Flexible hours in construction? BAM, Skanska and Willmott to trail, thoughts?

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Can construction really leap into the 21st century Bam Construct, Bam Nuttall, Skanska and Willmott Dixon think so and are trialling ways of making working hours more flexible on site.

The four large contractors are working with consultant Timewise on the Construction Pioneers programme which will be tested live on select sites.

Timewise experts will work with the quartet to trial new ways to structure and manage shifts for site roles which have traditionally been seen as impossible to manage flexibly.

Timewise CEO Emma Stewart commented saying: “Many people think flexible working in the construction industry, with its long hours culture, deadline-driven mentality and physical demands, is simply impossible.

“Timewise has been working with organisations in other industries, such as the NHS and the British Retail Consortium, who face similar challenges – and seen real change take hold.”

Insights from the 16 month trial will be shared  by trade body Build UK in a bid to tackle the industry’s long-hours culture, attract a more diverse talent pool and improve mental health.

Harvey Francis, Skanska Executive Vice President commented saying: “For too long our industry has struggled with how working patterns outside of the traditional norm can be accommodated.”

Executive Director Andrea Singh, of BAM Construct UK, said: “It has long been thought that making flexibility work on site is just too complicated.

“Our industry, however, has many creative teams and individuals who can solve the most challenging problems. Together we can, and will, find a solution.

“People are increasingly looking for flexible work so they can balance their home and work life for a variety of reasons.

“There’s huge benefits to be gained for people who need this flexibility in an industry which is facing severe skills shortages.”

Alasdair Henderson, BAM Global Director HR Business Partnering, said:Discovering ways of working flexibly, that successfully support employees, will help people stay in construction and engineering careers, and open these opportunities up for more people, unlocking barriers to increase diversity.”

Clare Williams, Head of People Operations at Willmott Dixon added: “We believe that helping our people to achieve a balance between their working life and personal life is central to their wellbeing.”