Monika Moser is Regional Managing Director with Wilson Associates, a global interior design firm specializing in the hospitality industry. Currently managing Wilson Associate’s offices in Paris (Atelier Tristan Auer), London and New York, Monika is overseeing major luxury projects in France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Israel, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Thailand, China and USA. She has previously held management positions in various luxury hotels in Paris and oversaw the opening of the Hotel Four Seasons George V, the Hilton Arc de Triomphe and the Shangri-la Hotel Paris.
As the weeks indoors stretch on, the Sleep & Eat team are checking in with our community to discover how others in the hospitality world are dealing with lockdown.
Today, we’re exploring the ‘new normal’ of Monika Moser, Regional Managing Director at Wilson Associates.
*Please note: this interview was recorded at the beginning of May, before lockdown restrictions in Paris were loosened.
Hi Monika. Thanks for letting us check in with you. It’s important to us to stay connected with our community, even if at a social distance.
Where are you self-isolating right now?
I am in Paris, in my apartment.
What’s the view from your new ‘work desk’?
The typical Parisian view I guess, a window towards the roofs of Paris, an inner courtyard where you can hear all neighbours clap at 8pm. I travel a lot to our various locations, and I have never arranged for an office space in my flat, therefore I am working from my kitchen.
What are you most enjoying having the time to do, that you can’t normally fit in?
My teenage daughter and I are watching a lot of movies together, I take time to show her some of the old blockbusters from my youth. Also, I am really happy for all this additional time to read.
Have you developed a new daily routine?
I believe a daily routine is very important when working at home: waking up at the same time, having a real lunch break, leaving the workload at a specific time. We have early morning zoom meetings with my teams in Paris, London and later in the day with New York. During the day I usually squeeze in a webinar or two, there are really quite interesting topics available at the moment.
What’s your favourite part of the day in your ‘new normal’?
In France during confinement, we are allowed to do one-hour outside exercise per day. Interesting how much one can appreciate a simple walk around the neighbourhood.
What do you think will be the biggest change in how you do your job post COVID-19?
Predicting the future is difficult in these situations, but I believe that we will all come out of this with the conviction that our habits need to change. Hopefully, we then will all be more conscious about the environment.
It’s a difficult time for the hospitality industry. What do you think will be the hospitality sectors biggest challenge post COVID?
The hospitality industry will have to go back to essentials. People will always travel and the industry will eventually go back to their normal rhythm. However, clients will have different expectations in terms of hygiene, service, experiences. Will they expect such a large number of brands, standardized services, meaningless encounters? I don’t think so.
What should those in the hospitality industry be doing now to help them prepare for the coming months?
We have already seen owners and investors reaching out to us to renovate their properties now, looking to be ready when activity is back to normal. This is a very smart move.
How is Wilson Associates planning to ‘hit the ground running’ again in the coming months? Do you have any new project ideas in the pipeline?
We haven’t stopped! Our teams are on full speed while working remotely on our active projects and various new ones. Our pipeline is looking good, only few projects paused or were postponed due to Covid-19.
And finally, what are you most looking forward to doing again when the lockdown is lifted?
A very long walk through the forest. A glass of ice-cold rosé on a Parisian terrace with friends. On a long-term: travelling and seeing my family in South-America.
Thanks for checking in with us, Monika.
To hear about how other key figures in the hospitality design community are approaching life and work in the current climate, you can also check in with...