I heard an interesting story from a guide of the famous theatre of the castle in Chesky Krumlov. He told us that only three engineers operate manually that great stage setting. Each person of three cares of only one primary task, respectively. Thus, three operations are done at the same time, such as making sound of wind by rolling a small windmill-like instrument, moving a background or a scene board by pulling a wire, adjusting a volume of light. Additional nine supports them with other secondary tasks. And, eight others wait for switch of the roles. Then, these twenty engineers are on duty for a stage. With the engineers, twenty members at an orchestra play music. Everything is managed by lead of the music tact.
I found two points in the above story: First, just 60% of the staff are actively involved in the task regarding operations. Second, external signal, here, music controls the situation. These coincide with a pattern of ant swarm behavior within the colonies. Ant workers are actively involved in the transport of colony by around 55% in the large population density. They follow pheromone signals in the behavior. A big difference is timing of the operation. In the case of theatre operations, everything is settled down before the beginning. Ant swarm behavior depends on ad hoc response to a situation after beginning of search for nests.
A thing that is very attractive to me is the number of quote of workers happens to be similar with each other.