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Electrical Wizardry:… I


Do you keep getting shit from the people that you work around for working too slow? Do you think you’re working your ass off, but you still can’t seem to keep up with everyone you work around? Then this episode is for you.

I was sent a message recently through Instagram by someone who asked me “What can I do to increase my speed while working? I feel like everyone around me works much faster than me and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

Well in my experience there are 2 different types of workers in the trades, when it comes to pace of working. There are those who work slow and methodical, and those who work fast and hard. That’s not really true though. There are those who work slow and inefficient, fast and efficient, slow and efficient, and fast and inefficient. There are those who are lazy, and those who keep working constantly. So really there are many different types of workers, but for the most part your pace and quality will be the noticeable trait of how you will be judged in this environment.

This can be a rather sticky subject but there are a lot of people out there in the trades that talk about how fast they work or how slow they work and both argue about how their method is better.

Fast and Hard

There are some companies that specialize in being able to pump out large volume, so speed and efficiency are of extreme importance. These companies, a lot of times, are competing for jobs through the bidding process so the jobs they accept are traditionally lower than a lot of other companies. This does not leave much margin for error, nor does it allow for meticulous care nor working at a slow, calm pace. There is nothing wrong with this method, it is just how a certain segment of this trade operates. And it’s not limited to just the electrical trade either; there are a lot of other trades that do things this way.

Slow and Meticulous

Another large portion of the industry, and this applies to almost all other trades as well, focus on bidding high and working slow, safe, and precise. These companies typically, not always, bid higher with the understanding that a job will take longer. They want to ensure that everybody is doing safe, clean work and nobody is in a rush to get anything done, unnecessarily. Of course things happen, problems come up, and deadlines are still an issue, but overall these companies value the fact that they work slow and take their time. And just as the fast and hard companies above, the slow and meticulous companies are usually known for their style of work.

The Sweet Spot

This is only MY opinion here, but I believe it is the most beneficial to have a company be a combination of both. There are some jobs that you’ll need to be fast and effective, and there are some that you’ll need to be slow and meticulous. I’ve worked for companies that have certain crews that are fast, and some that are slow. The boss gives the slow “white-glove” jobs to the slow, meticulous guys (girls) while the fast jobs that are time sensitive go to guys that can get out of first gear. And they tend to have crews that fall in the middle and can handle both environments. If all of your crews can be cross-trained in a way that allows everyone to have multiple gears and work together in a way that everyone understands what the time and place is for each, I think that will benefit profitability in an outstanding way.