Four Benefits of a Great Coffee Break For Construction Firms

Few things are more universally associated with work than coffee. Roughly two-thirds of workers regularly drink coffee at work, and coffee breaks have been a standard part of most workplaces since the early 1900s.¹

Every day, construction workers across the country climb into their mobile welfare units and drink coffee. But according to research, they’re not just enjoying the spacious setting – they’re doing something actively beneficial to your business.

Here are four ways regular coffee breaks help construction sites thrive:

1. Problem solving

We all know the feeling: you can’t figure something out, so you take a coffee break. And when you come back to the problem, the answer is suddenly just there. But there is now actual scientific evidence to support this. 

Just 10 minutes of downtime increases the likelihood an individual will come up with innovative insights². Coffee breaks give workers an opportunity to stop thinking about work, which is often when the best solutions and ideas appear.

Put simply: coffee breaks an essential tool for construction sites that need more creativity.

Kelling Group Onsite Mental Health - Staff Welfare on Construction Sites

2. Social connections

Few things are more important for construction sites than social connections. From improving employee mental health to building better team dynamics, the benefits of increased social connection are numerous – and coffee breaks are a vital part of that. 

81% of workers say coffee breaks help them forge stronger relationships with their colleagues³. With the right mobile welfare unit to provide space and comfort, teams can share a drink and get to know each other better.

Put simply: coffee breaks are a vital social glue for construction workforces.

3. Employee health

Health and safety are among the biggest concerns for construction workers. While coffee may not appear an obvious factor here, there is a surprisingly large body of research suggesting coffee does have positive health effects.

A meta analysis from the BMJ reports that coffee is “beneficial for almost everything, as long as you’re not pregnant.” Which means simply taking a few coffee breaks in a mobile welfare unit each day actually helps improve your employees’ health.

Put simply: coffee breaks help support a healthy lifestyle for construction workers.

4. Improve cognitive performance

Most coffee drinkers certainly feel their morning coffee helps them think better. But the scientific consensus suggests it’s not just drinking coffee – though that does increase alertness and physical energy. 

Instead, much of the perceived benefit of drinking coffee is tied to rest. Coffee breaks allow workers to “reset”, which supports both concentration and engagement. As a result, their cognitive performance improves, productivity increases and they are less likely to make a mistake onsite.

Put simply: coffee breaks help your workers stay sharp and switched on.

Welfare Hire Supports Better Coffee Breaks

While coffee breaks are positive in-themselves, workers still need a good space to take them in. Many welfare units are simply too small to fit a full team. But with extra-large internal space and comfortable seating, Welfare Hire’s range of mobile welfare units are the perfect setting for a coffee break. We even supply the coffee with our kitchen Welcome Packs as standard too!

Want to learn how our welfare units could improve your site?

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Welfare Hire Receives ESG Accreditation to Inspire Customer Confidence

Measurement is an essential part of any effective carbon reduction strategy. From improving your ESG score to reaching net zero, leaders must know how each procurement decision impacts their environmental goals.

But what kind of data should you look for? And how can you be confident it is accurate?

At Welfare Hire, our mission is not simply to supply the best fleet of mobile ECO welfare units and tower lights – we want to build lasting relationships with our customers based on trust. And that is why we’re so excited to announce our recent accreditation from Sustainable Advantage.

An intelligent approach to Sustainable Advantage

Sustainable Advantage are industry leaders for ESG due diligence in the infrastructure, energy and waste sectors. They have particular expertise in carbon handprint reporting and data validation, assessing industry vendors’ claims about their products’ carbon emissions.

This made them the perfect candidate to independently verify Welfare Hire’s empirical data – and provide an impartial judgement for our partners to refer to.

And the verdict is…

Through a rigorous due diligence process, Sustainable Advantage analysed ​​Welfare Hire’s empirical volumetric data recorded on the performance of their mobile ECO welfare units and benchmarked it against other eco welfare units in the market. 

Here is what they had to say:

Sustainable Advantage are pleased to be able to verify Welfare Hire’s carbon handprint. The calculations demonstrate to customers that by choosing Welfare Hire products, significant emissions are saved, resulting in a reduced environmental impact.”

