Discover Accurate Labor Productivity Formulas for Construction
Creating accurate projections of the expenses needed to complete a construction project is hugely important to running a profitable contractor firm. There are some variables that are difficult to calculate, however, which makes the entire process of tracking—and improving—productivity challenging.
One such tricky matter is labor productivity. Finding an exact figure for labor utilization is generally an imprecise science, as there are inevitable inconsistencies in the human factors of construction work. The primary way to make this process less demanding for your organization and get labor utilization data you can use in your overall projections and calculations is to invest in new construction management software.
While it is difficult to create a clear framework to calculate construction labor utilization rates, experts have attempted to do so over the years. Inspecting these formulas can demonstrate how imprecise calculations of construction productivity have historically been while also pointing out the elements that need to be considered in calculating labor utilization.
Accounting for 17 Variables
The University of Warsaw researchers also noted the impact of individual human factors on productivity: How can a mathematical model determine the relative efficiency of a construction worker when each employee is a human being with unique preferences, traits and abilities? Add in the impact of environmental and other external factors on the progress of construction work and it becomes clear there is no 100% accurate way to craft a numerical model for completing work on the jobsite.
In the end, the Warsaw team developed a 17-factor model of efficiency, spanning everything from the day of the week to the temperature of the jobsite and the level of organization present. While the calculations proved relatively useful in initial testing, the complexity of the model mostly serves to demonstrate just how many factors go into determining relative productivity on any given day.
Developing a 3-Factor Model
A second attempt at creating a labor utilization formula, this one presented at the Seminar on Industrial Engineering and Management, tied the ability to predict worker efficiency to the final quality of construction projects and used three variables to determine the contribution of a worker: effective working time, contributory working time and ineffective working time.
The authors of this study noted some of the same difficulties that faced the other team. The researchers also noted that unlike another industry where measures of productivity are important— manufacturing—construction work can’t be broken down into standardized and repetitive tasks.
Useful Technology Deployments for Intelligent Team Utilization
The real-time flow of information between the jobsite and the office is not a speculative feature. If you use the right ECM solution, namely one purpose-built for the needs of the construction space, you can enable this high level of information visibility and utilization now. Accurate and frequently updated information on labor utilization can deliver insights that are actionable in the moment to get your projects completed more efficiently.