In the previous article we considermega trends in oilfield automation including the great shift change, energy savings and integration.
One of the key trends in the oil patch is the generational change in the workforce. The great shift change will require substantial changes in the mode of operation and the manner of oilfield interactions.
Gen Z is comprised of workers born between 1994 and present. These workers have several key characteristics:
- Digital oriented. These young workers grew up with the Internet, online gaming and wireless devices. Paper-based communication is a novelty and a thing of the past, replaced by email, messaging and social media. They expect digital technology in the workplace, whatever their job.
- Hybrid talent. The new generation enjoys a variety of tasks and bring a range of talent. Rather than be either generalists or specialists, they bring a mix of expertise and general competencies. Leveraging their skills and interests will take a different approach from the previous generations and offers significant advantage when done right.
- Flex working. Gen Z workers are much more open to and often prefer flexible work. Their idea of work/life balance is different from previous generations. They are willing to work during off hours as needed in exchange for more flexible rules for the on hours. Because of this flexibility, Gen Z workers are more likely to be enthusiastic about digital technologies that allow them to check well and field status from home before hitting the road, for example.
These attributes will all come in handy for producers as they continue to extend automation in the oilfield. Gen Z workers will have an easier time taking to new technology and so will likely be pushing for change. Producers will use technology to help bridge the knowledge gap between generations by capturing routine parameters and digital notes. Automation systems will be challenged to ‘keep up’ with other digital applications that Gen Z workers use on any device from anywhere. Creative use of color, graphics and customization will be expected.
The next article will top off the series with a more detailed review of how the prevalence of collection and control technologies will drive producers to demand device integration and collaborative maintenance.