Managers Prepare To Use AI As Their Offices Start To Open Up

Safety monitoring is one of the things that manager will need to do
Safety monitoring is one of the things that manager will need to do Image Credit: Jesús Corrius

The Covid-19 pandemic caused just about every office to shut down and close their doors. Each member of your team started working from home and as a manager you had a whole new set of issues that you had to work through in order to keep your team both together and productive. However, now things are once again starting to change. The arrival of a vaccine has allowed business to once again consider having their workers come back into the office. However, from a manager point of view this is going to require us to have a new set of skills.

The Challenge Of Coming Back To The Office

Because of the rapid pace of Covid-19 vaccinations, employers who are planning to reopen physical workplaces are facing a number of unique challenges – not least of which is keeping elevators safe. Many managers are approaching these and other back-to-work issues by leveraging software and platforms powered by artificial intelligence. Managers are also increasingly likely to adopt a hybrid model that splits employees’ time between in-person and remote along with a greater reliance on the role of smaller, satellite offices. The hope is that AI will help buildings get better with traffic management among other post-coronavirus workplace problems. As such, managers realize that the use of AI in the business world is fast becoming essential for daily operations. We understand that it’s no longer just nice to have.

Among other applications, managers can use smart software to help support a range of advanced safety-monitoring tools, such as contact tracing, health check-ins, contagion-risk alerts and social-distancing notifications that flag overcrowded office floors or conference rooms. It turns out that AI algorithms can be fine-tuned over time with an ever-larger pool of data on the comings and goings of employees, providing insights for managers to optimize work schedules and other on-site activities. To further minimize contact managers are eager to get people back into physical workplaces, with AI-enabled safety precautions, while keeping a permanent segment of remote workers.

The New Workplace

Currently an estimated 60% of global companies are developing a hybrid workplace model, where most employees come into the office no more than three days a week. It is estimated that more than 1.1 billion workers around the world worked remotely last year, up from 350 million the previous year. Likewise, a survey of 1,000 global companies found that a majority were pursuing a hybrid model. However, there are signs that many of these plans are still in the early stages. A separate poll found that 44% of employees polled didn’t know their company’s plans to return to the workplace.

Managers realize that as the emergency shift to remote work passes the one-year mark, they are starting to see a drop off in productivity, after an unexpected boost in the early months of the crisis. The result of this is that it is putting pressure on many managers to get workers back at their desks. After a year of working from home many team members are likely to welcome a change of scenery. Managers realize that there is almost a Covid fatigue.

What All Of This Means For You

The pandemic changed the world and caused managers to have to adjust to a fully remote team. As vaccines become available to more and more workers, the possibility of returning to the office is once again becoming a real possibility. What this means for managers is that we need to start planning for how we can make this happen in a safe and productive way.

The good news for managers is that we are not going to have to manage the reopening of offices all by ourselves. Sophisticated software tools are now available to help us to make the right decisions. Not all team members will be in the office every day. Instead, a hybrid approach where team members come into the office some days and work from home on other days will probably be implemented. AI tools will help to manage this traffic. AI tools can also play a role in helping managers to track the physical health of their team members. Not all firms have worked out how they want their team members to return to the office. Managers do want their teams back in the office in order to boost their productivity.

Eventually we will all start coming to the office at least some of the time. It is going to be up to managers to find out how best to coordinate and schedule everyone’s time so that we can interact in the most productive ways. This has never been an easy thing to do. However, now managers have AI enabled tools that can allow them to make good decisions about where each of their team members should be. With the help of AI, we should all be able to get back to work!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that AI tools should be used to manage worker’s vaccination status?

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