Michael Warwick, Head of Net Zero

This should come as no surprise: with empirical data amassed from the recording of actual volumetric data for our units across hundreds of thousands of real project days, Welfare Hire is in a unique position to offer the most robust and qualified volumetric data in this field. But having this fact independently verified by such a respected organisation helps qualify the integrity and value in this.

Moving forward with confidence

We believe this accreditation will be a positive moment for the core infrastructure sectors we operate in. The ability to source strategic equipment like mobile welfare units and tower lights with full confidence that they will improve your ESG score should inspire more decisive action towards net zero – which is a core part of what Welfare Hire exists to deliver.

Our Eco Calculator is a vital tool for any contractors or clients looking to improve their ESG score, reduce their carbon emissions or gain clarity on what using our equipment would mean for their project:

Want to start meeting your ESG goals faster?

How Should UK Businesses Adapt to Climate Change Acceleration?

The window for a smooth transition to net zero is closing fast. That’s according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change¹, which warns that environmental risks are increasing more quickly than scientists previously expected. 

Recording-breaking weather events are becoming more common – just look at Europe’s recent spate of extreme heat waves. Such events will continue to affect supply chains and drive public demand for more decisive action. 

But what does this mean for the UK’s construction firms in the short-term?

Companies face greater scrutiny

Construction has made huge efforts in recent years. Firms have been under extreme pressure to change their operating models to reduce carbon emissions, and recent reports suggest the majority have made strong progress².

This is down to a number of key factors – from widespread efforts to increase the use of renewables to the introduction of carbon-saving strategic equipment like mobile welfare units and mobile tower lights

However, the revelation that climate change is accelerating can only increase the pressure on construction firms. A recent pledge to eliminate 78% of diesel from construction by 2035³ is positive news, but many argue this is not enough. One report earlier this year claimed that the UK had “lost a decade” in its battle against climate change – and construction must act fast to catch up.

Net zero goals won’t change – but firms must

The current net zero deadline of 2050 is unlikely to change. This doesn’t mean the pressure to decarbonise will not increase though. With some firms already claiming they will reach net zero in the next few years, the commercial and reputational damage of not acting will soon become clear.

This could manifest in multiple ways, including:

  • Losing out on government contracts, as net zero firms are treated preferentially
  • Rising costs, as experts warn of future taxes on carbon emitting supply chains
  • Lack of investment, as measurable progress on ESG is increasingly expected

The question is no longer whether construction leaders will respond to reports of climate change acceleration – it’s how they can do so faster than competing firms.

Light Towers on Construction Site

3. Three ways to respond to climate acceleration

1. Focus on measurement

As Richard Robinson, deputy co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, says: climate progress is made through measurement. Leaders need to quantify their current emissions and understand exactly how each change to their strategic approach will affect their environmental impact. This is especially important for avoiding offshoring of emissions via tier 3 suppliers.

At Welfare Hire, we’ve created a useful tool to enable such quantification. It offers a transparent measure of the effect each of our mobile welfare units and mobile tower lights will have on your emissions:

2. Scrutinise your vendors

From the materials you use to the mobile welfare unit on your site, the supply chain is construction’s achilles heel when it comes to carbon emissions. Leaders must carefully scrutinise every vendor they work with, and ask them how they are planning to reduce their own emissions.

Wherever possible, leaders should opt to partner exclusively with companies that are able to offer clear readings on their products’ emissions. This will make planning far easier, and enable you to map out a faster path to net zero.

3. Find strategic partners

Climate change acceleration demands faster net zero efforts. But for most firms, this will only be possible with innovation. Staying on top of cutting-edge technology trends is challenging though, especially across the numerous areas that impact construction firms’ emissions. 

Strategic partners like Welfare Hire are therefore vital. We pride ourselves not only on supplying our customers with eco-friendly mobile welfare units and lighting towers, but keeping them abreast of changes in the industry – and making sure they benefit from every new innovation that comes to market.



How Kelling Group Continues to Push Our Industry Forward

Partnership has never been more important for ambitious construction and infrastructure projects. With pressure to decarbonise supply chains, improve efficiency and deliver better results faster, who you choose to rely on for strategic equipment is a big question.

That’s why we believe it’s important for our customers to understand exactly what kind of company they are dealing with. But we don’t want to only be defined by our past achievements – we’d rather be understood based on our future.

