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Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies (2023)

Chapter: Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27235.
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98 Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey If [you were trained via distance learning at any time during the pandemic (March 2020– March 2022)], what is your perception of the quality of distance learning training versus in-person training? • It’s good, although highly reliant on the quality of the presentation material and energy of the presenter while being highly susceptible to being ineffective based on the trainee’s degree of attention. • Gradually got better as time went on. • For annual training, providing distance learning was more efficient. • We had some teleconference training, and it was hard to stay focused and not work on other items with the activity running in the background. • It all depends on the trainer, but this is also true of in person learning. I did find that hybrid attempts at trainings or meetings were very poorly done most of the time. • In person can be better • Not the same level of interaction – can’t build off other participants as well - but still effective • Acceptable • In-person is superior training. There is value in distance learning, however, the collaboration and learning discussions that take place in-person are critical to me for internalization of the knowledge gained. • I liked self-paced courses, but all-day courses done remotely were very tiring. • Not as good. Hard to make connections when not in person. • In-person is always better, but I felt the virtual training was of good quality and valuable. • 40% of in-person training value was experienced • Rough at first due to learning curve on new computer software including MS Teams, Zoom, and One Drive, but no problem now! • Mostly good except it cannot replace some in person training like some portions of driver’s training on the airfield. • Quality of presentations seems to remain the same, class engagement and ability to monitor who is actually paying attention is significantly decreased • Good, but less interactive, less engaging than in-person • Not as good. • The same engagement with the materials and trainer cannot be achieved virtually. It’s much easier to listen to a training distracted than in person. But provides a good option. • Distance learning can be as effective as in-person learning, but is not necessarily effective. I found interactive and break-out elements particularly helpful, actually increasing ability to participate where in-person would have been more challenging. • Equally as good • Good, but scripted and lesson plans didn’t allow trainees to apply the new techniques during role-playing. A P P E N D I X F

Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey 99   • I believe in person is always better. • Not as good as in person • While instructors tried to be engaging, I felt that the “human element” that was missing from the training was a determent to my overall learning. I felt it was very difficult to remain focused and engaged. • The training was adequate. • In-person is more inclusive and more impactful to gauge what is being taught. With distance learning, it seems as if you just go through the motions to get it done, little to no interaction. • In general, less effective but really depends on the topic • I think the quality is there for some trainings, others cannot be duplicated in a virtual environment. • Distance learning worked very well. • Quality of distance learning was excellent due to the training provider. • The perception of the computer-based training with video demonstrations provided awareness and was presented as a guide. Yet, it was effective. • Slightly worse in general, though for learning how to do something detailed a little better due to screen sharing. • I took mandatory CLE classes. Same. • With proper equipment (cameras/mics, large enough screens) and motivation to pay atten- tion (trainees WANT to learn, subject matter is interesting/presented in an engaging manner) virtual works just fine. All parties must know HOW to participate and be comfortable with it. New rules/guidelines sometimes need to be implemented and/or adapted to the individual audience. • Good as long as my internet service was working OK. • It is not the same experience as in-person training. When attending distance learning training, it is too easy to be distracted and to lose focus on the training. • The online computer-based training was just as easy to complete at home as in the office at the airport. However, some training subjects for our team requires in person on site interaction. • Mixed—some training was easier via distance while some was significantly more difficult What are the benefits to working remotely? • I get more done as I usually start when I wake up. I get to spend a lot more time with my family and mix my hobbies in my daily routine. I save money on gas and wear on my vehicle. • More time for self-care like working out, walking dog. • No commute. Greater flexibility of work hours. Lower stress environment. • Less travel time, more efficient due to fewer interruptions, better work/life balance • Short Commute, less expensive, • Shorter commute, better quality of life, similar productivity as in office work. • I was able to stay at home with my kids a day or two a week during the Fall 2020. But for the most part I worked very little remotely. • Quiet for reading if no others around. • Work life balance and flexibility/saving money and time without the commute/quiet when needed for concentration • There were days I only had online meetings so working from home allowed me to save gas. • Save on gas, can attend more back-to-back meetings, more time to do core work tasks, ability to attend to health easily/over lunch break, comfortable and free to work however you want to in a way that is most productive for you and your team. • I can work longer during the day with breaks to eat or take care of minor household tasks. Cutting down on my commute was great for my time and the environment. • No commute, quiet office time.

