What We’re Made Of is a Q&A series that looks at how companies in the aviation industry are tackling challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had to adapt to changes in where, when and how we work, but we are resilient. If you would like to share your experience, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Director of Airline Experience, Teague
Day 15 of working from home
Date of writing: April 6
Are you in lockdown right now?
Where are you writing from?
I am writing from the spare room of my house in Mukilteo (just north of Seattle) looking out over the Puget Sound with the Olympic mountain range in the far distance. It’s also right next to the kids’ playroom – so my conference calls are frequently punctuated by surprise visits from my two- and five-year-olds.
What’s your new office attire or go-to comforts at home during this time?
I get a kick from busting out a bad-taste shirt once or twice a week to liven-up the conference calls. Today, the pink-flamingo shirt came out to play. I do miss being around people, and I love seeing the faces of my team and customers on screen – their environments are all so interesting and varied – often sparking conversation.
“It’s hard to see it now, but this crisis is loaded with opportunity to create a better more secure future.”
What news outlets are you following?
BBC News, Seattle Times, the New York Times and Apple News app.
How are you passing time?
Teague is still super busy. I’m up early and working a full day so I am not needy for entertainment over and above the norm. That said – my kids are a whole other story. Without their daycare and various clubs they are a proper handful. To this end, the Disney Channel has provided a well needed dose of child-hypnosis.
Can you share some specific challenges your business has faced as a result of the outbreak? How did you overcome them?
Our project work has continued as planned. I think our most formidable challenges are yet to come. What is for sure is that the industry will be reshaped by the aftermath of this pandemic and it will be important for all of us to play a positive and collaborative role in getting it back on its feet.
Any tips on how to remain productive under these new circumstances?
About a year ago we developed some new software in-house that enabled us to design and collaborate with customers directly in VR. Remarkably, this tool, called “The Garage,” has enabled our customers to explore and sufficiently interrogate interiors.
How can we, as an industry, work together and rebound from this unprecedented crisis?
We must endeavor to help the airlines regain public confidence in the safety of the passenger journey. They are already working hard to message new approaches to aircraft cleaning and onboard sanitation, which is a step in the right direction, but they could (and must) go further and deeper to combat the collective anxiety created by this pandemic.
Where do you see your company or the industry in six months from now? One year?
Teague has played a key role in helping to reinvent the industry as it has weathered recessions, global crises and pandemics – and we will continue to drive positive change through the current situation. It’s hard to see it now, but this crisis is loaded with opportunity to create a better more secure future.
What’s one thing that will never be the same again for commercial aviation?
Crises of this scale do tend to leave their calling card. If the last 10 years have been about security, the next 10 will be about hygiene. The avoidance of human contact (with anything!) will be paramount throughout the travel experience. Whilst this transformation will no-doubt be enabled by technology and engineering solutions, the role of design will be pivotal in reinstating warmth into automated interactions and creating an emotional connection in environments that enforce physical separation.