Driven by the worldwide COVID pandemic, the oil and gas industry is challenged to plan and operate with new procedures and approaches to keep its employees healthy. Social distancing, sick employees, and quarantine requirements can lead to smaller crew sizes, staggered shifts, and limited expert availability. Companies are often under pressure to operate safely with fewer and less experienced employees.
This pressure is compounded by the retirement of large percentages of experienced workers in many industries. Industrial organizations have indicated that up to 25-30 percent of their workforces are retiring over the next three to five years. In an industry like oil and gas, where the workforce is regularly being replaced as workers age out, there are real questions as to how to make existing employees more productive and efficient, how to on-board new employees quickly, and how to enable less experienced employees to leverage expert knowledge in order to be proficient and operate safely – and how to do all this when travel and in-person collaboration may be hampered.