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The 10 industries that covid can’t stop (from welcoming visitors)

The novel coronavirus sweeping the globe has led to unprecedented levels of social upheaval. What started as a vague headline in February quickly evolved into a global shutdown of enormous scale.  In a frantic effort to slow the spread of the virus, many governments have used social distancing as a way to slow the spread, encouraging, and in some cases requiring, people to stay at home. The effect of these policies on workplaces have been significant. 

At Envoy, we have a unique perspective on this data, as our platform allows us to see macro trends with visitor traffic. The first thing to note is that visitor traffic to offices around the world is down by over 80%. Many offices have either closed completely or limited who can enter their premises. Even more interesting is the number of offices that are still seeing visitor traffic. In this graph, you can see how many people have signed in with Envoy each day since March 2nd.

how many people have signed in with Envoy each day since March 2nd

While the effect of the pandemic is obvious, it might come as a surprise that there are still over 15,000 visitors entering various offices and facilities on a daily basis. Who are these visitors, and what kinds of places are still open in the midst of this crisis?

The workplaces still open

Before we look at some types of facilities that are still open, let’s look at the industries that have been impacted the most. Below is a list of the 10 industries that saw the largest drops in visitor traffic due to the pandemic-induced shutdown.

 the 10 industries that saw the largest drops in visitor traffic due to the pandemic-induced shutdown

Most of these are unsurprising. Companies in the Capital Markets industry, for example investment banks and brokerage firms, are not deemed essential. That means their workers are required to stay home in many countries.  Companies in the Household Durables industry often manufacture furniture and consumer electronics. These are goods that people are likely postponing purchases of.  And the Family Services industry typically has workplaces that provide counseling to groups of people. These businesses would be an especially high risk to remain open due to a higher number of visitors than other workplaces.

here is a list of the 10 industries that have been impacted the least.

On the other hand, here is a list of the 10 industries that have been impacted the least. 

Some of these should be expected, such as Food Products, Consumer Staples, and Beverages. These companies produce food and other essential products like toilet paper that people need, pandemic or not. 

The Building Materials industry has seen a smaller impact to operations than the global average. Looking at some particular examples, it’s not hard to see why. For example, companies that build and maintain infrastructure that supply clean water, roads, bridges, and public transportation are all vital parts of the country that cannot be neglected.

There are other types of companies that may be surprising at first glance. Take the Transportation industry for example. It’s been reported that public transit and companies like Uber and Lyft have seen reductions in ridership, yet companies operating in the space have only seen a 44% reduction in visitor traffic. That’s because many of these companies operate freight and rail shipping lines—a crucial part of the country’s supply chain. Companies that operate rail networks, for example, have seen their visitor traffic decrease. They need to maintain operations to ensure they can continue delivering critical shipments. All the food and toilet paper produced is worthless if it can’t make its way to supermarket shelves.

Other counterintuitive examples are companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry. Companies like AvL Technologies are still operating as they produce communications equipment required by governments to coordinate the pandemic response.

The “Diversified Consumer Services” industry sounds vague, but is made up of organizations that provide important goods and services to those who are most vulnerable. For instance, the St Vincents de Paul Society of San Francisco cannot afford to close their facility to visitors, since many of those coming do so to get much needed food and shelter. They have seen a small decline in visitor traffic due to extra precautions they have taken, but closing their space is simply not an option they have (Feel inclined to donate? You can do so here.)

Keeping people safe

Here is a chart showing the % of visitors answering a COVID-19 related question before being allowing inside the building

A workplace that hosts visitors on a daily basis is a health risk during a pandemic—no matter how critical the work. In an effort to keep employees and other visitors safe, there has been an increase in the number of people using Envoy to screen visitors.  What industries are still allowing visitors? Here is a chart showing the % of visitors answering a COVID-19 related question before being allowing inside the building.While this is a topic worthy of a dedicated discussion, it’s clear that companies are taking visitor screening seriously.  Almost 1 in 5 visitors has to answer a covid-related question before they enter. Here are some examples of what these questions look like:

  • Have you traveled by air, cruise, train, bus, such as Greyhound or Trailways, or other forms of public transportation in the last 14 days?
  • Have you or someone you have been in close contact with received a confirmation of having the Corona-Virus?
  • By clicking the confirm button, you attest that the answers that you’ve provided are true and complete and understand that providing accurate information regarding symptoms and exposure during this pandemic is critical to your safety as well as the safety of other employees and volunteers.

Asking these questions alone isn’t sufficient. That said, it is a meaningful part of protecting the workers of critical businesses and organizations. To learn more about how to keep your workplace safe, visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub

The world relies on workplaces

This data highlights the variety of workplaces that exist today, the fact that each has different needs and has been impacted by the pandemic in a different way. It shines a spotlight on the thousands of offices across the world we rely on to keep our society running. For example, it’s easy to see how supermarkets provide essential services during this crisis. But we often don’t think about the complex industry that gets the food onto the shelves. These are not only people who produced the food, but also those who processed and transported it. This includes the people that ensure the roads and railways are clear and operational. The world continues to rely on millions of jobs and thousands of workplaces to remain operational. We can’t afford for these industries to shut down without suffering dire consequences.