We talk to Ivo Pais, Transport Advisory Manager of Cardno - proud National Sponsor of the AITPM - about his experience of COVID-19
Why do you support the AITPM?
The AITPM is a great way to stay connected with clients and colleagues in the traffic and transport planning industry. The conferences and events help us explore topics relevant to our roles, and learn about emerging technology and where the industry is headed. The AITPM also plays an important role in supporting and recognising young professionals in traffic and transport, and helps them develop a network as they progress with their careers.
What is the focus of your organisation?
Cardno’s vision is to be leaders in improving the physical and social environment for people around the world. This is reflected in the work delivered by our transport advisory teams across APAC, as we work with our clients to achieve optimal outcomes while adhering to Cardno’s core values:
Safety - We believe that creating a safe environment for our people, clients and the communities we impact should always come first.
Integrity - We believe that knowing and doing the right thing will lead to satisfied employees, clients, investors and better financial performance.
People - We believe that what is good for our people, communities and the world we live in, can be good for business.
Excellence - We believe that the delivery of high-quality services creates value for clients, communities and investors.
COVID-19 has been a challenging time for many, what has is meant for your organisation?
The recent months have provided an opportunity for our innovative teams to embrace disruption and re-think the way we work. Whilst we initially missed the daily face-to-face interactions with our colleagues and clients, utilising technology such as MS Teams or Zoom continue to help us stay connected.
Many of our people have told us that flexible working has helped unlock productivity, improved general health and wellbeing, and allowed more time to focus on achieving a better work-life balance. Cardno has listened to the feedback and are gradually introducing new policies, one of which is called “Work Your Way”, to foster a culture of flexibility in our teams.
What have you learnt during this time?
It’s been particularly rewarding to witness our teams’ resilience in adapting to a new work environment, and exploring new and better ways to collaborate. On a professional level, it’s been interesting to monitor the changes to transport demands and mode share as a result of COVID-19. We’ve been working with our clients to identify potential medium- and long-term impacts on the way we plan our transport infrastructure.
How have you stayed connected with your team, colleagues and clients?
Social interaction is important for an efficient and mentally healthy team. To help maintain our team culture, we introduced regular informal team meetings using MS Teams, changing the topics and conversation points to keep the team engaged. The ability to quickly schedule a video call has also helped us stay connected with clients as we’re virtually one click away.
What are you doing differently now, and do you think this change will continue?
One of the most visible changes was the quick transition to digital tools. I have great confidence that the digital transformation will continue to expand, and at Cardno we are definitely seeing that happen across all disciplines. We are also working with our clients to capitalise on opportunities to use digital technology and innovation. A good example is our recent collaboration with TfNSW in exploring how digital innovation can help reduce the risk of crime against women using transport at night.
A large proportion of our traffic and transport professionals are utilising the flexible work arrangements, which is something I believe will continue for the foreseeable future.
What is your focus for the coming year?
The next few months will be very interesting for the traffic and transport industry. We are witnessing unprecedented changes to the way people are move about their communities and cities, including the actual underlying demand, the modes chosen for various trips, the times of the day travelled, etc. It’s an exciting time for us and I look forward to working with our clients to optimise the transport network around us in response to these developments in demand.
Anything else to share?
With the AITPM annual conference moving to an online format this year due to COVID-19, we didn’t have a chance to catch up with our friends across the industry. I hope that everyone is safe and hanging in there during these turbulent times, especially our colleagues in Victoria. I look forward to catching up with everyone next year.