22 January 2021

Resisting the inevitable - how paperwork is holding the construction industry back

Construction worker on tablet

Within the construction industry, there has been a long-held resistance to digital transformation, that could be related to the aging workforce in this sector as 32% of construction workers are over 50, but the resistance could also be due to a mentality towards “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

Construction digital transformation and new technology not only helps to keep a workforce connected but can increasingly attract the digitally-savvy generation to the jobs market. This is increasingly important within construction for employers to keep hard-to-recruit specialist skills within their organisation.

Ensuring construction organisations have the correct tools in place to make their workers’ admin simpler, giving them more time to focus on the job at hand is increasingly important. By providing online training and development tools, digital timesheets and job sheets, and automated processes, you can help engage your employees at work, keeping them satisfied in their job, which is a crucial element to retaining your workers. With an industry employee turnover rate of 29.5% according to the Office of National Statistics, based on the turnover rate it could cost organisations over £310,000 a year. Having the right tools to ensure employee satisfaction is critical for saving time searching for skilled workers and saving money in recruitment and training costs.


Drowning in paperwork


Admin and paperwork can take up a lot of a construction worker’s time. According to HR News, supervisors admitted that their available working time had halved due to various meetings and admin tasks, which leaves very little time to manage the performance and safety of their teams. This can lead to disastrous problems, such as health and safety failings, compliance breaches, and unhappy customers if the job wasn’t to a high standard, affecting an organisation’s reputation.

Job sheets

Paper job sheets cause employees hassle and stress as it can’t be edited and changed once they have been written, meaning field workers have to complete a new sheet every time anything changes on the job or if they enter anything incorrectly. This doubles their time spent on admin tasks rather than focusing on the job and causes 21% of workers to feel stressed at work according to Build.


Previous research found that over 50% of organisations are still using paper timesheets, which can lead to spending an extra £1,500 a year per employee. Not only is this an expensive and time-consuming task, but it can also lead to employees making fraudulent timesheets resulting in time theft. Employees can fill out their timesheets for the week just in time for payroll whether that is weekly or monthly. This can lead to them having to remember the start and finish times, days when they worked overtime, and days when they left early. When workers add in a few hours here and there they start to add up over the year. Construction organisations that implement a digital timesheet platform spent 2% less on employees’ annual wages on average.


Not only do supervisors get bombarded with paper admin daily from ongoing jobs but training new starters and reskilling workers also requires a considerable amount of admin, sometimes resulting in workers not getting the correct training before starting a job.

How can digital platforms remove your paper nightmare?

Using an integrated workforce management system as part of your HR and payroll solution supports your supervisors with rostering, automated timesheets, absence management, training and development, and processing flexi-time and TOIL, helping to reduce the administrative burden to let them focus on their team and the execution of the job.


Could there be a change around the corner?

We can see some change in the construction industry, with 61% of workers admitting to always carrying around a smartphone with them at work and 34% carrying around digital copies of work documents. This would allow organisations to integrate mobile and desktop-friendly HR software that allows their workers to carry around all the appropriate documents with them from site to site. This also ensures they don’t waste time looking for misplaced or forgotten documents and can simply search and find the relevant documents they need.

Only 7% of construction workers say they would resist using new software, even if it was more suitable for their job. With such a small percentage it shows that the industry has a willingness to change. What better time is there than now?


Digital transformation solutions to help you move forward

With workers carrying their smartphones around whilst on-site, they can access a wide range of websites, apps, and tools at a click of a button. Why should HR and payroll be any different?

Our construction HR and payroll solutions not only reduce the burden of paper admin but help increase accuracy, organisation’s resilience, and flexibility. Our workforce management systems are available as part of an integrated HR and payroll solution, allowing you to create and edit rosters, supported by digital clock-ins to analyse your planned work times with actual time worked, and automatically sending this information straight to payroll – no need to enter the data into multiple systems! Our solutions ensure your payroll is accurate and always delivered on time no matter an employee’s wage or location, whilst keeping everyone connected, making it easier to manage your workforce.  

Keep employees engaged and productive with our solutions, including the only integrated HR and payroll platform on the market to include social, collaboration, and communication tools alongside the standard HR and payroll features you need.  You can get rid of multiple platforms and reduce your workload. Our solutions are available via mobile, tablet, or desktop 24/7, meaning workers can communicate with each other from anywhere at any time. With a great user interface, it’s easy to use and requires minimal training for employees, meaning it can be easily implemented into your organisation.

Our iTrent Learning Management Suite (LMS) uses auto-enrolment features so you can define your criteria for enrolment and the system will automatically invite and enroll any employees that fit the criteria set by you. Our system also highlights single points of failure, where only one person holds critical knowledge on particular topics and processes. Using our iTrent Learning Suite we can help train and develop your workers in an online environment without the pain of admin. We have thousands of courses to choose from all-in-one place, including health and safety, compliance, management, and many more. Ensuring there is always someone on-site with training to manage the team and any changes or accidents that might occur whilst working. 

Ellena Frost

Ellena Frost

Ellena is a Field Marketing Manager at MHR.

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