New Ways of Working
For many, the last 3 months of working from home is unchartered territory. No truer is this for the construction and engineering industry. The practical, team led, nature of our work has meant that the industry has been the long-standing stalwart of early morning commuters. The poster child of the “going to work outside” tribe. So much so that a report by Leesman found that of the 20,000 UK construction and engineering employees interviewed, over 50% had no working from home experience. Fast forward 3 months and the UK’s largest infrastructure projects are being delivered from living rooms and garden sheds.
SRC Infrastructure is at the forefront of this change, with our people continuing to support the delivery of the country’s major infrastructure programmes, including; Crossrail, TfL’s Northern Line Extension, and Sadiq Khan’s Mayoral “Step Free Access” Pledge scheme.
Our expertise has provided us with the opportunity to shape how the infrastructure industry looks at remote working. We use the latest platforms to ensure that we can communicate as effectively as possible, and actively encourage the use of audio and video software to share ideas, make change, and bring projects forward. On the London Underground, we have engineers turning Sadiq Khan’s Mayoral Pledge to make 38% of the tube network step free by 2024 (compared to 28% in 2018), into a reality, all from the safety of their living rooms.
It is not only working from home that’s changed in recent months. What were once “normal” ways of working on site have needed to be re-thought, re-designed and re-implemented to make sure that no activity compromises the safety, health and wellbeing of those on site. In several instances our team has supported clients develop and maintain safe ways of working, for example on TfL’s Northern Line Extension.
The rapid successes that our teams have had in implementing new ways working, whilst navigating this novel environment, shines a light on the industry’s agility to embrace technological change. As well as our usual drive to innovate and develop the construction products we specify and recommend, we’ve found that there are significant benefits in innovating our, and our clients, engineering processes.
Certainly, the last few months have underlined how out-dated our industry’s “normal" ways of working have been. At SRC Infrastructure however, we see how important change to the status quo has been and can continue to be. Despite all our efforts, digitalisation of the industry has been a long way behind other sectors, but perhaps now is our opportunity to learn about, talk about, and ultimately embrace innovative ways of working – on site and at home.