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Communication in construction projects makes everyday life easier for people living nearby

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YIT Corporation Press release 10 February 2021 at 08:00 a.m.

When a city is being redeveloped to be even better, it is usually necessary to touch on existing structures as well. For city dwellers living near a construction site, this can be seen as disruptions in everyday life: temporary traffic arrangements, extra noise and vibrations, sometimes also power or water outages.

Construction projects invest in communications and discussion with people living, moving and working in the area to minimise disruption to everyday life. YIT's large projects have their own communication teams with communications professionals. In smaller projects, the project team manages the interaction, and the role of communications is a key issue. It is also seen as an important indicator of the success of the project.

“Clients, such as cities and other public organisations, require builders to maintain regular contact with residents and businesses affected by the construction area. The duty of communications is to support the implementation of the project, but also to reduce the disruptions that the construction may cause to residents and passers-by," says Heidi Kauppinen, Communications Manager at YIT.

The projects also receive a lot of feedback, which is actively responded to. In the massive light rail alliance under construction in Helsinki and Espoo, Jokeri Light Rail, around 700 messages were received through the project's feedback channel last year.

Most of the feedback we receive helps us develop and fix problems. For instance, we have received messages about fallen construction site fences or road signs that are in the wrong place. We welcome such observations, they benefit everyone," says Communications Manager in Jokeri Light Rail, Johanna Koivunen from YIT.

Sometimes, both people working on a site and the communications team face remarkably vivid feedback. However, negativity and arguing do not speed up the process.

"I have lived near many street construction sites, and I understand very well that, from time to time, the site may get on your nerves. However, shouting or swearing is not the most effective way to get your message heard—and it does nothing to stop the work on the site. Matters are handled more smoothly if you can also pay attention to how constructively your message is presented," Koivunen says.

Hanna Eskelinen, the development manager for the Tammisairaala eye hospital project in Helsinki, is also familiar with feedback as she also works in the project’s communications team. She highlights encounters as one of the success factors in project communications, alongside active information and a prompt feedback process. In the Tammisairaala project, the foremen have taken steps to, for example, inform the neighbouring houses about future excavation work. At the same time, they have encountered people living and working near the site.

"Encounters can increase dialogue. We regularly consider how we can tell residents in the area about our work through site visits, useful campaigns and other encounters, for example. However, the COVID-19 situation has put a stop to most interaction opportunities," Eskelinen says.

For further information:
Pirita Tiusanen, Communications Manager, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 (0)44 240 9822, pirita.tiusanen@yit.fi 

YIT is the largest Finnish and a significant North European development and construction company. For 110 years, we have been creating better living environments for our customers: functional homes for sustainable living, future-proof public and commercial buildings and infrastructure for smoother flow of people, businesses and society. We employ 7,000 professionals in ten countries: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Our revenue in 2021 was EUR 2.9 billion. YIT Corporation's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy. www.yitgroup.com