The cost of unproductive time on a job site can be enormous to a contractor who does not take notice. Contractors tend to focus on the end results of their projects or their year-end numbers and use them as metrics on how the company is doing. Although those numbers tell you how the company did overall, I believe your results can greatly improve if you focus more on the process.
Keeping track of unproductive time can help you discover problems earlier, allowing you to resolve them sooner. It can also improve job-site labor hours and the overall financials of the company. Nonproductive time can affect your employee morale as well. There is often a feeling of satisfaction at the end of a productive day. In my experience, when employees understand the full cost of an hour's work (including payroll, taxes, workers' compensation, health insurance, etc.), they realize how much 10 minutes of unproductive time here and there can add up and why the company has expectations of them.
When looking at productivity, keep in mind the scope of work and the time it takes to perform the task. Assessing productivity in three categories—normal, perfect, and attainable—can help discern if a plan of action needs to be taken. I define the categories as follows:
Below are some areas where unproductive time can be found:
Training employees on productivity and investing in their education can benefit your company and lead to higher quality work, fewer accidents, and less rework.