be prioritizing in your business? Improving safety documentation, daily reporting, data collection, and production tracking will only help your business—even in a post-pandemic world.

You can still take steps to put your business in a better place, no matter what happens in the future. Technology can help with improving:

  • Added safety measures

  • Proper daily documentation

  • Jobsite progress evidence

  • Productivity data source of truth

Raken is a construction management software that's easy to use and helps your field teams collect (and store) better jobsite data.

Incorporating field-based technology means you:

  • Save time by receiving real-time field data

  • Track progress with digital time cards and material and equipment tracking

  • Improve safety with a library of toolbox talks

  • Get production tracking insights

  • Streamline documentation of project updated

  • Provide detailed evidence for any delays and potential impacts

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