PTI Bridges the Gap between Life at Home and Life in the Field
All around the world, hard working men and women leave the comforts of home to earn a living in some of the most remote regions on the planet. When they get to the jobsite, one of the biggest adjustments they make is to adapt to a change in their lifestyle. This work experience is different than most and living in remote locations for extended periods of time can be challenging. Edmonton, Alberta based PTI Group is focused on bridging the gap between life at home and life in the field.
PTI is one of North America’s largest fully integrated suppliers of remote site services providing temporary and permanent workforce accommodations, food services, facility management, and other value added services to resource industries worldwide. The company owns and operates over 19,000 beds in a network of open lodge properties and modular contract facilities, serving most major natural resource plays in North America. The company also operates over 7,300 beds in Australia through its subsidiary, The MAC Services Group.
At its core, PTI provides the fundamentals (food and shelter). But beyond that, the company strives to allow people to lead a comfortable, balanced lifestyle while working in remote areas. PTI has continued to elevate industry standards in its new generation of facilities by offering a variety of amenities and services focused on contributing to their guests’ overall quality of life. “Quality of life means different things to different people,” says Ken MacLean, PTI’s Director of Marketing & Communications. “If we can provide the comforts and conveniences that help to bridge the gap between the life our guests lead at home and the life they lead while on rotation in the field, then we are serving our customers well.”
Services such as in-room internet access allow a person the ability to keep in touch with family and friends back home and connect to the world around them. Games rooms, social clubs and licensed lounges also provide outlets for people to socialize and unwind at the end of their work day. This can relieve feelings of isolation that can often occur when working in remote areas.
A segment of PTI’s guests are very committed to maintaining the healthy habits and lifestyle they enjoy at home. To serve this trend, each of PTI’s properties offers a fitness center. In some cases, the facilities rival the size and equipment found in a typical urban health club. Outdoor recreation amenities also provide guests with an opportunity to be active. Some of PTI’s facilities in Australia have outdoor lap pools and tennis courts, while in Canada, outdoor hockey rinks provide endless fun during the winter months.
Aside from physical activity, the dietary needs of PTI’s guests are also a key consideration in menu planning. For those with food sensitivities or food allergies, PTI has developed HealthWizeTM, a program that provides dietary information to help guests make informed decisions about what they eat based on their own personal preferences or health needs.
“We’re careful not to push a health agenda on any of our guests,” says MacLean. “We simply want to enable people to practice the same habits and routines in the field that they enjoy at home. Some people are very mindful of nutrition, while others enjoy the comfort foods we offer.”
PTI prepares over nine million meals a year in North America, but it’s certainly not a fast-food approach they take to serving their guests. “On any given day, our menus offer a broad selection that caters to everyone,” says MacLean. “Our Executive Chefs take a lot of pride in being able to offer a wide variety of creative meals and reinvent the menu plan regularly to avoid any repetition.”
While PTI owns and operates its open lodge properties, it also builds and operates private facilities owned by resource companies. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand within industry to improve the lifestyle and living standards for those working in remote areas. This is especially true in regions like Alberta’s oil sands where the labour market is highly competitive.
Operators understand the value of a strong accommodations plan. The decisions that go into facility design and the services and amenities that it provides are very much a part of the operator’s overall labour strategy.
“People are choosing to work with companies who offer their people a higher standard of accommodation,” says MacLean. “We believe we can be our customers’ competitive advantage when it comes to the recruitment and retention of labour.”