100 Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies • I have the ability to use my time effectively, and with minimal distraction. I do not support working completely remotely, but do support a hybrid. • No commute, more time with kids, less effort to get ready • I enjoyed not having to commute. Being able to do small tasks around the house. • I love the hybrid model. I get more “quiet work” done more quickly at home due to no inter- ruptions and no “get ready for work” time. • Tend to be more productive with less interruptions or distractions. • Saves time and money commuting, meals, work attire. Reduced stress levels, comfortable environment, greater flexibility • My position requires being on site, can’t inspect a runway from my couch. Other office duties are transferable • Fewer interruptions, time savings with no commute, gas cost savings, less stress • Not hardly any benefits • No commute means more time for activities before/after work. Allows for short breaks to do various short chores like switch a load of laundry. Meals are better prepared and healthier - have more equipment than the office breakroom (ie a toaster oven, stove top, oven). • The ability to get more sleep and take care of personal and work tasks simultaneously. No commuting to work that resulted in less fuel expenses and risk of getting into a vehicle accident. • Personal location options, reduced commute. Fewer benefits to Airport, more for personnel. However, we worked remotely very rarely, and much work must occur at the Airport. On-site staff carried more workload than remote workers because of the limited options for tasks which can be successfully completed off-site. • More flexibility with schedule and when work is performed • flexible work schedule, ability to handle family/personal items, better work/life balance, no stressful commute, saving on gas/tolls to/from work, saving personal vehicle usage, ability to work longer hours instead of having a pre and post work commute. • Personal expense reduction. • Less interruptions with officers walking into my office. • Flexibility in day to get work done • No commute (reduce carbon footprint), more time with family, save money/time • No driving expenses. • No after-school care expenses. • No rushing to get to extra curricular activities. • Flexibility, more productive, reduced stress (during COVID), more focused (less non-work related interruptions), reduced commuting (better for the environment, better for my sanity), learn and use new technology (i.e. Teams, Zoom, Skype, etc.) • I do have some flexibility if I need to take care of things at my house (e.g., being there when a contractor needs access). • More personal time for myself. Gained 5 hours from not having to commute. I would sign-off at 5 and get an hour of exercise in by 6 when I normally get home from work. Less gas and wear and tear on the car. Lower car insurance since it was not longer used for commuting. Gained 1 hour in the morning not getting ready for work. Ate better-I was home able to put dinner in the crock pot and do better meal prep. No distractions from the office water cooler conversations. • Flexibility. • Independence/Autonomy. • Productivity. • Multi-tasking with home/family responsibilities. • Greater flexibility, save on commute time and gas, fewer in-office distractions (water cooler conversations)

Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey 101   • Improved work-life balance, comfortable environment, cost savings • Having the flexibility to stay home when you only have virtual meetings that particular day. • Able to do chores around the house. • Less interruptions, more efficient, able to work longer hours, no commute, more precise meetings, save money on gas and clothing, more time with family • No interruptions during workday; save money on commute and meals; work harder remotely taking fewer breaks/lunches and the time commuting I am working. • Less time with my commute and more time to see my family. • Flexibility. • You should really offer a choice of hybrid, work remotely a few days and in office a few days. In person interaction is helpful but not necessary every day. However the savings in personnel time of not having to drive in and out allows for more work, and better quality of life. • More efficient. • No commute time/more personal time. Somewhat more flexible hours. • Work flexibility. no commute, eating lunch at home instead of eating take-out. • While working remotely, it eliminated travel time which is approximately 2 hours daily. • Less stressful. More productive as there were less interruptions. • Fewer distractions, cost savings on transportation to and from work. • Lack of commute; ease of completing individual work. What are the challenges to working remotely? • Must have direct contact with the team and the facilities. Impossible to see the frontline through the proper perspective from that great a distance. • Staying focused; stopping work at regular time. • More distractions. Less sense of community and connection to those you work with. Less access to technology (better printer, larger computer monitors, etc). • Less time for collaboration with peers, limited interactions with tenants, businesses, etc. • Miss the small things you notice on-site when walking around an airport. Many times, minor maintenance issues will become major before they are seen. • Face to face interaction and quick questions are much more formal in a remote setting. • Not feeling productive. • I need to see the airfield and a lot of resources available at work. • Team interaction/general information sharing in less formal settings is lost, which is a good way to keep silos of information from forming/some elements of the job have to be done in person (checking concessions, etc.) Recommend hybrid work solution. • Having family in the house that think you can just get up and do household things during the work day. • Disconnection from the operation, loss of face time, relationships suffer. • No personal connections with employee, tenants, etc. • The challenge is that we operate a campus that has physical and operational challenges. You need to be on site to see, know, and ultimately manage what’s going on. The personal relationship effects are also significant. You need positive relationships to be effective and you can’t that through virtual meetings. • Less contact with team, strained work relationships, home responsibilities encroaching on work. • Communication can be difficult via email. Sometimes a simple question takes a while to answer, when stopping by someone’s office is easier. • Sometimes, it is best for me to meet with people face to face, thus my affinity for the hybrid model. I also have 2 monitors at work, so it’s easier for me to do detailed spreadsheet work. • Not interacting with co-workers for little conversations that normally take place around the office that helps with getting stuff done. • Lose participating in the team environment and spontaneous collaborations.

