Crowd Control Is Now The Number One Priority For Pandemic-Stricken Businesses

Before the virus hit, companies had subtle ways of controlling crowds of customers flowing in and out of their premises. Businesses used turnstiles and other subtle cues to direct the motion of traffic. But given the current public health concerns, firms are having to rethink people management completely.

We’ve already seen significant changes in the retail sector. Firms are doubling down on social distancing, limiting the number of customers who can enter the store at any given time. And assistants are moving around busily sanitizing everything that customers touch, trying to make it safe for the next person queuing outside.

We’ve also seen an explosion in the number of executives looking for things like bollard installation tips. Firms need methods to control access to their properties and accommodate traffic. Those offering click and collect, for instance, need bollards to protect staff and buildings. And businesses that have had to abandon their premises need them for threats like squatting.

Companies are also having to dramatically rethink the commute because of the risks of public transport. Some firms need commuters to show up to work. Skyping once or twice a day just isn’t sufficient to keep the wheels of industry turning. We are, therefore, seeing firms implement staggered commuting models. Here they allocate workers’ shift slots, designed to help people avoid rush hour’s most dangerous times. Workers are getting to the office at midday and then leaving at 8 pm. Or they’re arriving at 6 am and leaving at 2 pm.

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Controlling crowds was never a significant part of doing business. But companies are starting to realize just how important it has become for their long-term survival. Losing people to COVID-19 is not an option. Firms need healthy workers, able to stick it out long-term. The last thing they want is the death of a colleague on their hands, especially if they would have remained safe by staying at home.

Bosses, though, have never experienced anything like this before. Leaders aren’t used to operating in an environment in which the very act of turning up to work could be making the pandemic worse. Fortunately, the number of infected people is going down, but management is by no means expert in tackling this issue. Time and again, we’ve seen companies refuse to open up their premises because of the risk to their colleagues. Despite the costs, it is cheaper to keep workers at home than to risk possible infection.

Crowd control will, therefore, become increasingly important to businesses. We could see changes across the board, from the removal of elevator buttons to staggered shift patterns. Offices are also going to do a better job of cleaning, buying in third-party services that really understand how to fight the virus. And people in the events industry will need to work hard to allay the fears of attendees and get everyone working together.

Recovering from this pandemic isn’t going to be easy for the business sector. Companies are going to have to consider the risk of transmission whenever they embark on a new initiative or even reopen their workspaces. With a little strategizing, though, it’s manageable.

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