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Can AI reopen workplaces?

#BackToOffice in the offing – and AI will be instrumental

Face it: you’re probably not going back to the office any time soon. It’s been almost half a year since the COVID pandemic has been in our midst, and until a vaccine has been confirmed, it isn’t likely to change any time soon. Over the last few months, our lives have seen radical changes in several aspects, many among which are here to stay for good. Work from home (WFH) realities have seen prolonged exposure and widespread acceptance as a common idea over the world. Firms, however, are still trying to get their workers back to office – and not just ‘back to business’.

There have been very rapid developments of various means to address numerous troubling aspects of the pandemic, and AI has been instrumental so far in aiding processes worldwide and across verticals. A recent AI-based system, Dojo, has come up with an efficient set of AI tools that will allow companies to ensure adequate protection in the back-to-office transition for employees, having anticipated – apparently – every possible scenario surrounding their return. It combines behavioural science and a novel AI technology to not only increase workplace efficiency, but also improve workforce productivity.

Apart from a backtrack contact-tracing technology (which has, of course, garnered abundant popularity round the world), Dojo uses an interactive AI and machine learning-based interface that allows for systematic distance planning whilst automatically implementing government guidelines. Determining precisely which roles require physical relocation and identifying at-risk groups and policies for systematic health screening and reporting – is going to be crucial in this regard.

The system also facilitates collaboration between various levels of employees, optimising planning of daily or weekly shifts, exploring phasing and assessing potential hazards. Clearly communicating with a workforce going through this unprecedented time will be key for all HR executives, especially in desensitising anxieties attached to a still-raging viral pandemic. Furthermore, the AI module will seek to use its occupancy analytics to monitor density and occupancy using real-time sensors as well as digital data. The platform will continuously ensure safety precautions whilst setting up a staggered back-to-office schedule for its employees, thereby allowing increased flexibility and time for adjustment with the new normal.

On second thoughts, you might have to go back to office sooner than you thought.

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