102 Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies • Position requires being on site • Isolation, inability to reach people, tools, equipment, resources left at office not available at home • Computer problems at home, computer support • Engagement with employees. Especially for those newer to the organization. Airport wasn’t prepared for remote work (i.e., all had desktops and no laptops). Far less active throughout the day (refilling coffee is 5 steps away in the kitchen instead of 100+ to the breakroom, same with restrooms, etc.). Fear of colleagues and supervisors questioning if you’re being productive and always feeling the need to be available. • Distractions from family members at home. Not able to monitor staff productivity or access to non-digital files. • Staff tend to “multi-task” during meetings, reducing effectiveness and engagement. Many tasks require on-site personnel, or are completed more quickly through on-site equipment and systems. Increased security concerns and required mitigation with remote workers. • Staying on task when there things at home that also need to be done. Distractions from family and pets. • In-person management of employees and operations. • Staying connected to the team; pulse of the airport. • The face to face contact, you need that in life. • Collaboration with other work groups • Lack of personal connection with colleagues, balancing child’s needs with work (lack of child care). • No dedicated office space. • Always “connected” to work. • Technology challenges (wifi connectivity and Internet speed). • No face-to-face, personal interaction. Virtual connections are not the same. • Less “water cooler” knowledge. Less camaraderie. No “dedicated space” to work (when your home is also your office, the lines between work-time and non-work time blurb sometimes). • I don’t get to interact with members of my department, I am unfocused, I don’t have my full work station capabilities, I feel out of touch with my airport(s). • Computer issues. We didn’t start working remotely as fast as others because our IT department set it could not be done. Once we did get home, they provided us all the equipment but if you ran into issues the answer was always “bring your computer in”. • Collaboration. • Interaction with co-workers. • Lack of interaction with co-workers and project management. “Hallway conversations” are very good opportunities for interaction and quick responses if needed. • Communication - less face-to-face communication causes more misunderstandings, more impersonal, less connected. • Limit to some resources usually found in offices, personal IT or connectivity issues, power outages • Projects tend to move slowly across the finish line and sometimes feeling isolated from the team. • Operations and maintenance are difficult to perform remotely. Its hard to repair runway lights from your house. • Access to files. • Longer hours of work and more deadlines to meet. • Communication + trust. • Not being able to walk in and see someone about something urgent, not seeing the condition of the airport or what is changing in terms of people flow, construction changes, etc. • More difficult to engage with others. Loss of informal work discussions. Harder to monitor the work of subordinates.

Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey 103   • Some work physically can’t be done remotely. More self-discipline is needed to stay on-task. Proper environment is needed to reduce distractions. • Internet connectivity, hardware compatibility, Zoom fatigue. • Losing the person to person exchange of information. Not being able to reach someone else that was working remotely by just walking over to them for information or a signature. Requesting information that was not accessible instantly when needed. • Passenger interaction. • Less interaction with the team, feeling out of touch with the operation at times. • Work/life separation is non-existent; any work that requires any type of collaboration is significantly more difficult; team building almost impossible. How were you able to maintain work-life balance while working remotely? • More easily than normal. I went in to work 2-3 days a week and remained in my office or drove alone on/around the airfield. • Taking breaks, working out, end work at 5pm. • By making myself adhere to a predictable work schedule that somewhat mimicked my typical work day while in the office (such as taking lunches and “leaving” work at a certain time). • I set firm start/stop times to ensure I wasn’t working just because my laptop was sitting out • I had a dedicated office that I would work in and shut the door when I was done for the day. • I was able to dedicate a specific space away from family for remote work. • Getting outside/getting activity in every day. • Made it work. • Set up separate room for work and leave it and your computer at the end of the work day. Felt comfortable taking extra time during the day for family situations because I could easily finish working later. • Setting boundaries with family that while I’m working they are not to come into the work area/office without permission. • Isolated myself from the rest of the house. • Setting scheduled lunch and knock off times in attempt not to overwork. • I was only fully remote for a couple of months. During that time, making frequent use of phone calls and virtual meetings helped. • More time at home = better work life balance. • I was more productive for work and had the time with my family that I normally don’t get (school events, medical appointments, etc.). • I didn’t • I kind of liked it. I was able to walk the dogs. • Easily. When it was time to work, I opened my laptop and worked at the kitchen table. When it was dinner time, I closed my laptop and cleaned off the table. It was a routine I easily kept. • Having a separate area set up for just doing work that is away from the normal living space in my home. Also, sticking to a normal work schedule and routine for getting ready for work. • Sticking to a schedule. • Hard to stay truly focused and engaged with work. Hard to separate work time from home time, doing work at odd hours of the day. • I split my time and went in to the office 2–3 days a week for part of the day because I needed access to equipment at the office. • I worked from beginning to ending of each shift at my desk and then only after my shift was over, did I do home/personal stuff. • As a consultant, I was not as they continued piling on projects so I transitioned to the airport and it’s been a hybrid situation. Airport work/life balance far and away exceeds the consultant work-life balance. • Setting certain hours assigned to work and the other time for personal.

104 Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies • Same as in-office. I actually worked remotely very rarely, and my household is well set up for remote work. I ran my office from my house for some years before working for the Airport. • I tried to plan my day so that I was working before my kids were awake and after they were finished with remote school for the day so I could help them while also completing my work. • Handle work issues as they arise, while dealing with personal life matters as opportunities arise. • A little difficult even with a segregated office area. • I would only work minimal from home. I was told by HR that I had to. • Strict times for when is work and when is non work. • I wasn’t able to balance work-life! we didn’t have any good/safe child care options - we weren’t willing to put toddler back in daycare so I quit my job to stay home with my daughter. • Get out and exercise during lunch. Use lunch break to do something constructive around the house. • Setting a strict schedule. Setting up my home office to mimic, as much as possible my actual office. • I cut off the work day at the time I did when I was in the office. I worked in an empty bedroom. I treated my days like I was in the office meaning I go through my usual pre-work routine of exercising, showering, eating breakfast, etc. • Yes and No. I live alone and in an condo. I had alot of time to work during the pandemic and working in finance we had our challenges keeping cash flow going while major projects con- tinued. I worked more because I was up in the morning and would make coffee and start my day early. Many nights I worked late because I had everything at home. Yes, the airport got alot of hours from me during the pandemic. • Stick to schedule as if I were in the office. • In the office 4-days a week and home 1-day a week, not including weekends. • Fairly well. Set up office in spare room and was able to walk away at end of work day on most days. • Eliminated time wasted by driving or commuting, set work/life boundaries and monitor working hours closely. • Setting boundaries and specific work day hours. I initially found myself checking and respond- ing to emails from 6am to 7 or 8pm. I realized I wasn’t able to disconnect like I would if I went into the office. • You don’t. • Yes. • By working remote, it was the best work-life balance in years. • Better balance working remotely. • It’s still in progress. • Better. • Yes. • Exercise, calendaring. • For me, it is/was pretty easy because I have an office that is mostly separated from the rest of my house/family and I have plenty of work to do on the computer and via phone. We use personal phones for work and I’m used to getting work-related calls, so nothing really changed there. • Plenty of exercise, quality time with family, stepping away from the computer, and sometimes things have to wait. • I would keep my work hours to be the same and had an office to which I could close the door and remain focused. I would make calls only during working hours and would shut it down at the regularly scheduled time. • Set-up a separate office away from home life. • Designate the same location at home to work each day and the same hours. Walk away from that location when the work is done for the day and focus on family. • I didn’t.

Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey 105   If you were in charge of the organization/department during the pandemic, what would you have done differently, if anything? • Maybe tried to create more opportunities for employees to determine their own schedules so they could benefit from the work from home culture similarly to the non-essential personnel. This may be difficult, but I believe it would be considered more fair to our essential workers who gave so much of themselves to their jobs while many leaders worked remotely in relative safety and comfort. • Allowed more remote work after the six weeks Admin worked from home. • I would have continued to allow a hybrid schedule so that people could continue to have some limited work from home options if they desired. • Required folks to return to the office. • I would have increased interaction and made sure that all team members had the tools and equipment available at home for remote work, including ergonomic chairs, desks, etc. • Although I was able to work remotely a day or two here or there it was not allowed long-term. I’d like to see more hybrid options for working from home. • 100% remote not partial. It’s less risky especially for people who are high risk. Every time we make our way to work praying we don’t catch Covid even while vaccinated as that has proven to not exempt catching a severe bout of Covid. • Slower return to work transition. • Nothing. I think the hybrid model worked for us. People had flexibility, we were more productive (through additional accountability efforts), and we had scheduled happy hours (alcohol not required) during the work day to keep engagement. • Provided more and consistent communication about health and wellness opportunities. Though I did not experience this need, many did, and I feel were unaware of others feeling the same or of services offered. • I’m not sure if there was anything that could have been done better since it’s been so unpredict- able. We did have staff cuts on consultant lead projects that we shouldn’t have done as quickly as we did. • Nothing, everyone did the best they could under the circumstances. • Maintain some level of fairness. On site people returned to work months before office workers and this caused resentment. • Daily team Zoom meetings at a designated time. • Have people work different shifts. • Allowed staff more time to work remotely especially if they had children still attending school virtually. I would have created a hybrid work schedule that would stagger and alternate days that staff went to work at least 1-2 days a week. • I feel our Airport leadership managed reasonably identifying personnel who could work remotely (a small percentage of overall personnel), yet encouraging those to be in the office with mitigation elements in place. I was in the office almost the entire time, except for short rare moments. I have not ever tested positive for COVID-19, though I’ve been tested reasonably frequently for various cause. We did some things right. :) • Implemented more software solutions. • Been more open to change. • I think we handled remote work fairly well, but I would have liked individual zoom check-ins with my manager occasionally instead of always having the whole senior leadership team on the zoom. • Encouraged MORE remote work. • Not worked from home. I am in charge of the emergency services, but HR required all managers to work from home. • Provided technology to better help working remotely.

106 Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies • While I think the flexibility of schedules was necessary for those with children, I would have asked employees come in at least 1-2 days a week to be with their departments. • Communication - we would our normally once a month meeting via video. If I was in charge, I would have had at least a weekly team meeting if not more often and I would meet individually with each employee. I also would do water cooler video meeting weekly. Taking no more than 15 minutes to just chat as a team. No work-related talk, just talk. We had to keep signing these thrown together ridiculous remote contracts as we continued to stay home. HR did not know what they were doing. • Hybrid schedules and mandatory team meetings weekly. • Occasional group activity like maybe lunch - have lunch delivered to each employee in department and have lunch gathering on Zoom/Teams, etc. • During the height of the pandemic, I believe all necessary steps and measures were taken appropriately. As people come back to work, travel, school, etc., it’s time for people to get back in the office and move forward with work, life and family. • I don’t know if anything could be done differently. I would just continue to make sure those that could not be remote felt valued and compensated appropriately for their time. • Better communication from upper management. • Listen to employees individually rather than adhere to a blanket policy for everyone. Obviously more is known now than in the beginning but some decisions were very detrimental. • Offered a session to give tips on working remotely. • More individual return to work conversations and planning. • Accepted the feedback received from surveys and had an informal dialogue to find a common ground to encourage and upbuild the morale first and then promote new and innovative opportunities for the organization in the future. • I think the organization did the best it could. • Nothing that I can think of. We responded as best we could given the ever-changing guidance and circumstances. It did lead to the organization creating a part-time remote-work policy. • Pay for employees high-MPS home internet since they are saving on office space. • I would have worked towards having a more effective way of making sure people were actually working. I would have also made sure everyone had the proper equipment to have online meetings periodically just to socialize with the people in the Department and assure the personal connection was maintained. • Supervisors and managers worked 2 days at home and 3 days at the airport each week. The front-line team worked three 12-hour days and 4 hours work from home each week to limit exposure. I would not change that plan. Morale took a hit during the pandemic, what “fun” thing did your airport do that you can share? • We held more meetings and tried to energize the team a bit on the call. We spoke plainly and recognized the extenuating circumstances we were all in. Following the return to work, when the pandemic was in a lull, I held a “family day” for my departments (with safety measures) where I hopped on a dunk tank in 40 degree weather and got dunked many times over. It helped lighten everyone’s moods and remind everyone why we work and who we work for. • Department lunches, food trucks. • We had a get together for coffee in the parking lot so we could meet but still be outside and 6′ apart. • No-weekly catchup sessions which sometimes involved an engaging game for the department. • Staff in other divisions set up weekly games over Zoom, like trivia or pictionary. • Kept the lights on! • We would have a weekly happy hour where we wouldn’t talk about work but just have fun and chat. It was not scripted or structured. Just good people having fun.

Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey 107   • We did get together for staff birthdays. Order take out. • Nothing. That is something else I would do. Virtual happy hours, support groups, etc. • I lead a team and made it a point to try to either have a virtual happy hour or in-person happy hour on a monthly basis. This has been good for our team. • Not much. All fun events were canceled. There were attempts but with covid precautions it didn’t have the intended results • Offered lunch to staff more often. • Send photos of successes to others. • We continued our weekly team meetings virtually to discuss work projects, but also gave us some time to speak to each other about any non-work related topics. • That’s tough. We couldn’t share food or snacks, we couldn’t meet together face-to-face, except in specific scenarios and with social distancing and masks. It wasn’t actually organized, but our section, mostly being on-site much of the time, encouraged one another. We had no increased turn-over during the pandemic. • Holiday goodie bags I suppose. • We had a company-wide employee recognition Zoom. Once we had all returned to the office we had a socially distanced, outdoor event with a taco truck and ice cream truck. • Friday afternoon “happy hours.” • Not much. Many employees still had to work 100% at the airport. • We had an all airport cookout. We invited tenants, contractors, vendor, and airline personnel. • We did nothing during the pandemic. We have this Spring started to have some social events. We recently had a big picnic out in airfield in our Snow equipment building. • Occasional virtual happy hour. • Our group would have virtual “Happy Hour” where we would just talk and catch up on a monthly basis. • Virtual scavenger hunt . . . goosechase. • Customer appreciation day and Quarterly reward and recognition for top employees. • Virtual Christmas party with a V-Jay and games and we shared videos of decorations for a contest. • Nothing, but we’ve been very busy and short-handed. • Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Walk. • Employee picnic’s/bbq’s. • When it became possible, we brought in food for in-person team meetings and gatherings. Managers and supervisors spent more time with the team in the field when at the airport. Do you have any other thoughts to share on this topic? • I believe the modern-day culture is anything but modern. From schedules, to work/life balance, to how people are compensated, including employer’s flexibility in exchanging insurance and vacation benefits for wages at the individual level. We have a long way to go on modernizing our business staffing models! • It seems to me that individual producers were able to be as productive or more productive while working remotely. Managers and senior leaders seem to add value by making decisions at meetings, so there seems to be a bias towards in office work the higher in the organization you go. • I actually worked at a small hub during 2020–2022 and just recently moved to a large hub. But both airports didn’t/don’t really allow work from home, it was just available occasionally when I was sick or had a kid that needed to be at home. But I do believe long-term airports are going to have to allow some time to work from home to be competitive in the employee marketplace. • Obviously some jobs require being physically present at the airport. Each department should be ruled separately based on the type of work and allow them to establish remote vs on-site vs hybrid.

