From March to May 2020, several countries in the European Union were confined as a result of the very rapid spread of COVID-19. Governments opted for this total confinement solution to break the chains of transmission of the virus. Here we are in November 2020, at the beginning of a new confinement following the arrival of the second wave of the Coronavirus.
This health crisis forced us to change our habits, for several months we were and still are locked in our homes. Teleworking when possible having become the norm in these times of lockdown, employees have learned to work from home. Teleworking, the closure of all stores deemed not to be of primary necessity, as well as the closure of the Horeca and the cultural sector are intended to limit contact and travel. As a result, mobility has suffered and continues to suffer a great shock.
At the end of the first confinement we wondered about the future of mobility. Today, we have already witnessed how things went during the first exit from confinement.
In this article, we will therefore first share with you the observations made during the first deconfinement and then, solutions to deal with the changes in mobility caused by this health crisis.
After last spring's three-month lockdown, we observed that a large number of citizens no longer wanted to use public transports or at least wanted to minimize their trips on public transit. Indeed, it is not because the country is no longer confined that the virus no longer circulates, it is still very much present. It is therefore important for everyone to continue to protect themselves from it.
A decrease in the use of public transportation means an increase in the use of private transportation (car, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle...). Based on this observation, as we predicted at the time of the first containment, the demand for parking has strongly increased during the deconfinement.
In order to promote smoother mobility and avoid a surplus of cars in the city, the government strongly encourages citizens to travel by bicycle. For example, in Brussels and Paris, kilometers of bicycle paths are made available to users (40 km in Brussels and 650 km in Paris) to facilitate the use of this mode of transportation. To avoid an influx of cars into the city center, Paris municipal representatives have decided to double the number of spaces in park-and-ride facilities.
During these months of confinement, the vast majority of employees worked from home. But we could clearly see that this trend continued even during the recovery. Indeed, the government continued to advocate home office and encourage as many companies as possible to continue to practice it. This means that, even after this second containment, some people will not return to the same mobility habits as before March 2020.
Teleworking experiences are different for everyone. In some companies, it has been viewed very positively, in others less so. Some companies that have identified advantages in this method of work will make it recurrent with 1 to 2 days of teleworking per week for their employees.
After the first lockdown, we also noticed some companies started a new kind of shift work. To avoid a crowded office, only a limited amount of employees are allowed to go to work every day. For instance, some departments will go to the office only on Monday and Tuesday, and the other departments will go to the office for the rest of the week.
What are the solutions to cope with these new habits?
One of the most practical solutions would be to ensure each employee to have a space to park their vehicle in the company parking lot, no matter it is a car or a bike. Staggered work shift could be a real advantage because the company could satisfy all its employees even if the number of parking spaces is less than the total number of employees driving to work.
By using personal transportation, employees take less risk of the virus spreading.
It is an opportunity for parking managers to change the company parking policy and the parking access. The aim is to give parking users more flexibility.
By providing different types of access to the parking lot for employees and having visibility on the occupancy rate of the parking lot, the parking manager will be able to optimize the space while satisfying a larger number of employees.
Some parking management platform goes hand in hand with access technology. Thanks to this it is possible to access the parking lot simply by using a smartphone or a license plate reader.
By using this kind of platform, employees are offered the comfort of not having to touch a keyboard or a machine where many bacteria can be housed.
To anticipate the coming increasing needs of parking spaces, you might need to consider finding more parking spaces.
Especially if you are already using an efficient parking management platform to optimize your parking and you still hear complaints from your co-workers, or your companies do not have parking for their employees or have too few vacant parking spaces.
It would be interesting for parking managers to use this special period to solve this parking problem and be able to provide a parking solution for their employees during the takeover.
Are you one of these companies and would you like to find parking spaces for your employees near your offices? Find all the necessary information here.
Our behaviors have changed a lot since the first lockdown. We have learnt to live and move differently and we are convinced that these changes will really impact our future attitude. This is why it is essential for companies to prepare this return to community life as well as possible in order to preserve an optimal mobility experience.