Remote Work and Mobile Access in Construction

16 Jun 2021

Ruth Obazee
Ruth Obazee

The terms “remote work” and “work from home” are popular terms you probably have seen or heard frequently within the past few years. 

The digital age and the pandemic has brought about a successful overhaul of traditional jobs and how they were carried out. The remote work model applies to every industry worldwide which does not leave the construction industry out of it. 

In recent years, there have been more adoptions of digital technologies in the construction industry, from virtual reality (VR) to video conferencing, engineering software, Augmented Reality applications and many others.

This blog post expounds on the role of remote digital technologies in the construction industry.

Advantages of Remote Work Access for Construction Workers

  • In a widely conducted research, it was discovered that 77% of remote workers have reported greater productivity on their jobs. This has led to an exponential rise in the number of companies with remote work offers around the world compared to a few years ago, all pointing to the proof that they are experiencing positive results from the remote work model.
  • One major aspect of life that construction workers in the field tend to overlook: overall health. The flexibility that remote work and mobile access offer includes a reduction in work stress, and the ability for workers to take their health a lot more seriously. 

Applications of Digital Technologies in the Construction Industry

*Real-Time Site Inspections

  1. Drones: This remote technology has seen more adoptions in recent years, particularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They help with accessing construction sites that would be physically difficult by foot or vehicle. Workers can also with this technology, get a general view of an area and identify potential features of concern. 
    The construction team on a project can review the site remotely when connected via an interface. Investigations can also be carried out in cases of flooding, chemical releases and similar incidents.

  1. Smart Glasses: These high-tech wearables support augmented-reality experiences by allowing remote participants to view content and imagery. They are great for site inspections, data recording and interactive sessions.
    Smart glasses have an edge over cell phones which perform similar actions, as they can work without access to the internet and also store data more securely.

*Virtual Measurements

  1. Google’s “Measure” App: If you have a modern smartphone, which I’m sure you do, there is a likelihood that you can measure an object without even touching it. Say hello to Augmented Reality!
  2.           In instances where it is difficult to come across a tape measure, or the object is quite hard to measure with a tape or ruler, this app would come in handy. Upon app download, include access to camera and storage, set the pointer at the desired location and move to capture the whole object as desired. However, the Measure App provides estimated results that are not as precise as when working with a measuring tape. It’s available on the iOS App Store.

  1. The AirMeasure app: The beautiful thing about this app is that it comes with extra bonuses: you can get the total length of a 3D path walkway, find the TV size that fits your wall before purchase, and an On-Screen Ruler for measuring small items. This is  available on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

*Augmented Reality Technologies

Augmented Reality applications provide construction team members with accurate versions of proposed work that are otherwise complex to understand with drawings. They also reduce the possibility of errors and improve the execution processes of projects. 

Team members who are involved in the inspection and management of site works benefit from the use of AR applications, which include:

  1. The AR Sketchwalk by Morpholio: This tool makes it easier for professionals to bring their floor plans and sketches to life. The experience gives you a real sense of how your space will feel upon completion and lets you decide if this works for you. Clients can also join by installing the app and enjoying the virtual experience.
  1. GAMMA AR: This application uses AR technology to overlay 3D structures. This way, construction professionals can compare the reality of the project with the information given. This helps by reducing/eliminating unforeseen costs, and avoiding on-the-job errors.

*Automation in construction

The Building Estimator

With the rise of automated technologies like The Building Estimator that provides a quick and easy solution for material and labour requirements in Nigeria, the construction work process is easier for workers in the field who need some burdens handled with technology.

These remote digital technologies for the construction industry can provide succor for professionals, and also improve their professional relationships with clients and contractors. 

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