In this article, we want to explore three factors that form the core of our company’s future – and what we’re currently doing to push things forward.

1. Localised support

Service has always been one of our core strategic ‘pillars’; that’s why we pride ourselves on delivering our welfare vans and van mounted MEWPs anywhere in the UK within 24 hours. But quality service is not only about delivery, maintenance and a responsive support team – it’s about understanding our customers’ specific needs.

The recent opening of our Scottish Depot is a perfect example. With a dedicated team operating out of our facility in the central belt, we are now able to deliver a different level of support to Scottish projects. We provide access to our market-leading range of mobile welfare units, and can supplement that with localised support for our Scottish customers.

This is emblematic of our approach to partnership: as we expand our offering, it is not simply in pursuit of growth – it’s to understand better and cater to our customers’ unique challenges and needs.


2. Investments in excellence

Our fleet has long since been the UK’s youngest and largest. This in turn provides an advantage we are intent on leveraging to continue improving our offering.

We are currently expanding our fleet, purchasing new mobile welfare units, mobile lighting towers and van mounted MEWPs to support growing demand, as well as upgrading existing equipment to ensure it remains the very best on the market. 

Such investments are essential for us to live up to our partners’ expectations. They know we are able to replace key equipment quickly, provide more units whenever needed and keep their projects running no matter what.

3. Solving problems through innovation

At our core, we are a company that focuses on our customers’ deeper needs. Our customers don’t simply need a quality mobile welfare unit; they need a way to reduce their carbon emissions. Our partners don’t just want a van mounted MEWP; they need flexibility and control over where they are able to work at heights. 

This mentality inevitably leads us to innovation, and we are always pushing our fleet forward with exciting new additions. This year alone we’ve launched the EcoXi and our Access Zero fully-electric van mounted MEWP; as well as the recent launch of our new mobile WC products to enhance hygiene and employee experience that also strengthens our proposition.

From providing better access platform training to making green technology more widely available, our approach empowers our partners to solve many of their toughest problems – and benefit from our insatiable desire to continue moving the needle forward.


Why Electric Vehicles Present Infrastructure Leaders With a Powerful Opportunity

The arguments in favour of Electric Vehicles (EVs) are now very familiar. They reduce carbon emissions, minimise air pollution and provide a more sustainable means of transport. 

But the question is how long until adoption is widespread? 

More than 10 million EVs were sold last year, and that number is expected to reach 14 million in 2023. With the government’s pledge to phase out – and eventually make illegal – the sale of new oil and petrol vehicles, this growth can only increase.

What does it mean for your infrastructure projects?

It depends on your perspective. 

Because if you seize the opportunity, it could deliver a  substantial competitive advantage.

The genie is not going back into the bottle

Now that it is possible for an infrastructure project to use fully-electric Van Mounted MEWPs, there will be an inevitable chain reaction. Early adopters will improve their ESG scores rapidly, which in turn will help them win more tenders. 

Once this becomes clear, competitors will have to adopt EVs just to keep up – at which point those that have got ahead of the curve will have the headstart of being used to this new way of working.

The advantage of this emerging technology is the ease of integration into current operations. With us as the UK’s pioneering supplier of a fully electric fleet of Van Mounted MEWPs, our customers find that incorporating these vehicles into their daily routines can be a seamless process. The experience of operating an electric vehicle quickly becomes second nature. The earlier you embrace this change, the sooner you can begin reaping the benefits of electric technology – giving you an upper hand in this rapidly evolving sector.


Electric vehicles will only improve

While the current crop of fully-electric Van MEWPs produces significant savings, there is already research suggesting that the life-cycle emissions of a typical EV will be cut by 73% by 2050. As usage grows, production becomes more efficient and the grid is optimised, it’s inevitable that the rest of the industry will cotton on to the undeniable benefits.

That is part of the reason we have made sure to get ahead of the curve. We believe our role is not just to provide our customers with quality equipment, but to help them embrace innovation and carve out a more positive future.

We are confident that Electric Vehicles will be a major part of that future for the infrastructure sector, and we are proud to be the first to take bold action and offer ambitious, forward-thinking project leaders a fully-electric fleet.

Want to learn more about Access Zero?

