You listen to what on site?

Life on a construction site can be described in many ways, but boring will never be one. It’s not just the work that makes building sites a professional setting unlike any other, it’s the environment itself. But let’s be clear on something here: no two sites will ever be the same and the most striking difference between them may just lie in the genre of music being played. What fuels your site banter?

The Site Cabin Podcast

Listening to music at work isn’t exactly a novel concept, especially not in the construction industry, and it’s actually been proven to have a multitude of positive effects on the employees’ performances. As Alison Wild, Head of Marketing at Towergate SME, explained in the company’s most recent study on the listening habits of UK employees, “Music has many benefits in the workplace: it helps us make the day go quicker, makes us feel good, improves the working environment, motivates us, and therefore helps us get through with otherwise boring tasks.” 

Not only does music help pass the time, but having a repetitive rhythm pumped directly into your eardrums can help with concentration for a long, monotonous task, keeping you in the proverbial zone. But does everyone listen to the same thing? Do bricklayers tune in to the same station as electricians? We find it hard to believe. 

Working out in the open is very different to working from the relative comfort of the site cabin and, here at TOOLKiT, we’re curious about different professionals’ listening habits. Though Towergate’s study appeared to conclude that Rock is the construction industry’s preferred musical genre, we’ve heard differently, and we want you to give us some definitive answers.  

Is it true that labourers like nothing but a deep house? Did plasterers really listen to classical music back in the 70s to bring out their inner artistic flair? Do they still, now that the world seems to have turned its back on Artex? 

RE: Construction podcast

Is it only music you listen to or is there a supervisor out there who always insists on having talkSPORT on? Has a fight ever broken out over whose turn it is to choose a playlist? We want to know it all, from debates over earphones vs playing it out loud, to football allegiance tensions when Radio 5 is on. 

An old favourite that seems to crop up a lot is the weekly podcast RE: Construction, where veteran construction journalists Phil Bishop and David Taylor chat about events in the UK construction industry, covering a little bit of everything, from new legislation to product launches and funding challenges. 

On a similar note, Michaela Wain, the Apprentice finalist and construction business owner, has recently launched a selection of Business Podcasts, including a series specifically focused on women in construction, discussing in-depth the difference in perspective with an array of guest speakers. 

Over the last few years, more and more projects exploring life in the construction industry have started coming out, including FIX Radio, the UK’s only dedicated radio station for builders and the trades. Started in 2017 by Louis Timpany, who became dismayed by the monotonous library of music on mainstream media outlets when he worked on building sites, FIX’s objective is to provide a mixture of authentic trade voices, up-beat music and content pertinent to the issues that affect the day-to-day life of builders on-site.  

Aiming to engage their listeners as much as possible, FIX frequently run promotions in partnership with companies like Checkatrade, Velux, Toupret, and Hafele, through which they give away Greggs lunch vouchers. The station has also created a number of shows, each focusing on a particular trade, including, among many others, The Clive Holland Show, Bald Builders, The Plasterer Show, and The Carpentry Show. 

The last couple of months have been especially exciting for FIX Radio’s future: after being awarded a National Broadcast Licence, the company has now announced a crowdfunding strategy for their upcoming expansion, making this the first time a closed community investment has been instigated for a national radio station in the UK. 

Last but not least, we couldn’t go without mentioning The Site Cabin Podcast. This charismatic team of tradesmen and a marketing specialist have just started their podcast up and have held no punches back. Founded with the goal of getting people talking about all the different trades, the three hosts discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of working on a building site, from practical jokes to how male-dominated the sites tend to be and the mental health challenges most common in the industry. 

So, what team are you on podcasts or music? Or do you prefer to go without entertainment and focus instead on the chirping of the birds? Do you know anyone who blasts opera at work? Get in touch and let us know. 

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