Work Order Format Templates: Definition, Types, Sample, and More

Work Order Format Templates: Definition, Types, Sample, and More

Know all about the work order format and its many components and purposes in the following article.

A work order format is necessary for proper work-related communication between different entities involved in a construction project. It describes the work to be completed or items to be purchased or manufactured. They are usually customized to include more details than a basic purchase order. This article will discuss everything there is to know about a work order. 

What is the Work Order in Construction? 

In the construction business, a work order is a document outlining details pertaining to a specific project. They are created by construction companies to clearly define the expectations of the work they have agreed to do for their clients. A work order is usually signed by both parties to agree on the terms of the project. 

What is its Purpose?

The primary purpose of the construction work order is for the two main parties, i.e., the contractor and the customer, to agree on the nitty-gritty of a project. With a work order in hand, a business can estimate costs, timelines, and materials needed to complete a project. Responsibilities will also be briefly outlined. Since these are automatically generated by companies, they are also a way for construction companies to consistently record and file the details of their projects.  

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Here are some jobs that may require a work order:

  • Inspection: A contractor may issue a work order for regular inspections to guarantee the safety of the building, components, and equipment.
  • Maintenance: Work orders may be issued to evaluate a building and its elements to provide updates or routine replacements.
  • Emergency: Emergency work orders can be issued when equipment breaks or when there are unforeseen issues with a building.
  • Electrical: Electrical work orders are issued to install or repair electrical equipment.
  • Safety: Safety work orders may be issued to improve building conditions and improve employee safety.
  • Miscellaneous/Special project: Miscellaneous work orders may be issued for projects like building, installation, or replacement. 

The construction work order is also meant for managers not present at the construction site because they should be kept informed about what is happening at the construction site. The forms are also helpful in creating reports on what work needs to be done in a particular area. The change order template details the construction work that should be undertaken and what the approach should be to finish it. These are usually meant for those tasks that can only be undertaken by experts and not by the usual workers. 

Types of Work Orders in Construction  

The following are the types of work orders in construction. 


A quote is a list of prices provided to the customer for them to review and decide if they can afford the project. 


This is where the construction company commits to the project and dedicates inventory to the project. It is like a guarantee that the customer will pay for services.

Planned order

These are documents that accompany recurring jobs like inspection and maintenance. 

Unplanned order 

These are the documents relating to construction needs the customers may not have planned for—for example, emergency repairs.

Internal Order

These are the work orders that people in a company generate for other people in the same company. They are usually created when one business department does work for other departments. 

External Order 

The work orders generated by people outside the business are called external work orders. 

Manual Order 

These are work orders that can be generated manually, either digitally or in writing.

Automatic Order 

These are work orders that are generated automatically. This can be the recurring orders that are created using the software. 

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Work Order Format: Key Components

There are several essential pieces of information to be included in a construction work order. They are briefly discussed below.

Contact Information 

Information regarding who the customer can contact for updates or queries should be provided on the work order. This can be the contact information of the project manager, site supervisor, customer service department, etc., depending on the size of the organization. Other information like billing information and company details (legal business name and address) can also be included. 

Assignment Information 

A unique work order number is assigned to each project and task. This will prove to be extremely helpful for filing and reviewing work orders, especially when multiple projects/tasks are being carried out at the same time. Other information like the name of the representative who created the work order, customer ID, etc., may also be included.


Several key dates should be included in a construction work order. For a majority of the projects and tasks, the primary dates are the estimated start and finish dates of the project.

Other milestones like the date on which specific parts of the project/task are expected to be completed or when certain materials can be expected to arrive can also be added. Some clients may negotiate dates if they want a quicker timeline on certain projects/tasks like minor repair work.

Service Description 

This includes the overall scope of a project, including the expected end result of a project, along with the names of the people responsible for it. For automated work orders, this field will most likely have standard template information on it.

Details of services and labour provided will have to be provided for manual work orders. The price of labour should ideally be included in the service description or a separate section.

Material Description 

This includes what kind of raw materials and tools will be needed to complete a project. Price and quantity should preferably be included here so that customers are informed as to how much they will have to spend. Additional fees like shipping costs and taxes can also be included here.


This field exists to show that both parties to the contract have agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract. This includes agreeing on both scope and price of the project. A space for signatures for both the clients and the business is necessary.

Sample Work Order

Purely in terms of the value of work (both quality and quantity), the labour contract holds the most value. A work order for a labour contractor helps allocate the right kind of work to the right employees. Here is a sample of a work order format for a labour contractor: 

Source: Sample work order format for a contractor from CITEHR

Here’s another construction work order format in word- 

Note: This is a construction work order format in word. There is also a construction work order format in excel or even a work order format pdf version which you can convert into an editable version using various online tools. 

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How to Create a Work Order? 

