Discuss the reasons why modern organisations engaged in the construction and property industries should use work study in their business.
Write an essay of between 900–1,000 words with the following title:
Discuss the reasons why modern organisations engaged in the construction and property industries should use ‘work study’ in their business.
The reasons why a modern organisation should use ‘work study’ in their business can be determined because of the potential benefits it can provide to the efficient running of the organisation.
Work study is the systematic study of processes or operations to ensure the more efficient use of human and resources that are available. It is also known as the time/motion study and since its introduction; it has developed the course of instituting standard times with the motion study improving work methods by involving different techniques. With the refining and integration of these two techniques it become a generally accepted method for the improvement and advancement in work processes and systems that are used within the construction and property industries as well as many others involved in production. The quantitative analysis of time study leads to establishing a time standard. The qualitative analysis for motion study of a work station leads to the improvement or design of an activity or operation. Work study resulted from amalgamating concepts and practices which were developed by F.W. Taylor and by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth.
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The aspects that are important in the work study are the evaluation of human work, work measurement techniques are designed to create how long it will take a qualified worker to perform a specific job at a certain level of performance. Construction and property companies can use the work study to establish the necessity for the process of estimating labour, necessary remuneration and incentives for staff. The basic approach to this method will incorporate the procedure of: Select (The work to be studied), Record (The relevant facts), Examine (the facts critically), Develop (the most effective method), Install (the new method) and Maintain (by performing regular checks).
Work study is used to show the required effort and time that is required to perform particular tasks and when more efficient ways of doing the task. The task can usually be broken down into different motions and how long an average worker takes to perform these motions is then measured by using a camera and stop watch.
It can be seen from the history of work study that the methods of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth sort out to find the best method of doing a specific job, in his experience of bricklaying he noticed his instructor was using three different set of motions when laying bricks, when he started his own business he introduced several procedures which improved the motion pattern and increased productivity from 120 bricks laid per hour up to 350.
In my line of work we carry out surveys on behalf of institutions such as the NHS for space and usage, by using a form of the work study over a period of between a week and a month we analyse the occupancy of the rooms and whether they are empty, under, fully or over used. Once this information has been collected, collated and analysed then we can see where savings for the particular trust can be made.
This can be based upon economic, technical or human conditions, whether they are planning on downsizing/merging or moving to larger premises, whether the space is fully utilised or if it is up to the minimum requirements for standard working conditions. A rating can then be identified for each aspect and other reviews are compared allowing for decisions to be made and improvements can then be implemented. The results of the study can be integrated into the time and effectiveness of how people use their time and whether or not it is fully utilised and then whether there are better working practice methods that can be identified and implemented.
By integrating this approach to improve the work system which is known as methods engineering it can be applied to many other construction or property organisations. The work study uses both the time and motion study together to ensure that the results are both rational and reasonable are achieved, in order for this to be successful it is of significant importance that the study of motion is fully understood so that when applying it to the time study so that the results are as accurate as possible. However with construction projects lacking repetitive operations to monitor and due to numerous variable factors, such as the weather and change of labour, this will affect how work is performed, it is only generally provided as a guide to quantitative figures which should be included in other management tools.
The time study measures how long is required in order to perform a specific task by an average work with a specified method, if a new work method is introduced then a time study needs to be changed in line with the new method.
By analysing the different work methods and the equipment that is used when a job is performed then a more optimum and standardised method can be introduced. This method will contribute towards the search for better and improved methods, whilst ensuring optimum working procedures and effective use of management utilisation tools to help achieve higher productivity.
In relation to my work place it was noticed that time and effort was being wasted due to a lack of a suitable and sufficient filing system; files were regularly misplaced and no backup records were kept. By analysing these ineffective methods it was evident that improvements were needed and therefore following this study and more effective and efficient system was put into place which addressed all the identified problems in the study.
The benefits of work study is to have an increase in operational efficiency and productivity, reduce manufacturing costs, improve the work place layout, provide better capacity and manpower planning, provide fair benefits and conditions to employees, improve the work flow, reduce handling cost of materials, provide a performance standard to measure the efficiency of the labour force, improve industrial and employee morale, provide a better basis for any incentive schemes and more job satisfaction for employees.