While there is considerable research performed in the construction industry on the loss of productivity after a 5 day / 8 hour a day work week there is very little research exploring productivity with fewer work hours. Other industries have shown that they are more productive working shorter weekly schedules. Indeed, if we can produce a quality product with fewer resources, value stream is improved and a leaner process executed. More importantly, if we can be safer and improve quality of life we are achieving the most important tenant of lean, respect for people. To reinforce such notion, data shows that the US is 3% less productive than the other top 10 most productive countries in the world even though the US workforce works 21% more hours. Several countries, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, who work 29 and 33 hours per week, respectively, have a higher quality of life and have similar or higher productivity. This paper presents both a theoretical basis for alternative work schedules in construction as well as the results of a survey administered to trade contractor personnel, illustrating the potential safety benefits of a schedule change.
Productivity, quality of life, safety, alternative work schedules (AWS), waste.
Nikolin, B. , Herrera, J. , McCready, T. , Grau, D. & Parrish, K. 2015, 'A Call for New Research in the Lean Construction Community: Alternative Work Schedules' In:, Seppänen, O., González, V. A. & Arroyo, P., 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Perth, Australia, 29-31 Jul 2015. pp 435-443