I've had a number of financial institution presidents call me and say, "Plipsen, you designed us these cool buildings with these teller-less lobbies. When we reopen, what do we do at our transaction counters to protect our employees and our customers or members (if you are a credit union)?" Here's the advice I give to them:
Quick Lobby Modification for Safe Banking During COVID-19
Head to your local hardware store, buy a 2' x 2' piece of glass with these parameters:
- Keep it pretty thin (and therefore, lighter-weight)
- Plexiglass or acrylic
- Glare free
Then, drill a couple holes in the top and suspend it from your ceiling so it falls between your employee and your customer. Suspend it high enough so it sits about 6" above the counter top so you can still slide hands underneath it.
I'd also recommend having people assume the positions of your employees and customers/members during installation to make sure the placement is comfortable and effective. Have them make sure it offers the protection you were looking for, and supports quality communication and customer service (minimal glare, uninterrupted eye contact, exchange of bills, receipts, etc., and so on).
Our New, Albeit Temporary, Normal for Banking Today
We have a short memory as society, so I believe this new way of banking will be temporary - maybe 6, maybe 12, maybe 24 months. No one knows at this point, but I would recommend temporary protective barriers so your employees and customers or members feel safe when they are in your lobby.
Hang in there - this is a tough one, but we're all in it together. Stay tuned for more safe banking tips and building modification ideas.