108 Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies • Health over the need to see employees daily when it’s unnecessary, should be key. That is what you would call caring for your employees and higher productivity/employee satisfaction. • There is room for hybrid schedules (WFH once or twice a week) that I think are sustainable long term and confer a lot of quality of life benefits, without a person’s productivity suffering. • I am in full support of a hybrid model of working from home and office. • Every department has different needs for working remotely. I’d personally like it if I could do 1 or 2 days remote. • I do see an improvement in our ability to communicate via video conferencing and sharing of information electronically has increased substantially from the pandemic. • I feel the ability to work a hybrid schedule would allow me to get more work done and personal tasks completed simultaneously. I still would need to go into the office at least once a week to review my staff ’s performance and productivity. Most meetings could be virtual, unless it required visual inspection that would be difficult to perform remotely. • I feel a hybrid work experience for specific positions is possible. I feel 100% remote work for any position is ultimately detrimental to the Airport, and the community. • I think remote work is sustainable for some job functions within our organization but not all. • Airports should continue recognizing the many benefits to remote work and continue sup- porting their employees working remotely as much as possible, as it will INCREASE morale since it allows a better work/life balance. • I believe that moving to a hybrid model was probably appropriate, but the standards are extremely low. For instance, airport employees in most departments (there are obvious exceptions) only have to come in for 2 days a week. I often see that isn’t really adhered to consistently depending on the department, job, etc. I also have a hybrid agreement (1 day a week from home), but have found that it is much more productive and important for me to be on site. I work across several departments who are here no matter what and I think it’s important to be here in person. I also learned very early on in the pandemic that working from home was not a sustainable solution for me. I now have a manager (only within the last 4 months) that is on site five days a week. I haven’t had a manager on site for 5 years and I feel it is important for our very small, fledgling department that I am here consistently. I do believe it also sets the tone for future opportunities at the organization because I firmly believe that being engaged in-person is key to department success. • We are still working remotely some. I currently come into the office Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Friday mornings. I think we continue unless something goes wrong. I would add we had a perfect audit in 2020. The first in my 7 years at the airport. So we as a team were focused and got the job done. • I think there should be flexibility where employees can have the option to work remotely on certain days of the week. In addition, I think there should be flexible work hours with core hours (e.g. 9am–3pm). • I think best long term solution would be a hybrid schedule that combines working remotely and in office time, maybe 2 days remote and 3 days in office. • Remote work is a valuable option necessary to attract talent. Employers should embrace this option or create hybrid work options when necessary or dictated by the job. Airports should not deny remote work for a department because another dept. cannot work remote (i.e. main- tenance, ops, public safety). Generally, remote work would also make additional terminal space available to rent to tenants. • I think employees enjoy the flexibility and has improved employee moral for those that can take advantage of the “hybrid” work schedule. Those positions that cannot take advantage of remote work should receive an additional 3 - 5 percent bump in pay to help offset. • Hybrid work. • If you hire the right employees, trust your employees to do their work well, and base their work on results and not time in a chair, everyone wins.

Verbatim Comments, Airport Employee Survey 109   • Flexibility is key. • It was and is still a difficult time. Due to lost staffing, budgets, and other resources, those that did have to come to work had to work harder with less and they are the ones that had their morale lowered knowing that some of their counterparts were working from home (or wherever). As part of the Maintenance Division, the Plumbers, Electricians, Custodians, etc. did not have the luxury of working from home, nor did their Supervisors and Managers, and had to come to work and expose themselves and their families to the virus. • I only worked a couple of days remotely, once after receiving the booster and feeling bad and a couple of times when there was an exposure in the office. • Now that people are returning to the workplace and having the audacity to complain, it is very disheartening. I believe that remote working has disrupted how the organization functions and it will take time to get people back into a smooth operation again. • Most members of the team contracted COVID at some point during the pandemic. Our team’s mission involves face-to-face contact with colleagues, airport partners, and the traveling public all day every day. Providing support for the team as a whole, as well as for each team member personally, was key during the pandemic and remains a key part of our success today.

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 Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, airport operators had to develop strategies that maintained operations while ensuring employee safety and public health. Though not all airport-related tasks can be performed from remote worksites, many airports identified tasks that could be performed remotely.

ACRP Synthesis 126: Impacts of COVID-19 on Airport Work Models and Strategies, from TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program, provides information on those airports that experimented in remote work, provides options for airports that did not participate in remote work, and identifies emerging trends.

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