collage of employees working from home

Transitioning to a New Normal

A month has passed since the world changed and lockdowns and stay at home orders began to change the way we work. For many people, it seems like a lot longer than a month. Constant news recycling the same, albeit important, message and a lack of change in scenery can make it feel like Groundhog Day.

However, as we wake up every day and get into our “new normal” routines, a cup of tea/coffee, headsets on in our new remote office spaces, be that a lounge, bedroom or garden, it is business as usual. And that has been refreshing, as the transition to remote working at 2H has been near seamless. This is both remarkable yet unsurprising given the agile nature of our organization.

Transition to Remote Working

As a majority of the workforce at 2H are desk-based, transitioning to remote working has been kind to us, and the existing infrastructure within our offices has resulted in minimal issues. A critical part of our work is engineering analysis. All of our analysis servers are set up for remote access as default which means analysis users are unaffected by the current situation and are simply accessing relevant machines and performing analysis as they did in the office. This means that all analyses, from an operating analysis study to complex engineering criticality assessments are progressing as normal and thus we are able to maintain high efficiency levels.

riser engineering analysis screen shot

In addition, 2H continues to successfully support clients on detailed design projects as well as verification studies, using Microsoft Teams as a platform for internal/external project dialogue and file sharing. Other software such as Cisco Webex and Microsoft Skype are also supported should our clients have these preferences. The use of live action registers on Microsoft Teams enable our project managers to track progress and ensure accountability of tasks is maintained in the absence of working in an office-based environment. Each project has a dedicated Teams group, akin to a WhatsApp group chat, with each group containing only relevant project personnel and providing a private space where files can be worked on simultaneously.

Teams Screen Captures

Overcoming Remote Working Challenges

As with anything in life, and the current unprecedented situation in the world specifically, a few struggles exist and are being quickly overcome to ensure a smooth (if temporary) shift to remote working. The most common issue facing many employees is the balance of continuing to work as well as look after children and/or support relatives or the local community. 2H has addressed this through flexibility in working hours to help provide staff with the ability to balance family commitments and work deadlines. Our global and local management teams are also regularly checking in on staff to ensure any new or existing issues are discussed and rectified in order to maintain a “zero harm” culture, in line with the vision of our parent company, Acteon. Daily updates from Acteon are also sent to every 2H employee in order to affirm this vision and offer support to employees. They also provide an employee assistance program which enables any employee to call a 24-hour helpline and speak to a trained counsellor for guidance on work or non-work-related issues they may be facing. This helpline is free to use and completely confidential.

Working Together

2H prides itself on its social culture and interpersonal relationships. Whilst our employees are not geographically located in the same place, 2H team members still dial in to a weekly training session provided by an engineer or senior member of staff on varying subjects, technical and non-technical. This ensures dialogue between colleagues is maintained and “full office” interaction can still take place remotely. Numerous initiatives also exist amongst employees which include group calls over a cup of tea/coffee and virtual Friday pub after work to relax and catch up. This has helped regain some “normality” in the absence of our usual in-person coffee breaks and catch-ups in the office.

Summary

Overall, through a combination of formal and informal leadership-led initiatives coupled with employee-led activities, 2H is doing its best to maintain normality during this trying period, and although the current situation is temporary in nature, the company continues to work efficiently with full capacity.

Contact us for more information on how we can help you with your offshore project or remote analysis needs.

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Balraj Bamra

Balraj Bamra, Principal Engineer, Woking

Balraj has 11 years’ specialist engineering experience in the design and numerical analysis of riser systems. He is a skilled project manager for drilling and completion risers, hybrid risers, flexible risers, fixed platforms and well conductors and has concurrently managed multiple project teams to deliver riser analysis and conceptual design studies.