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The oil and gas sector is constantly changing. Advancements in technology, shifts in economic factors and industry needs, new skill requirements, and global increases in demand for energy have all contributed to growth in this sector.

Add to this, the effects of COVID-19 created an opportunity for the oil and gas industry to come out better, more substantial, and greener. They also have created new opportunities for people looking to start or shift their oil and gas careers.

However, these unique conditions also forced the sector to rethink the way they work, requirements for workers to feel safe, and the need to reshape the workplace.

Rethink the way we do work

The pandemic made us re-evaluate how work was done in all sectors, and the oil and gas industry was no exception.

This showed up in the way we tracked new manufacturing tasks and regulations. As well as moving roles, schedules, inspections, policies, and procedures from in-person to more digital and remote ways of working.

Re-evaluate the workforce

It’s been an ever-changing period of regulatory changes, social distancing, masking, and stay-at-home mandates. Yet, COVID-19 brought back the value and importance of employee health, safety, and wellbeing.

New and existing employees want to feel that their workplace is free from harm and that proper safeguards are in place.

These new health and safety requirements for operations show the need to transform and reshape how the workplace is viewed. The work-from-home trend is here to stay and will require the oil and gas industry to rethink and reshape the way roles are structured.

Reshape the workplace

While the oil and gas industry continues to focus on improving the health and safety of operations, the pandemic has forced these companies to reduce their on-site staffing. And shift employees to safer, remote locations, which include home.

With this shift to off-site workplaces, some tasks have become more challenging. This includes effectively performing regular inspections and maintenance of wells and plants, which generally require personnel and technicians to be present on-site.

These new health and safety requirements for operations show the need to transform and reshape how the workplace is viewed. The work-from-home trend is here to stay and will require oil and gas companies to rethink and reshape the way roles are structured.

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The future of oil and gas work

Considering everything the oil and gas industry has been through, there are opportunities for transformation that focus on people. Thereby improving initiatives based on changing global demands and increasing the ability to accommodate flexible, remote work.

Focus on people

These opportunities can happen if oil and gas companies drive the change and engage their workforce to help them transform.

This can be done when organisations re-evaluate the talent life cycle to hire and engage their workforce. At the same time, current employees can work with management to elevate their skills.

Oil and gas companies can revamp their workforce strategies by developing hybrid roles that reflect market and demand changes. In addition, organisations can build awareness of their new tech-driven or green projects to attract new talent bases, like Gen Z.

It’s important to remember that younger generations bring a values-driven approach to their careers and job prospects. These include more ethical and environmental initiatives. If you are not focusing on them, you’re losing out on future talent.

Improve initiatives

The oil and gas industry is trending towards more clean energy initiatives and opportunities. The World Energy Outlook 2021 report says the new energy economy will be more electrified, efficient, interconnected and clean.

According to this report, clean energy tech is an up-and-coming area for investment and jobs. As a result, employment in this specific area is set to take off.

It is estimated that an additional 13 million workers will be employed in clean energy and related sectors by 2030. This presents an opportunity for oil and gas companies to craft a new energy plan and accelerate the energy transition.

The skills, competencies and resources of the oil and gas industry can support the emerging clean energy sector through innovation and use of things like carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen, bioenergy, and offshore wind.

Accommodate flexible, remote work

The shift from on-site to work from anywhere is here to stay. To remain relevant and competitive, oil and gas jobs must include flexible, remote work as part of their job descriptions and expectations.

This will make companies more appealing to a broader workforce and open the door for better talent attraction.

Offering flexible, remote work can help a company tap into previously inaccessible pools of professionals. Accommodating flexible, remote work will also drive employee retention with a better work-life balance and less location-based constraints.

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What does that mean for workers?

Oil and gas companies and employees that look at the effects of Covid-19 through the lens of innovation – and potential for positive change – will likely be better prepared than others to take on new opportunities.

The pandemic has shifted priorities towards improving and implementing digital technologies to make it easier for off-site operations of on-site tasks.

This can lead to other positive things. From improving operational efficiencies and enhancing employees’ safety to increasing the oil and gas industry’s appeal to the tech-savvy younger generation and reducing its carbon footprint.

Hiring trends for the future of a flexible oil and gas workforce will be centred around employee health and safety, dealing with skills shortages, and shifting towards using digital technologies.

Employee health and safety

Health and safety requirements implemented during Covid-19 will continue as a new workplace standard.

Social distancing, masking, consistent sanitisation, staying home when sick, and screening protocols are essential parts of maintaining on-site employee health and safety.

The shift towards flexible, remote work also supports health mandates and employee wellbeing. Ensure your organisation follows these revised requirements going forward to attract and retain the skilled workforce necessary for successful operations.

Dealing with skills shortages

To attract and retain the skilled workforce needed for your organisation’s success, consider the following:

  1. Upskilling your current workforce
  2. Support knowledge transfer from your ageing workforce to the next generation
  3. Streamline your hiring and onboarding processes
  4. Create programs and initiatives to attract a new generation of skilled workers
  5. Provide competitive compensation packages

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Increased use of digital technologies

The pandemic forced the oil and gas industry to shift remote work by improving digital technologies and increasing automation.

The benefits of digitisation are better efficiency and productivity. Still, it also requires companies to bring employees up to speed with the technology being used or risk leaving them behind.

Upskilling your current workforce is an essential element of the increased use of digital technologies.

As is creating more specific roles that include digital skill requirements or expanding your workforce to include engineers, mechanics, and software specialists to support this tech.

Looking towards the future

Changes to the oil and gas industry due to the pandemic and changes in tech, global markets, the economy, skills, and workforce needs have created an opportunity for transformation.

Companies have the chance to make positive, fundamental changes to the way things have been done regarding their work, workplace, and workforce. Embracing these changes opens the door for companies to lead the oil and gas industry into the future of work.

Like a shift towards cleaner, greener energy, changes in technologies and values can create new jobs globally. Which in turn will support the new economy and elevate the oil and gas industry out of the hardships of the pandemic towards a new and improved economy.

Next steps

The oil and gas industry is changing to emphasise employee health and safety, while the higher demand for skilled workers in evolving roles is causing an increase in digitisation and automation.

With so many potential opportunities on the horizon, the time to have a career in the oil and gas industry has never been brighter.

Visit our website to explore available job positions, or connect with one of our recruiters to help find the right fit for you.

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