I woke up very early this morning so that I could get a jump start on all the work projects that need to get done before the Thanksgiving weekend.  As I tiptoed down the hallway, the rumbling little snores of 6 children made me smile.  Yep, I am thankful for many things … but especially family and friends.  I wish you the best this Thanksgiving Holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving

If you are traveling by vehicle this weekend, did you know that road construction projects in many states take a holiday, too?  For example, The Tennessee Department of Transportation is halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes this weekend from noon on Wednesday, November 24 until 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 29.

The lane closures certainly help alleviate some of the traffic congestion this week.  However, it will also impact all of the construction activities and project schedules.  When preparing the construction schedule for the holidays, here are a few tips: 

  • Remember to include the public holidays and extended days. You would be surprised that regular holidays are sometimes left out of the schedule.  It is equally important to account for extended days, even where the public holiday may only be one day.
  • Move critical tasks before or after the holidays. Distractions during this time will undoubtedly affect morale, concentration and longevity. People want to be with their families and productivity often suffers.
  • Account for lighter days beginning the second week in December. While you don’t have to write off the entire month of December, a realistic schedule of work allocates a lesser number of hours per day as your approach year end.
  • Encourage your project team to hit goals during limited work times. The project manager is not going to get very far by pressuring the team with threats and commands. Instead, create an incentive for productivity—i.e., perhaps a shopping gift card or gift certificate for a restaurant.

Some project managers, consultants and experts allocate seven hours in a regular day because workers realistically are not productive for a full eight hours. The best way to ensure quality work from your construction employees during the holidays is to plan for the inevitable loss of productivity.

Image: amy.sept