CALGARY, Alberta – Taped-off desks, lineups for elevators, plastic screens, one-way corridors, temperature checks, staggered start times, and hand sanitizing stations are just some of the ways the office has changed for millions of Canadians as they head back to work.
The days of packed boardroom meetings, open work spaces, workstations crammed together, and workplace social perks are over, at least until COVID-19 is reined in with a vaccine or effective treatments, which could be years down the road.
Leave it to a leading-edge Calgary-based oil and gas former-giant, Robsidian Energy, to devise a solution that creates a perfect balance between personal workspace freedoms and optimal physical distancing measures. 2P News’ Rodecker Smith spoke with the company’s CEO, Dylan Italian, this morning.
“Well, at this stage in our process of pursuing strategic alternatives, we’ve whittled our headcount down to 21. Guess how many floors we’re committed to for the next 431 years? 21. Now stay with me, people. The board of directors and I figured if each employee has their own floor, then our physical distancing protocols would far exceed what Dr. Heehaw says we should be doing.” – Dylan Italian, P.Eng., Robsidian
It turns out that 431 years is not an exaggeration. Back in 2011 when oil was selling for above $90 a barrel, Robsidian Energy (formerly known as Best West Exploration), had grand plans to grow its business and staffing. So the company signed onto a 440 year lease at the premium lease rates of those days, with no back-out clause.
Robsidian employees have mixed feelings about their new arrangement, but overall the sentiment is positive.
“I’ve never lived in a 23,000 Sq Ft pad before! I moved wifey and the kids in and I rent my house – now that’s what I can being smart with your money. And the kids love it here. My kids play basement hockey in the NW quadrant, which is pretty much the size of a regulation NHL rink – I even fashioned some boards out of cubicle walls I didn’t need.” – Joffrey Renarto, P.GEO.
FEWER PEOPLE, SAME BATHROOMS EQUALS MORE BATHROOMS PER CAPITA
Another Robsidianer remarked about his access to bathrooms. “I have an entire 6 urinal, 3 stall, men’s bathroom all to myself. Oh, the freedom. I don’t have to worry about Martin ‘the Spackler’ Pheekal droppin’ deuces in the stall next to me – are geologists ever weird. And come to think of it, I have access to a 9-stall women’s bathroom as well. Shit, I forgot about that place – it even has a couch!”
Robsidian’s VP of HR said that allowing each of the 21 employees to have an entire floor to themselves is the least the company could do for staff, whose pay was dropped to 60% of full-time hours with a mandate for them to work 110% of full-time hours.