Three Ways Eco-Friendly Mobile Welfare Units Benefit Utilities Projects

With over £1.8 billion pledged by the government for utilities projects since March¹ and 1,300 clean power projects awaiting construction², the UK’s utilities sector appears in very good health.

But projects still face a number of challenges, many of which innovative equipment like eco-friendly mobile welfare units could help to address. 

Here are three key problems the utilities sector faces – and how eco-friendly mobile welfare units can help solve them:

1. Improving Employee Experience

The problem

Almost 2% of UK workers are employed in the utilities sector. But energy and water firms still face severe staffing shortages, with an ageing workforce and a lack of skilled labour ready to replace it. This is exacerbated by poor employee experience; a recent poll found that utilities workers are the UK’s most unhappy workforce.

The solution

While fixing recruitment and retention issues is complex, one quick win is to improve the experience of workers on-site. That is why better mobile welfare units are so important: providing more space with greater comfort ensures employees can take regular breaks and socialise in a more hospitable environment.

The result

Employers see a marked improvement to mood, morale and productivity – all of which makes recruitment and retention much easier.

2. The Race to Net Zero

The problem

With plans to decarbonise the UK’s power system by 2035 and reach net zero in water systems by 2030, reducing carbon emissions may be the most pressing challenge for the utilities sector. But given that Tier 3 emissions are difficult to account for and measuring the total impact of supply chains is notoriously challenging, many struggle to gain clarity on their true carbon footprint – which is an essential part of reducing it.

The solution

Eco-friendly mobile welfare units are a quick win for utilities projects looking to improve their environmental credentials. Not only do Welfare Hire’s units run on solar power and use recycled rainwater – their impact is also easily quantifiable. Using our Eco Calculator, leaders can see exactly how much carbon they will save – making ESG reporting that much easier.

The result

Leaders are able to reduce their carbon emissions and provide detailed data for ESG reporting.

3. Rising Supply Chain Costs

The problem

We’ve all noticed our utility bills rising, but the reality is providers themselves are also being hit hard. The drive to improve ageing infrastructure and switch to renewable sources of energy is often undermined by the expense of materials, the complexity of supply chains and the difficulties of realising new technological possibilities.

Survival for utilities depends on their ability to develop new capabilities, different business models and a mindset centred around agility and collaboration.

Ernst & Young

The solution

Using eco-friendly mobile welfare units will not solve utilities firms’ financial challenges, but it will certainly reduce the burden. With reduced operating costs as well as less frequent servicing intervals, each mobile welfare unit produces a big saving.

The result

Budget otherwise taken up by welfare units can be reallocated to cover increased costs elsewhere in the supply chain.


Eco-friendly mobile welfare units provide an ‘easy win’, reducing costs, improving on-site welfare and increasing your ESG score. If you’d like to learn more about Welfare Hire’s product range, contact our team today.


Why Lighting Towers Really Can Impact Your ESG Score

Imagine a friend told you they were going to lose 5 kilograms, but the following day you watched them put twelve sugars in their coffee.

Chances are, you’d have your doubts about how well their weight loss was likely to go.

It’s not that those sugars are enough to totally derail a diet; it’s that small things like this add up – and eventually turn into much bigger problems.

The same is true of construction firms’ attempts to become more sustainable.

While bold, innovative technology will play a key role in the industry’s efforts to ‘go green’, the cumulative impact of many smaller decisions will also be pivotal.

And that is why choices like which mobile lighting tower you hire are far more important than some contractors realise.

Improving ESG starts with the small stuff

There is no doubt that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores are an essential part of the future of construction. 

With major construction firms trialling software that tracks tier-3 emissions by reading their invoices and a growing trend of public sector tenders requiring evidence of environmental action, forward-thinking contractors must do everything they can to clean up their supply chains – before it’s too late.

Lighting towers are a good place to start because improvements can be made immediately. You don’t have to wait for new technology to emerge; eco-friendly lighting towers already exist and could be on your site within days.

The X-Eco Hybrid Lithium tower light, for example, uses lithium hybrid technology to power six 100W LED lights. The result? 455 hours of continuous light per refuel and 80% silent running.

But will that really have a measurable impact?

