Imagine being 7,000 miles away from home, working 15 hours a day for 7 or 8 weeks straight. For the last 30, maybe 40 years, this was the experience for many engineers and technicians while starting up new chemical plants. No one questioned it much; to start up a plant, you had to travel, and you had to work these kinds of hours.
Last month a chemical plant was scheduled for startup halfway across the world, and because of COVID, the US team could not travel. So they got creative. They set up an identical reactor here in the states, the on-site team got hardhat cams, and the US team flexed their hours to work all night and support the on-site team. Instead of the usual eight-week slog, the plant was ready in two.
We are learning a lot of things right now. Things we thought had to be done a certain way, don’t have to be done that way at all.
Who says networking can only happen at an event? Maybe serendipitous connections can be made online. Who says the best chapter events are in-person? Perhaps more people will engage if they have virtual access. Who says brainstorming needs to happen in-person in a meeting? Maybe brainstorming can happen asynchronously.
Let’s imagine a new world of work both within our associations and for our industries and professions.