If a work order template is insufficient to meet a specific requirement, a work order can be manually created. Creating one may seem like a tedious task. The most crucial task is to make sure all the information needed to tackle a specific problem is rightfully added. Given below are the steps to be taken to create a perfect work order: 

Step 1: Identify the Problem

The very first step in creating a work order is to identify the work that needs to be done. Specifics about the location where the work should be done should be included. Also, identify for how long the problem has been around and if any special tools or skills will be needed to complete the project. It is also essential to identify whether the requested task is an emergency or not. 

Step 2: Document the Specifics

Any specifics about the project are essential. It is vital to ensure details like the Name and contact of the customer, date and time when the problem was first encountered, estimated time of completion, cost, and the outline of how modification in the scope of work will be communicated to stakeholders. 

Step 3: Assign the Work Order

The information has to be formatted in such as way that it will be easy to read and assign work to technicians. 

What Is Work Order Management

Work Order Management is the process of tracking and managing work requests from inception to completion. It involves the coordination of resources, including personnel, equipment, and materials, to complete work tasks efficiently and effectively. The goal of work order management is to ensure that work is completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.

The following are the key components of work order management:

  1. Request intake: This is the process of receiving and recording work requests from customers, employees, or other stakeholders. This information is typically recorded in a centralized system, such as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), to ensure that all requests are tracked and managed consistently.
  2. Prioritization: Work requests are prioritized based on their urgency, impact, and the resources required to complete them. This helps to ensure that the most critical work is completed first.
  3. Scheduling: The work requests are scheduled based on the availability of resources, including personnel, equipment, and materials. This helps to ensure that work is completed in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  4. Resource allocation: The appropriate personnel, equipment, and materials are assigned to each work task to ensure that it can be completed effectively.
  5. Monitoring and tracking: The progress of each work task is monitored and tracked throughout the process. This includes monitoring resource utilization, costs, and the status of each work request.
  6. Reporting and analysis: Data from the work order management process is analyzed and used to generate reports that provide insight into the performance of the process and the efficiency of the resources used.
  7. Continuous improvement: Based on the data and analysis from the process, continuous improvements are made to optimize work order management and improve overall performance.

BONUS – Handy Tips to Increase Productivity in Construction

Now that you have seen what a labourer and contractor work order format is all about, it is time to propel your business even further. Given below are some quick tips to increase productivity in your construction business.

  • Use technology like project management software to more efficiently keep track of work and employees. A standard project management software can host documents like Plans, Change Orders, Daily Reports, etc.
  • Improve the adoption of data-driven strategies for planning projects. This includes the creation of 3D models using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to predict costs and timelines for project completion.
  • Invest in an effective safety program and train employees about safety procedures and techniques. Raising awareness of safety will also help win over employee trust, boost their confidence and, in effect, increase productivity.
  • Recently, many successful construction businesses have been using modular or prefabricated building systems. These take less than half the time it takes to build materials on-site. Prefabrication also helps overcome weather delays or running into other problems at the site.
  • Improve communication between employees at all levels. Invest in training supervisors to equip them with proper communication techniques. Provide suggestions to employees on how to improve productivity.
  • Invest in training employees to help them perform to their highest potential. The skills they learn during the training program will make them more efficient at their tasks. It is crucial to keep employees updated with the latest tech and innovations in the construction industry.
  • Set realistic goals when it comes to project deadlines and expectations from employees. Doing so makes sure employees are not exposed to too much pressure. This also helps improve productivity levels and quality of work.
  • Acknowledge employees on a job well done. Knowing that their work is appreciated is a motivation for them to perform better and stick with their employers. Appreciation can be in the form of monetary incentives or by simply setting them as an example in front of other employees.
  • Prefer shorter contracts because large contracts create confusion and make it confusing for most people involved in the project to completely understand. Clear and concise contracts completely eliminate this confusion and also be a playbook for employees to refer to. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is a work order different from a purchase order?

Purchase orders deal with goods and services, while work orders deal with jobs and tasks. A purchase order could become a part of specific work orders if extra tools and materials are required. But, the opposite cannot happen – a work order cannot be a part of a purchase order.

How is a work order different from a work request?

The difference between the two is their source and sequence. Work requests usually come from non-construction personnel, which eventually lead to the creation of maintenance work orders. 

What other templates can come in handy? 

There are templates other than the work order that can aid in the smooth completion of a construction project. They are briefly explained below: 
Labor Time Tracker Register easily keep track of the working hours (including extra hours) of everyone involved in the project
Materials Quotation to send a list to the customer detailing materials to be purchased to complete a project 
Construction Material Delivery Checklist to manage and track construction material requirements 
Expense Register to keep track of everyday expenses to see how much is being spent on a project and where
Vehicle Register to keep track of money spent on vehicles required for the project 
Petrol/Diesel Register to keep track of all expenses related to fuel needed for vehicles and machinery 
Customer Details to keep track of all information available about a customer

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No matter the scale of work, a proper work order format can make life a lot easier for everyone involved in the construction project, including the supervisors, managers, workers, and the customer. Anyone involved closely in a construction project should use a work order to keep things in order and control. 

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