Warning: Working in construction may be harmful to your psychological well-being!
Keywords: construction industry, employees, psychological well-being, project culture and competitive tendering.
Despite the sector’s labour intensive production processes, little attention has been paid to the relationship between how the sector operates and the well-being of employees. Through a review of existing literature this chapter aims to explore the relationship between the structure and culture of the sector and workforce psychological well-being. It begins by reviewing the current profile of the construction industry, discussing the sector’s structural and cultural characteristics, and highlighting areas which are of particular interest when considering psychological well-being. Characteristics include, among other things, competitive tendering, project-based structure/culture, long working hours, relatively low pay, the fragmented delivery of products and services, high workloads, time pressures, and a macho male-oriented culture. In combination, such factors are likely to be detrimental to the psychological well-being of those who work in the sector. The chapter concludes by providing a way forward, suggesting measures which could be undertaken by the construction industry, legislative bodies, organisations and the individual to improve well-being.