Life feels so different after the pandemic. Fewer public events, minimized travel considerations, online shopping, and social gatherings taking a plunge – the pandemic has strongly influenced every section of our lives. It does not matter if things become normal or even get in control, the pandemic is a clear indication of the need for drastic changes. And, the suffering and the pain people have gone through would remain as a plague in our memories forever.
Even when things start to evolve, the impact would be visible not only in our personal life but professional lives as well. Our workplaces would not be like the ones – we once greatly enjoyed. Fewer meetings, strict safety & hygiene compliance, and fewer opportunities to collaborate together- workplaces are under a complete overhaul. This rapid shift involves a working model that is resistant, insulated, and adaptable to future crises. Companies and small businesses are taking appropriate measures to achieve this ecosystem.
And some are ways ahead in implementing it. “Work from models – simple & hybrid ones, social distancing notes and decals on windows, walls, and floors, as well as sneeze guards, separators and barriers at public areas and workplaces have become a must-have attribute of our reality”, say representatives of Front Signs signage company.
With that being said, it is evident that employee safety and protection against malevolent infection would be heavily emphasized and practiced. To the rescue, here are some awesome smart hacks to make the workplace and public areas safer.
1. Minimize Footfall in Public Areas
Public areas with high density are at elevated risk of spreading contagious infections. The risk grows even further in packed locations with little or no room for implementing social distancing guidelines. Such scenes are common in malls, streets, retail stores, transit stations, and other public areas.
A brilliant way to manage high pedestrian traffic is by implementing a waiting system at critical locations. This can be coordinated with staff and the usage of communication tools. Alternatively, digital signs can be installed to instruct and direct pedestrian traffic. The presence of these signs ensures limited numbers in such areas allowing everyone to feel safer and comfortable.
2. Setup a Framework for Queue Management
If you anticipate a way to control foot traffic in your store or, at the workplace, a queue management framework is a viable choice. Queue management works by identifying the locations that are likely to develop overcrowding.
During such time maintaining and conforming to safety norms can be challenging not only for the public but also for the employees. A queue management system encompassing a one-in-one-out system, limited entry approach, and usage of signage or barriers mitigate the risk to negligible levels. If a queue’s capacity is reached, use the ‘do not join the queue’ signs to cease the numbers. And here are some brilliant tips for assistance.
Not only will it offer a better way for managing queues but will also further reduce the bottlenecks that may evoke a greater level of infection spread risk.
3. Maximize Entry and Exit Points
Restricted entry and exit points can make safety and hygiene a critical concern. With limited access points, the circulation of people as well as goods is highly impacted. These entry points even develop clusters during high footfall or traffic at peak times. Thus, causing serious trouble in these areas. A remarkable way to deal with this issue is by creating multiple entries and exit points. This can reduce the waves of sudden movements and allows for a free space for everyone.
4. Communication is the Key
Navigation signs, barriers, and queue management are undoubtedly incredibly helpful but for people with disabilities – a completely different approach is needed. These peoples are entirely different so are their accessibility needs. Verbal communication could be the key to managing these people while ensuring minimal contact and guideline compliance. Signs work for normal people well, but these people may or may not notice them well. Even the protected categories like blinded or partially sighted ones would need to be addressed with a distinct approach.
Verbal communication could be the savior here. It would be beneficial to people with visual disabilities in particular. But it must be in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Apart from the communication – it is important to guide these people to a separate route.
5. Reduce Barriers and Obstacles to Amplify freeflow Movements
No matter if you are walking in a public park, or within your office space – Obstacles could be everywhere around the corner at your location. It could be a planter, a table, or furniture. Make sure the route for visitors is free from such obstacles. Relocate these items to a completely different location so the movements are not inhibited.
This would allow people to conform to the social distancing and other prescribed guidelines in light of the pandemic. You can use additional items such as marking tapes to separate navigational routes.
6. Emphasize on Traffic Management
Social distancing, face coverings, and queue management can prove to be beneficial if there is reliable traffic management in place. Start with enhancing capacity to ensure massive numbers of people can be accommodated, increase space for parking, and arrange signs with parking layout to avoid any confusion.
Another way could be having one-way entry and exits for pedestrians. Traffic management can greatly overcome the need to manage queues. In fact, it can minimize the impact and the vulnerability to a negligible level.
7. Use Signs and Indicators to Direct Movements
Having a designated staff to manage queues can be an enormous problem. If you have limited staff and crew to handle movements – this can become a common picture. Use signs, indicators, and labels to your advantage. These items are quite affordable and can be substituted with humans to convey a prescribed message for people coming to your location.
Want them to choose a different entry point? , or make them wait for a certain period? Signs can be of tremendous help for any role you have in mind.
The Bottom Line
Health and safety are some of the neglected segments in public areas or at workplaces. Post pandemic, this fact has radically changed. Now, an increased focus is laid on maintaining hygienic facilities and providing a safe environment for people and employees. Fortunately, everything is not dreadful about the pandemic. There is something good in every bad. All we can do is embrace the good that falls in our way.