There are three ways eco-friendly lighting towers will improve your ESG score:

1. Lower emissions

Tower lights are hardly likely to produce the majority of your emissions, but suddenly cutting their emissions by 94% will still have a clear effect. On a large enough project, this can translate to a very large reduction – and one that is clearly measurable for your ESG reports.

2. Less noise

Sound pollution is a growing social concern, especially as more research confirms the health hazards associated with excessive noise. With silent running tower lights, construction projects can run throughout the night without disturbing the local community – and therefore contributing to an improvement in social impact.

3. Safer sites

Given the number of accidents suffered on construction sites, firms have a clear social responsibility to keep their workers safe – and eco-friendly tower lights are, in many cases, essential to this.

From increasing visibility so that workers can see trip hazards to reducing cognitive load and headaches so that accidents are less likely, the case is clear for lighting towers as essential to every safe construction site.

How much could lighting towers improve your ESG score?

One of the most common concerns around ESG is how to measure a firm’s total impact. Fortunately, we have created an eco-calculator specifically to empower contractors to quantify the effect switching to eco-friendly tower lights will have.

Use it today to see how much better your ESG score could be using our Eco-Calculator.

Four Key Challenges For Construction In 2023 and Beyond

Supply chain problems, staffing shortages, net-zero – the sheer number of challenges facing construction can be overwhelming. 

What should leaders focus on? And how can they future-proof their firm? 

In this article, we explore four key trends that bring together various challenges for industry leaders, providing clarity and helping leaders see the industry’s bigger picture for 2023 and beyond.

1. AdDressing the digital skills gap

Construction has faced severe staffing shortages in recent years, with warnings that 250,000 new skilled workers will be needed by 2026.¹ But with the rising power of automation, more recent projections argue the industry could actually lose half a million jobs by 2030.²

The reality is likely to be somewhere in between: fresh talent will be needed, but the skills required will be very different. Instead of traditional manual skills, digital competence will be far more valued within the sector, enabling projects to make use of cutting-edge technology. But 20% of construction workers already feel they aren’t prepared for technological change.³

This presents construction firms with two challenges:

The first is providing adequate training and upskilling initiatives – to ensure the workforce adapts to new technologies and makes the most of exciting new technological possibilities.

The second is fostering a forward-thinking culture. Caroline Evans of Arden University notes that the psychology of adoption is just as vital as the access to digital training – and only with both can construction companies truly thrive in the future.

2. changing funding requirements

Budgeting is always difficult in the construction sector, but accessing funding – and making sure it covers your costs – is getting increasingly complex. From sky-high inflation to productivity problems, the economics of construction are being squeezed tightly – with little sign of letting up.

This manifests in two distinct ways:

First, construction firms will increasingly have to demonstrate their environmental credentials to win tenders. This will put greater emphasis on ESG scores, meaning access to eco-friendly mobile welfare units and other green equipment will create an active competitive advantage.

Second, economic uncertainty will make staying on budget harder. With inflation, rising material costs, supply chain constraints and labour shortages interacting in complex ways, the cost of any given project will be increasingly difficult to predict and budgeting will become trickier.  

This latter point leads us neatly onto the third challenge construction firms face…

3. growing importance of supplier relationships

In our recent article on technology in the construction industry, we noted the vital importance of supplier partnerships to foster innovation. But such partnerships are also essential to manage budgets and keep projects running. 

According to McKinsey and co. research, “companies that regularly collaborated with suppliers demonstrated higher growth, lower operating costs, and greater profitability than their industry peers.” 

But what does that mean for the construction industry?

Primarily, it means suppliers must have a deep understanding of their customers’ needs. Strategic equipment is no longer just about fulfilling basic practice needs – it’s about driving efficiency, building positive on-site culture and supporting larger goals like reaching net-zero.  

4. Adapting to new eco-friendly practices

Greater environmental awareness and carbon reduction are essential. But incorporating technological and operational changes into projects requires a little new thinking and training too. Workers have to remember to charge electric vehicles; users need to learn how hybrid-powered welfare units operate – but a small amount of effort can deliver significant benefits to projects.

A simple example is getting vehicles and equipment into Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ). Many traditional welfare units and tower lights would require delivery via HIAB, which produces extra carbon and makes reaching certain areas tough. But mobile welfare units and lighting towers, which are towed into position, make this much easier, enabling projects to work faster and more easily within regulatory restrictions.