Offshore work can be challenging and put a strain on integrating work, family and friends. A new shift sharing app has been developed to address the challenges of balancing life as an offshore worker or anyone who performs shift work. The app, Back2Back, is the brainchild of Calum Napier who is an Aberdeen offshore worker. It is being launched today and will assist offshore workers, their families, and friends in coordinating their lives.
Napier, who is currently a warehouse administrator, has no professional expertise in computers or apps. He came up with the idea for Back2Back after he got frustrated trying to organize a golf day with his mates.
The shift sharing app lets people put their offshore rotation diary into a calendar which they can then share and merge with family and friends’ calendars, as well as with other offshore workers. The calendar is color-coded, so it is easy to see at first glance when people are available.
While he developed the app to help him personally, he realized it should be developed and launched professionally, as the problem is faced by thousands of offshore workers around the world. Off UK waters alone, about 18,000 people work offshore on a regular basis on fixed production platforms, mobile drilling rigs, or floating production storage and offloading units (FPS0s).
Napier, said, “It all came about after I tried to organise a simple golf outing with my mates – we tried for weeks and weeks to get a date which was good for all of us but it was a nightmare. We eventually just abandoned the idea and I just ended up playing a game with one of them rather than all of us together as originally planned. I just thought there must be an easier way than emailing people and trying to coordinate everyone, or putting something on Facebook and then people tell you they can’t make that date as they’re offshore.”
Napier, who is from Hazlehead, Aberdeen, started out his offshore career as a trainee storeman in a warehouse and then was sent to various North Sea installations to work as a storeman before doing the same job around the world. He then got a position working as a warehouse administrator off Angola on a drilling rig, which is owned by Seadrill.
Napier has family and friends in both Abu Dhabi and Scotland, and spends his time between both countries.
He said, “It’s so difficult trying to coordinate people on and offshore, never mind factoring in the different countries too – I’d love it if everyone I know and work with gets the app, just so I can see at a glance when everyone’s available. Some of my mates offshore said it’ll be really helpful for their wives and girlfriends back home who can plan social events without having to constantly check with their other half when they’re back onshore. Other people have said it would be useful for coordinating work offshore too, if you need several contractors or vendors at the one place at the same time.
Napier enlisted Aberdeen-based communication firm AVC Media to make the Back2Back for him as the firm has a track record of developing apps in its creative department. The app, which could also be tweaked and used by companies for their on and offshore diaries, is for iPhone and Android, and costs initially £1.49 (approx. $2.46) from the Apple Store and Google Play, and more information is available from www.back2backapp.com.
Image Source: AVC Media