Productivity is the most vital aspect of any construction project. That’s why construction companies continue to invest in resources that can boost their productivity. The things that can affect construction productivity are labor, material, and technology utilization.

As a construction manager, you should always monitor the productivity of your efforts. It helps you identify loopholes that can negatively impact your operations. You also get to know if you’re making profits or not. So, how do you calculate construction productivity?

In this guide, we’ll look at how to calculate construction productivity in a project. You’ll also learn a few tips to increase productivity in your firm. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Construction Productivity and Why is it Important?

Simply put, construction productivity is a measure of output per labor hour. Since labor constitutes the biggest part of construction costs, you can use it to measure the project’s overall productivity. That’s where labor productivity comes in here.

However, you should note that labor productivity does not only measure the capabilities of labor. It also encompasses factors like capital and equipment used to convert labor to helpful output. Having that in mind, it’s easier to calculate construction productivity.

For instance, if you invest in a machine that performs some tasks in construction, your output will increase over the same number of labor hours. As a result, your labor productivity will rise. Productivity can always change depending on the tools used.

Here are some of the benefits of measuring construction productivity.

  • Helps you determine whether you are making profits or losses
  • Pinpoints where resources and time are getting wasted
  • Allows you to prepare measures to counter project shortcomings
  • Measures the effectiveness of tools and equipment used in construction
  • Quality productivity reports can help you win more projects

How to Measure Construction Productivity Rates

As a construction manager, it’s your responsibility to manage all construction resources efficiently. That’s because your input can significantly influence a project’s productivity. Notably, measuring construction productivity is part of your roles in the project.

However, measuring construction productivity is not simple because it involves many moving parts. It will even be more overwhelming when you try to do it manually. That’s where construction resource management software comes in handy. Bridgit put together a list of top 8 construction resource scheduling software programs for 2020, check it out here.

But before we dive deeper into construction management software tools, let’s see how you can calculate construction productivity.

Measuring Construction Productivity

There are many ways to measure productivity in construction projects. However, the simplest way is to compare the estimated labor per hour and cost per hour with the actual figures. The wages and labor hours are based on averages for skills.

When measuring construction productivity rates, ensure that you have adequate and accurate data. You can get information about wage rates from your local contractor licensing board. Also, a contractor who has been in the business for long can help.

Also, material waste can influence the cost and productivity of the construction project. A plumber who cuts pipes more efficiently to reduce material waste can help you save costs. You’ll have to buy more materials if there are many wastes.

In other words, you should also incorporate material efficiency and labor efficiency in your construction productivity calculations.


A skilled plumber who earns $20 per hour, works for eight hours and uses materials worth $100 will spend a total of $260 a day.

In another case, an unskilled plumber who earns $12 per hour, works for 14 hours, and uses materials worth $150 to complete the same task will spend around $318.

When you compare the two scenarios, you realize that it’s more profitable to hire a skilled plumber who works faster while minimizing wastes.

As a construction manager, you need to avoid workers who ask for low rates, work for many hours, and make many mistakes. Such workers are less productive.

Calculating Productivity of Construction Workers

Employee productivity can influence the profits you make. Using a simple equation of the ratio of output to input, you can measure the productivity of construction workers.


If ten laborers worked on a construction project and each took 40 hours, the total hours worked translates to 400 hours. If the project yielded a revenue worth $10,000, the average cost per laborer will translate to $25 per hour.

Measuring Productivity Using Construction Management Software

It’s no doubt that calculating construction productivity manually can be overwhelming. You’ll take many hours collecting data and doing the math. That’s why you should invest in modern tools that guarantee data accuracy, like construction management software.

Such software tools can collect accurate data in the construction field. You don’t need to roam around the job site to estimate construction productivity. Since every information recorded in the software is accurate, you can measure productivity in real-time.

Thankfully, construction management software for both web and mobile devices are available.

How to Increase Productivity in Your Construction Business

How can you improve the productivity of your construction team? As a construction manager, follow these useful tips and ideas to increase productivity at all levels.

  • Communicate your expectations clearly
  • Set clear goals and guidelines to motivate team members
  • Give regular feedback to all employees to boost their morale
  • Provide the right tools and equipment to make their work easy
  • Design incentive programs to award top-performing employees
  • Encourage the team leaders to set an excellent example to other workers
  • Train every employee how to use the latest technologies, like software

Generally, you should embrace any strategy that can boost the morale of workers. An excellent example is paying them on time. Lack of employee motivation can lower your worker’s performance and reduce your company’s productivity.

Final Words

How do you calculate construction productivity? The good news is that you can now measure construction productivity using the methods discussed in this guide. You can compare the estimated labor per hour and cost per hour with the actual figures after project completion. Or, you can divide the total output by the overall input.