Published October, 2018
This post covers topics that may have changed since originally published.
How voice-activated speakers are changing the office landscape.
There’s already a lot of tech in the office helping to make everyone’s lives easier. So what more could we need?
Well, what if we literally did not have to touch a single button or screen and could summon commands, requests, and info all from the sound of our voice?
With the rise of the voice-activated speaker like Alexa and Google Home, we’re not far from having these voice assistants at our side night and day.
How would that work? Would there be an Alexa sitting at everyone’s desk? While in the era of open offices and agile seating, it’s not likely that we’ll be barking orders sitting a few feet from our next coworker.
Instead, she’ll probably be strategically placed around the office, eventually baked into the tech and design of the original floor plan, ready to share info, find meeting rooms and more.
Alexa, how could I use thee in the office? 5 ways voice-activated speakers will likely (or already have) hit the workplace:
1. Use Alexa as your company greeter
Small company? Office Manager wearing multiple hats and always on the go? Greet your visitors with an Alexa (+ maybe some instructions). Alexa can start folks off by steering them in the right direction, preempted by a cheerful welcome message.
2. Give a voice-activated speaker access to office controls and save your Ops team time
Pair a smart thermostat with Alexa and you’ll be able to control the temperature. Suddenly, our early morning support team isn’t stranded when winter sets in and can easily shout out to Alexa to up the degrees in the office.
The same approach applies to employees looking to report facility-related issues they come across. Out of coffee? Let Alexa know. Depending on the issue, she may even be able to reorder them for you (on Amazon, of course).
3. Place Alexa in high traffic areas in the office to direct people
TVs with office floor plans are insanely helpful, but pairing that with an Alexa doubles down on wayfinding support. Place voice-activated speakers in your lobby or elevator halls and watch employees and visitors interact to find points of interest and colleagues.
4. Take advantage of voice-activated speakers’ main job to help with noise control
Go back to the basics with voice-activated speakers by using their actual speakers to play lowkey music or a version of white noise. Play one song throughout the office or cater to different areas and departments with different sound tactics. For example, engineers might like deep focus music or brown noise. Marketers may want something more energetic or white noise.
5. Make Alexa take notes or extend the room booking in your next meeting
You’ve always wished you had an assistant, especially in meetings to start your video conference call or jot down action items. Now you can have all of that with Alexa on her way to being fully integrated into calendars and meeting tools.
Alexa can already start meetings, take notes by recording the audio, and serve as a conference call speaker. Hook her up to your calendars and ask her if the room is free for the next half hour to book it for a follow-up.
And in the near future, combine that with Robin to make room booking and management 100% effortless.
Are you using Alexa in your office? Tell us about it @robinpowered.