The general wear and tear on a building can create some unsafe working conditions. Electrical wiring may become frayed or damaged, increasing the risk of a fire, or walkways may become pitted and rough, boosting the chance of a visitor tripping and being injured. These issues needs to be dealt with for effective building management, but sometimes the construction process can create difficulties… and sometimes cursing… for tenants.

This is exactly what has happened in Salt Lake City, where the owner of a downtown property needed to repair the loading dock and sidewalk. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the construction was necessary to create a safer environment for employees and visitors. However, the work has lead to a drop in walk-in visitors for the companies operating out of the facilities.

“Our sales are down nearly 70 percent,” said Kate Bullen, owner of Elemente, a used-furniture store.

This is understandable when you see that the company’s front door was cut off by the construction. Both parties hope that things can return to normal quickly (usually one more than the other), but there are steps that building managers can take to minimize the impact of work on tenants.

1. Plan ahead

There simply will be times when large scale projects need to be done, and they will need to make a racket. Building managers can try to accommodate tenants, but occasionally the best solution is to simply get through the project as fast as possible. Quickly completing major renovations decreases their overall impact on the occupants, and proper planning can help achieve the nearly impossible feat of keeping construction on schedule.

Taking time with the planning stages ensures that work does not go on longer than intended. It could also identify areas where accommodations can be made for visitors and building occupants. Knowing the effect on cost or schedule that will come from making these accommodations could help owners make better decisions for everyone involved.

2. Communicate

Even before the final construction plan is determined, it is vital that building owners be upfront about the potential changes that may occur on the property. Explaining why the work is necessary could help smooth the relationship with occupants while construction is ongoing. Tenants who understand how the work will improve their environment are more likely to tolerate the short-term disruptions.

Any alterations or delays in the work, which is essentially inevitable, should also be communicated to everyone affected. Businesses could adjust their operations if they know that work will continue for a little longer than originally planned. Managers can help avoid feelings of frustration by keeping all parties informed of the situation.

3. Have The Right Tools

Overseeing major projects requires building managers to have access to the right tools – I mean more than a level and hammer. Software tools, such as Building Engines’ Project Tracking Manager, can make it easier to monitor progress and track expenses during renovations. Companies using outside contractors for the work need the means to easily monitor their performance.

The best solution is a comprehensive platform that allows building managers to oversee large-scale projects more effectively with online access to repair and maintenance documentation, equipment histories, project status and reporting tools. Information about the project should be stored or shared digitally, making it easier to communicate updates with all parties.