The Observer Effect and Construction Cameras
We routinely take stock of the value OxBlue construction cameras bring to our clients. Beyond the more obvious benefits, such as reduced travel to the job site and improved project management, a theme emerges from the thousands of projects our cameras have been on: When things get off track, they are recognized and resolved quickly. This is because there are so many eyes on the project. Engineers and architects, contractors, owners and investors – everyone involved – constantly review images and observe the job site in real time.
Researchers in psychology, physics, and other sciences call this the observer effect. It refers to how the simple act of observing something affects the behavior of whatever is being observed, whether it’s subatomic particles or construction projects.
The Observer Effect and the Trade Labor Shortage
The observer effect can be an asset to project owners given the current state of the construction industry. With recovery from the recession, construction demand is on a strong upswing, but there is a severe shortage of subcontractors. The recession drove many to seek work outside the industry, and now contractors are having a hard time finding the plumbers, electricians, drywallers, framers, and others they need. Subcontractors who have stayed in the industry are stretched thin with limited resources and multiple commitments. Left to its natural course, errors and missed deadlines become inevitable.
Construction cameras afford the kind of job site visibility that helps safeguard against this through the watchful eye of the camera itself and from the many eyes that routinely observe the job site. Through fostering a sense of ownership, increasing engagement and accountability, and simply appealing to the basic desire to avoid negative repercussions, we have seen how the visibility created by cameras on the job site minimizes errors and avoids delays. Widespread knowledge of a camera onsite can even help preempt some problems from happening in the first place, making projects run smoothly and adding huge value by keeping all eyes focused on having a successful project.