Flexible working could bring health benefits for workers

A new study is looking into the potential effects of flexible working within the construction industry.

Bam Construct, Bam Nuttall, Skanska and Willmott Dixon are taking part in the Construction Pioneers Programme, described as a ‘first of its kind’ in the sector, which is being led by Build UK together with workplace consultancy Timewise.

The programme has been designed for businesses that seek to maximise the productivity benefits of flexibility and diversity. 

The four contractors will run live on-site pilots, with the study expected to lead to recommendations which could help shape the industry’s future approach to the subject.

Emma Stewart MBE, CEO and co-founder of Timewise said, “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. Improving flexible working is a key way in which to tackle a whole range of key workforce and skills challenges. We’re delighted to be working with our inaugural Construction Pioneers to test and share how to make flexible working truly work in construction.”

 Andrea Singh, executive director for BAM commented, “Creating solutions that would give us the ability to offer more flexible working arrangements would bring so many benefits. 

“Our work/life balance affects our mental health and our personal wellbeing. Our industry places high demands on our people and too many have struggled to cope with mental health pressures as a result.  

“In the most extreme cases this can lead to catastrophic outcomes. We need to find better answers, helping our teams achieve a better balance and reaping the rewards that this will bring on both personal and business levels.

“For the first time ever this study will tackle the challenges to achieving flexible working on site and propose practical ways forward. I’m really excited that BAM are a part of this and look forward to finding solutions which will benefit our employees and shape the wider industry.”