Let’s face it; 2020 is just a horrible year all around.
Decent writers might, at this point, list the reasons for what has just been opined, but in this case, we don’t feel it’s necessary to pick at the wound, so let’s make the statement and move on to better things.
Among all this turmoil and change, there is talk about the forced move towards remote working, its pros, and cons, and guesses about when (and if) we might all return to normal. The United States has finally dipped its toes into those murky waters and given remote work a large-scale test.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED
As Management Consultants who have been working in the O&G industry for 20+ years, we have attended thousands of meetings of all different types in hundreds of E&P companies over the years, seeing these beasts’ inner workings. These gatherings’ quality and efficacy generate almost-universal disappointment (so much so that we spend much of our careers fixing them). At the beginning of the Pandemic, we speculated that the shift to remote work and ‘telepresence’ would make the situation worse. However, the small amount of evidence gathered to date suggests that any losses in efficacy are more than made up for by the general gains in productivity resulting from the elimination of commute times.
So perhaps the advocates of telepresence and distributed workforce models were right all along. Having said that, once the present Pandemic subsides, world commerce, including the Oil and Gas industry, will be faced with a real choice:
a. Double down on the distributed workforce model
b. Go back to our old (original) way of working
c. Craft some kind of hybrid approach