Tag Archives: COVID

Rethinking Leadership, Workplaces, and Why Places are Important

Partnership of business concept. Business network.By Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C

The last 18 months have challenged leaders in every home office and corner of the world. Whether you are leading a large staff or a small but mighty team, the way we work together is fundamentally different (and yet very much the same).  Many leaders will be ready to leave remote work and get staff back to the office in a return to the familiar patterns and schedules that shaped our professional lives. Yet many aren’t quite ready to do that, as demonstrated by a hesitancy to return to work as we knew it.  The nature of work has been evolving for some time. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated these changes and made evident both our resistance to change as well as our resiliency and adaptability.

At a fundamental level, there are significant budgetary and logistical challenges faced by our industry. How do our teams shift their work and operations while leveraging technology to be more efficient as we move forward? Our industry is innovating and learning every day–our members, bloggers, authors, and volunteers share their thoughts and insights as we navigate these questions together.

As an industry, we are focused on revenue recovery and rebuilding our operations and programming. We are also focused on the health and well-being of our families, teams, and communities. In the face of the pandemic, we were all forced to take a step back in the interest of that well-being.

Our people are our greatest asset, and leaders must recognize that their teams have been subject to a period of prolonged stress and trauma. Industry professionals learned (and continue to work through) tough lessons leading teams that became remote overnight.  We may need to adapt and cultivate skills sets that may not have been as essential in the past. Emotionally mature and relational leaders are needed now, more than ever.

Temple University Fox School of Business Real Estate Program & Temple Real Estate Organization (TREO) hosted the “Real Estate Optimization and Social Infrastructure in a Post-COVID World Symposium” recently. Panelists and speakers addressed how real estate can and should respond post-pandemic to shifting trends.  Kay Sargent, director of workplace at HOK, emphasized that the return to normal shouldn’t be placed on autopilot. Her comments (paraphrased here) struck me as both insightful and difficult to answer: Returning to the office of yesterday is not the answer. What does the workplace of the future look like? How do we create and rebuild social capital and rethink the importance of place, and embrace a human-centric standpoint to create better workplaces and communities at large?  Let’s talk about it–please share your thoughts with us!

Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, is IPMI’s vice president of program development.

Transit-oriented Development After COVID: What’s Next?

For more than 20 years, transit-oriented development (TOD) has been a desired destination for people to live, work, and play. The opportunity to reside in a vibrant locale with convenient access to restaurants, shopping, employment, and alternative mobility options has been a preferred lifestyle for many, especially since the great recession.

The availability of mass transit, and the opportunity to have transportation alternatives to the single-occupancy vehicle to access work, entertainment, and other destinations is critical to TODs’ success. TODs encourage a convenient and sustainable lifestyle, enabling many people to give up their vehicles (or downsize to one) and enjoy walkable amenities while maintaining access to transit options to get them to they where they want to go. TODs have also helped redevelop and enliven downtown areas and properties that were previously blighted, underutilized, and not the highest and best use given their proximity to mass transit assets.

In the June issue of Parking & Mobility, Jim Zullo, CAPP, AICP, takes a hard look at TODs post-COVID, including parking, the ups and downs so far, and what’s ahead, including where opportunity is hiding in plain sight. It’s a must-read; find it here.

Calm Your Employees by Knowing What to Do if They Have COVID

pair of glasses on a printed copy of the CARES ActBy Matthew Hulme, CAPP, MPA

To say that the entire world is sick and tired of hearing the word “COVID” would be an understatement. And yet, here I am writing about it. It is certainly not going anywhere soon and its effects on the parking industry will be felt for years to come. The guidance and regulations from federal, state, and local government seems to change with the wind, and your employees expect you to have all the answers–after all, you are their supervisor so you must be the expert, right? Of course not, unless there are epidemiologists moonlighting as parking operators. However, there is one area where you must grasp facts for your employees, and that is fully understanding policies regarding COVID-related leave.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) enables employees to take paid leave to be on quarantine, to care for someone quarantined, or if their child’s school or care provider has closed due to the Coronavirus. While this sounds easy enough, the necessary paperwork and qualifications can be difficult to understand and remember. Additionally, health departments, medical providers, and contact tracers may provide varying levels of paperwork for confirmation. Finally, guidelines for returning to work after quarantine have changed multiple times since the beginning of the pandemic.

Employees will likely be frantic if faced with the potential for sudden income loss due to a COVID diagnosis or quarantine order. Strive to be the calm they need by being able to fully (and correctly) explain the process and necessary documents without needing to refer them to HR first.

For more information on the FFCRA, click here. Make sure to check with your employer’s HR department for specific guidelines.

Matthew Hulme, CAPP, MPA, is parking services supervisor with the City of Cincinnati.