The UK construction sector is rated second when it comes to losing businesses due to insolvency, the Office of National Statistics flagged in 2018. Even for successful businesses, that’s a major indicator to look for alternative ways of doing things.

In the UK construction industry, £1,500 worth of time is spent on physical paperwork for every employee. That’s contributed to the sector becoming the least productive per person in the UK, and is why it’s more important than ever for businesses to adopt and implement fast track technologies to address basic inefficiencies. 

How much does paperwork cost in the construction industry?

The cost of paperwork to UK construction is startling. Construction workers spend an average of 90 hours a year, per employee, on paperwork. That’s over 2 weeks. This includes 40 hours reading paperwork, 38 more filling out forms and a staggering 14 hours searching for misplaced documents, according to a national study by YouGov.

When you consider the weekly average salary is £607, according to the Office of National Statistics, paperwork alone is costing the construction industry nearly £1,500 per employee each year. With those kinds of losses it’s easy to see why the sector is second for losing businesses to insolvency.

How much time is spent on Paperwork?

There is a vast quantity of workers throughout the construction sector who spend significant time (over 7 hours per month) on paperwork and 20% of them are stressed regarding the amount of paperwork they have to read and fill out.

More statistics from YouGov:

  • 23% of employees dedicate over 7 hours per month reading paperwork
  • 18% spend in excess of 7 hours making sure paperwork is complete
  • 4% spend 7 hours looking for misplaced paperwork 
  • 10% find trying to interpret other people’s handwriting stressful
  • 9% lack confidence they’re inputting the correct information in their forms
  • 13% are worried about keeping all paperwork together
  • 19% are stressed in case they lose important forms

How manual paperwork completion causes other stresses

As the traditional approach to form filling and paperwork in the UK construction industry provides a high workload, a new more flexible approach to which information is needed and how to update quickly and easily is required.

As they can’t be changed and edited quickly, static forms will often try an all out approach and contain all bases with information to cover many circumstances and eventualities. But this is to the detriment of efficiency because it means workers must sift through forms to decide what’s relevant. This approach has led to 20% of construction workers to report they’re often reading non relevant information for the work they’re trying to complete.

Just over 1 in 4 workers worry about not being able to change plans after they’ve shared them with colleagues. By not adopting new digital technologies, straightforward admin tasks are taking longer than they should, increasing the likelihood of outdated information being followed and resulting in unnecessary stress for workers. 

Leaving paperwork behind

For workers on jobs where unplanned downtime is common or where other factors can stop them from completing scheduled work, a move towards live information and clarity would go a long way in addressing the 19% of workers who feel they’re not completing the amount of work they say they are. There are 8% more who get stressed when they think about providing evidence of that work, when it was finished and how long it took. All these worries could be taken away with a platform that allowed all tasks to be logged, completed and shared quickly and easily.

OpsBase technology for the deskless workforce

The Opsbase platform allows you and your employees to have all your paperwork in one place, easily accessible, editable and shareable from any device. That means your checklists, compliance and audits are in the right hands at the right time. It means maximum efficiency, a reduction in errors, better planned maintenance and return on investment. If you would like to find out more, schedule a demo and start your free trial with OpsBase today.

Carmelo Ruggieri

Content Marketing Executive

Carmelo has years of experience in marketing, loves of all things tech and is a regular contributor to the OpsBase blog. He enjoys writing almost as much as he enjoys eating crunchy peanut butter and is likely to be found doing one or the other at any given point in time.

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