Smartphone adoption has continued to rise, with a recent Deloitte survey finding 85 per cent of Australians now own a smartphone. The near ubiquity of smartphones has empowered construction industry professionals to improve efficiencies in their workflow and streamline time spent on administrative tasks.
Jobsite ANZ spoke exclusively with Jason Spaull, Director of Coastal Asbestos Removal, about the evolution of mobiles and smartphones on the construction site.
Spaull has over 30 years’ experience in the asbestos removal industry and is the developer of Australia's first asbestos management plan specifically designed for residential property managers.
A New Approach to Mobile Phones
“ I remember the old car phones that were hooked up to the car horns, and then the first handsets that had to carry a car battery around with them. "
Mobile phones weren’t always as powerful and sophisticated as the smartphones available today. Even as recently as ten years ago, construction workers and project managers that did have mobile phones could make calls easily enough. However, all paperwork, scheduling, invoicing, and project management still had to be done by hand — there were virtually no apps for that.
“I have been in the construction industry since the inception of the mobile phone. I remember the old car phones that were hooked up to the car horns, and then the first handsets that had to carry a car battery around with them. I was only an apprentice when those ones came out,” said Spaull.
Smartphone = Mobile Office
Smartphones and mobile devices have become an integral part of workflow on construction sites around the world. Every worker on every job site can immediately access any information relevant to their responsibilities and receive real-time updates through instant communication. All thanks to mobile devices.
“I use my phone for the whole business, now that we use job management software and accountancy software. I have actually gotten rid of my paper diary for the first time in over 20 years. I still can't believe it,” commented Spaull.
The full power of the smartphone is realised when it is integrated with other smart accessories and software.
“My phone has also turned into a mobile office and my personal assistant. It is linked to my Apple Watch and alerts me to what is going on. It even keeps me on time for appointments, and the GPS app can easily send me to a job site.”
A Mobile-First Solution for a Safer Workplace
A mobile-first experience on construction sites means that everyone, from project managers, engineers, contractors and beyond, can access information in a pinch.
“I use my phone for the whole business, now that we use job management software and accountancy software. I still can't believe it."
Mobiles may help with job-site safety, a crucial consideration for every industry.
Knowing why something happened, or almost happened, is key for proactive safety management and improving worker safety. Should a workplace accident occur, having smartphones at hand allows construction teams to document incidents via a user-friendly mobile form.
When asked about how his business would fare without his smartphone, Spaull said, “We could not run the business without it. All my team is connected by this as well. We can even get paid for jobs with our phone — there is pretty much nothing it can’t do.”
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