Overtime costs can be expensive and hard to navigate. Can new technologies help home builders better manage shift workers and budgeting?

For any construction company, managing workers’ schedules can be a headache. These issues become even more problematic when workers start reporting a lot of overtime hours, meaning you have to pay them even more for that extra time (one-and-a-half times their normal pay for any hours worked over 40 per week).

These costs can add up fast and affect your company’s bottom line in a big way. That’s the bad news. The good news is that new technologies may be able to help.

New apps and programs can assist you and your team with scheduling and budgeting. These tools will help you ensure that you aren’t spending more than necessary on overtime and will even allow workers to better manage their hours. Once you’re able to analyze your business’s trends in worker shifts and spending, you can then make necessary changes to improve outcomes.

Scheduling apps

As the technological landscape continues to change, home builders have to keep up to remain efficient and competitive. A great place to start is implementing new programs and software for employee communication and scheduling purposes.

One example of an app that’s been gaining traction for businesses that hire shift workers is ShedWool, which is set to be released throughout the country after an initial release in the Chicago area. This scheduling app allows workers and managers to manage and update schedules from any mobile device. Construction firms are already using the app, and companies have been reporting that the program saves them hundreds and thousands of dollars.

The success of such an app shows that once organizations can actually visualize schedules, shifts, and potential for overtime, they’re much more prepared to create future shifts and staffing. And, with everyone able to access schedules from anywhere, it makes it a lot simpler to make alterations and keep employees and managers on the same page at all times.

Company data analyzation software

Another way to use what’s already happening in an organization for improvement is to analyze past shift and overtime data. By implementing a program in daily operations such as Buildertrend, or other software focused on assisting construction companies, contractors, builders, and remodelers, you can analyze when workers are working overtime the most and what kinds of projects require more hours.

Buildertrend can also provide budgeting solutions, as it can be integrated with QuickBooks and other helpful spend-tracking and planning programs. The key is to closely monitor spending and scheduling behavior using these advanced software programs, and then make necessary changes or cutbacks. Utilizing your business’s history in this way will improve and streamline processes moving forward.

With this information in hand about your business, you will be able to reassign tasks if necessary, or even take a look at why your current systems in place are not working effectively at certain times.

You have the information – now what?

Maybe you’ve decided to invest in one or more of these software programs to help track spending and analyze scheduling trends. Now, you need to make changes that will impact overtime spending.

Software Advice suggests that if you notice trends in overtime projects or tasks, you can cross-train workers so that they can more efficiently fulfill every requirement of a project. Having more experienced employees who can do more than one specialized task can save you money in the end.

Another option to avoid expensive overtime hours for shift workers is to hire independent contractors for the extra work you need on a case-by-case basis. These contract workers are not always subject to the legal overtime requirements, although this tactic should be used sparingly since independent contractors can still be expensive.

And, as more people in the workforce continue to start side gigs and freelancing careers, legislation may force companies to treat these workers as regular employees. Intuit research revealed that by 2020, 7.6 million Americans will be part of the on-demand economy.

Lastly, make sure you communicate with workers about overtime expectations. You want to limit overtime hours that aren’t absolutely necessary, and you can have managers monitor workers who are putting in a lot of overtime.

But another thing to be cautious about is when workers start working overtime and not tracking those hours. They may think it’s easier to not report the hours, but it could end up getting your business into trouble. Those employees you think are trying to help you could end up having a bad experience and later claim that they weren’t compensated fairly.

If you have additional questions about managing your workers’ schedules and your budgeting tactics, get in touch with us at No Boundaries Advisors. We offer advisory services as well as financing review and acquisition services to help you stay on top of your spending.

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