David Paddison on “The Commute” Podcast.May 05, 2020
Listen in to David Paddison’s conversation with “The Commute” podcast on how our communities may look like as we re-enter them post-Coronavirus.
The following is an excerpt from a recent “The Commute” podcast discussion featuring Sterling Seacrest Partners’ David Paddison. “The Commute” is presented by National Office Systems and features interviews and roundtable discussions on news and issues impacting Savannah. Full episodes, including this one, are available at SavannahNow.com/podcasts or through mobile device podcast apps by searching “The Commute with @SavannahOpinion.”
Question: What is the approach as we begin to head back out into the world?
Paddison: “It’s really hard to make a firm plan when you don’t have an exact date (of returning to normal). I can tell you when a hurricane hits, we know that within 24 to 48 hours, we’re going to exit and then we start doing our reconciliation whether that’s going to be in a long term exit or a longer term exit, and we’re going to be kind of figuring things out and reconciling our situation such as wins and losses as we exit. So, from a business standpoint, you know that exit and reconciliation is going to have a lot to do with bringing life back to what is a business normal and business normal is.”
“When we get on the other side of this (pandemic), it’s going to be very, very different. I mean, people’s behavior is going to be changed, including their investing appetite and their risk tolerance. So all of the assumptions that are built into your individual business strategy are going to be new and different assumptions.”
Question: Once you and your employees return to the office, what do you implement to help protect from each other? Do social distancing? How do you how do you handle that? Or do you let the employees kind of dictate that themselves?
Paddison: “We’re going to look to each person and evaluate the individual circumstance and adapt in a way that makes them, number one, physically safe. And the other one, that’s really hard, is this (situation) is very emotionally difficult for people. And so the last thing we want to do is put someone in an emotional situation where they have to decide between this or this.”
“We’re fortunate that we have the ability to (Be flexible) because some people don’t. I look at a convenience store, I mean, you can’t have a convenience store without having a person physically running the cash register. So, we’re going to just be flexible, and then we’re going to wipe, wait and watch the CDC guidelines.”
Question: In our work, we’re doing a lot of stuff through Zoom, a lot of stuff through email, and we can still do what we do for the most part. There’s other places such as retail places or restaurants where that’s not going to be possible. Do you see us coming out of this with a different working style?
Paddison: “I think people are going to come out of this thing, being able to do a lot more more effectively…That being said, a lot of the economy was accustomed to traveling. (Industries like) entertainment are associated with face-to-face business meetings. So how is that going to change things?”
Question: What does a post-coronavirus future look like for the Savannah economy, in your opinion?
Paddison: “I think that maybe Savannah is less susceptible to a longer term drag because when things are tough, Savannah is kind of a drive around city, so it doesn’t rely on big sporting events and big concerts and big stuff like that. So, we may be a little bit more resilient in terms of the hospitality space and may actually become a better option. So I might not fly to Italy, but I might go, you know, to Savannah for a long weekend.”
“I think we’re gonna come out of it. But it really is going to boil down to people’s individual comfort with kind of that exit and reconciliation – how long is it going to take me to feel comfortable to come out of this?”
Originally published on Savannah Now