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A project to test different forms of flexible working in on-site construction jobs has shown a boost in wellbeing and trust.
Flexible working pilot projects in frontline construction jobs boost wellbeing and family life, lead to greater appetite for flexible working and a greater sense of trust, ownership and a better team dynamic with no negative impact on budgets or timeframes, according to a new study.
The study is based on the Timewise Construction Pioneers programme, an 18-month project that has re-designed shift patterns in onsite roles, to enable more flexible working, enhanced wellbeing and improved work-life balance. Participants were BAM Construct, BAM Nuttall, Skanska UK and Willmott Dixon. The pilots ran between June 2020 and February 2021.
The aim was to test whether it is possible to improve the wellbeing of those working on site through changing the hours and times of working, as well as considering home-based working where possible, and to do so without budgets or deadlines being affected, across a range of sites and projects. The pilots took place in a range of locations, from an HS2 site in London through to a substation build near Weston Super Mare, amongst teams employing between 14 and 120 workers.
In addition to wellbeing, the case for the project included decreased absence rates and greater gender equality.
Timewise used a system it has developed for location-based roles which need to cover a long working day – which it calls the ‘shift-life balance’ model. It tested different types of flexible working across the different sites:
The flexible working pilot project achieved the following: