Job-site camaraderie can be an enjoyable part of working in construction. It promotes a sense of fellowship and can lead to long-lasting friendships. And when people work together, they can accomplish much more.
In my experience, there are six aspects of healthy job-site camaraderie.
Respect. Skilled tradespeople are experienced in their own scope of work. A carpenter is not going to instruct an electrical contractor how to wire a circuit nor is a drywall contractor going to show a concrete person how to finish concrete. Knowing you are part of a team of professionals becomes a driving force in respecting others.
Process. Construction work is often performed in a series of steps—a process. As we learn the process of a project, we schedule our activities around it. A project schedule helps visualize the process, bringing order and reducing confusion. Great organizational skills by management can enhance camaraderie and reduce stress for everyone.
Communication. Workers want to know information that is pertinent to their scope of work. Have any changes been made? Are we still on schedule? Will the owner’s supplied equipment arrive on time? Have the change orders been approved? Poor communication can hinder camaraderie.
Safety. Creating a safe work environment is everyone’s responsibility. When workers embrace their responsibility for safety, it shows concern for the well-being of those around them. Tradespeople do not like having unsafe workers on site. Proper safety training for all job-site employees should never be compromised.
Lightheartedness. With the demands of the job and staying on schedule, connecting with coworkers during breaks can be a nice change of pace. Getting to know others on the job site can help build relationships and improve camaraderie. This can be achieved even with social distancing.
Gratitude. It takes a team of skilled tradespeople to complete a successful construction project. The painter pulls out the beauty of the carpenter’s woodwork with their great finishes. The professional concrete work makes the tile layer's job easier. Accurate framing of walls makes soffits, cabinets, doors, and trim fit perfectly. Even the acoustical ceiling and lighting fixtures can display the beauty of everyone’s work in a store's showroom.
Strong relationships between the tradespeople, staff, and management enhance the overall outcome of a project in many ways. Construction jobs can have their challenges. But most would agree—camaraderie makes work much more enjoyable.