Where do we go from here? On any given day, we can read from one reputable source that the COVID-19 crisis will be over in two years and from another that it will remain with us forever. Nobody can truly claim to know what comes next. However, even if we do develop a vaccine in the near future, the moment it rolls out is day zero of a long tail before we return to normality. That’s why any business looking to bring people back to the office in any capacity should be thinking about hiring a COVID Administrator and giving them the tools they need to help offices adapt to the new reality.
Why companies will soon be hiring COVID Administrators?
Some businesses, such as Google, have already announced that all employees will work from home until at least summer 2021. Others are not so capable of going fully remote and require onsite workers. From the other side, many employees want or need to be in the office as connectivity, logistical or family issues limit their ability to perform at home.
As companies attempt to do what’s right for the business and for people, we will start to see the creation of a new position which we might call, for want of a better word, the “COVID Administrator”: a person who is responsible for adapting the workplace to the demands of the crisis, keeping up with legal regulations, understanding the latest health guidance, and managing the phases of an eventual return to normalcy.
Right now, businesses are relying upon office managers and administrators to do this job. However, it is often unrealistic to expect such workers to add a whole raft of crucial COVID-specific responsibilities to their current tasks. It is also wrong to assume that the average office administrator is ideally trained to deal with the challenges of an unprecedented global health crisis.
The coming months will see businesses formally announcing this role. One of the first things we will see from COVID Administrators is the choice of the tools with which they will take on the task. They will need a range of health and organizational applications. Some tools will help pass through the deep crisis phase we are in right now—during which numbers of employees are severely limited and regulations are more severe—others will allow the business to transition through phases until offices are full again and health protocols are completely eased.
The rise of the COVID Administrator and the tools they will need
The unifying factors behind all of the tools they choose will be that they are brand new technologies developed in response to the crisis or existing solutions that have been adapted at pace to serve the purposes of protecting health and allowing people to work effectively. They will also have to fit the mantra of “no hassle, no-touch, and low expense” as the COVID Administrator operates in an era of extreme budget cuts.
Michał Puterman, Managing Director at Bookado, an application for office space booking that has been designed as a touchless solution from the start, explains why new tools are vital to help pass through the crisis. “We are talking about the serious repercussions of business stability and people’s health and their lives here. Now is the moment to look into solutions that are innovative and most adequate to the demanding situation. We were led by the idea of an app that is touch-free, easily arranges office spaces, and helps workers avoid crowded spaces by using intuitive desk and room booking when we developed Bookado. It’s the kind of solution that COVID Administrators may consider, along with tools such as temperature measurement systems and e-reception apps. The right combination becomes a powerful support for those in the workplace.”
From that angle, the COVID Administrator will not only be the most important person for protecting the health of employees in the coming years. Their work may also be the main channel for powerful new innovations which become a part of our everyday lives.