Let me ask you a question. Do you use Siri? Or, Alexa? (So … do you think anyone will name their kid Alexa again?) Do you run around “Hey Google”-ing your way through some of life’s most basic questions? If the answer is “no” and you’re not already using voice assistants, I’m going to go ahead and make a bet — you will be soon. Comscore says that 50% of all internet searches will be done by voice (rather than text) by 2020. (That’s literally right around the corner!)
Why is this? For one, it’s easy. We’ve become used to asking Siri for directions or seeing if Alexa knows the weather. We’ve also integrated these products into our lives. Siri is on our phones, which are literally available at a moments notice. We have smart thermostats and smart doorbells and smart televisions … it’s all around us and easy to access.
We know how this is going to play out at home. We’re going to ask Alexa to make our grocery list. We’re going to ask Siri what time the movie is playing at the neighborhood theater. We’ll even ask it to set a timer while cooking. There is, after all, 19.7% of US adults using a smart speaker — and 45.9% of those are in the kitchen.
But, How does this impact business?
Despite the move towards acceptance at home, it is still undecided how voice assistants will impact us at work. Here are just a few of the ways that I believe voice assistants can change the workplace:
#1. For education
Imagine if your team members could simply ask Alexa for the latest education on a particular process or topic related to their work — and if you’ve already created the learning tools needed to fulfill this “ask”. From workplace policies and onboarding to knowing the right script for a sales application, the possibilities for how voice assistants could impact team member education are endless.
#2. For productivity
Voice assistants are already used to create to-do lists, to schedule conference calls, and to schedule important reminders. I think this will only continue to evolve as voice assistants become more prevalent in the workplace; thus allowing team members to streamline their day and reduce the amount of time they’re spending on tedious tasks. We’ll be able to shift our focus to more important goals.
#3. For big data access
Big data is such a big thing. (Pun intended!) I’ve written articles in the past about how important it is to make sure team members have access to the data they need in order to be productive and do their jobs — but imagine if they can just ask for it! When we un-silo our data and share it across teams in the workplace — and then we integrate voice assistants for easy recall of that data — the world is literally changing before our eyes.
#4. For tech advances
A lot of people are talking about how voice assistants will revolutionize coding. Imagine being able to tell Alexa how you want to code a certain program and it just — does it! This is truly remarkable. Just think of the specialization that coders have had to have in the past, and how their jobs will truly change when they’re able to have Siri or Alexa help code quicker, smarter and, potentially, without error.
These are just a few of the ways that I think voice assistants will start impacting the workplace. Are you using it at work? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let’s continue this conversation over on my LinkedIn page.