Return To Work
October 7th, 2020

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5 Workplace Technology Trends For the Post-Pandemic Era

Your employees already use voice technology at home, calling on Siri, Alexa, or Google when they need quick answers. About 35% of US households now have a smart speaker, and it’s estimated that 75% will by 2025.

Voice technology helps people with everything from checking the weather to getting step-by-step instructions for a new recipe. And voice-enabled personal assistants could be the next evolution of the employee experience.

Here’s why.

The rise of voice technology

At its core, voice technology is about convenience. It helps us find what we need faster, and it’s touchless. That’s hugely beneficial if you’re driving, cooking, or frantically running from one meeting to the next. In the post-pandemic workplace, touchless technology is in even greater demand.

Using a mobile app to check in, find a place to work, and reserve it immediately offers a clean and streamlined experience. And voice technology is the next evolution of that.

Another big advantage of voice technology is that it’s capable of using artificial intelligence to learn more about the user and cater to their preferences over time.

Smart, voice-enabled assistants store your preferences so they can better meet your needs. For instance, they remember your order from your favorite restaurant, the address for your office, and other common destinations.

At the same time, the lines between our personal lives and our work lives are becoming more blurred.

Employers and IT leaders recognize employees want more flexibility and user-friendly technology to support them wherever they are.

They may not be in the office every day, but when they are, they want to make the most of their time there.

And spending 15 minutes to track down their colleagues, find an available desk, or book a meeting room hinders their productivity.

Voice recognition technology examples in the workplace

Voice technology in the workplace — including voice-enabled personal assistants — can help employees automate manual tasks, removing friction from their day.

Here are just a few examples.

1. Managing schedules

Some voice-enabled personal assistants already help with scheduling. You can ask your iPhone to add a meeting to your calendar, for instance, and remind you of an upcoming appointment. There are also a variety of apps to help people find the best flights at the lowest price, book a hotel room, and make reservations at a restaurant nearby.

In the near future, we could see more integration of these functions and the use of voice technology to plan business trips.

2. Booking meeting rooms

Trying to find an available meeting room that fits employees’ needs can be challenging, especially when many workplaces are reconfiguring their conference rooms for physical distancing.

A room that once accommodated a dozen people may only fit six now. Employees also need to be sure the space they choose has the right conference room technology. Room scheduling software already makes it easy to sort and filter all your rooms by availability, location, capacity, and technology.

In the future, we could see voice technology integrated with room scheduling systems to add another layer of convenience.

3. Submitting IT help requests

Whether your employees are working at home or in the office, there’s nothing more frustrating than technology issues that derail their day. That’s why it’s so important to offer them an easy way to submit IT help requests. Your team also needs a fast and easy way to efficiently resolve those requests. In the future, voice technology could streamline the process on both sides.

4. Running meetings more efficiently

We’ve all been in a meeting where we needed to share something at a moment’s notice but couldn’t find it. A voice-activated assistant in your conference room could instantly find documents or data that enrich the conversation — such as last year’s revenue from an investor release.

It could potentially record the conversion, send the recording to a transcription service, and could even book the next meeting so attendees receive calendar invites before they’re back at their desks.

5. Sharing important announcements

When there’s a severe weather alert or a traffic backup, timing makes the difference between being stuck in the middle of it and arriving at your destination with ease.

Employees receive an average of 100 or more emails each day, so it’s no longer an effective way to send important announcements or internal communications.

A mobile app is much more efficient — and could potentially integrate with voice technology to alert your workforce sooner.

Some IT departments are building their own apps for employees, but it’s often much easier to use a workplace app that already exists — like the Teem mobile app or iOFFICE Hummingbird.

The future of voice technology

The pace of innovation requires employees to be more productive than ever before. And with that added responsibility comes added stress. Frictionless workplace technology can reduce this stress, allowing employees to find what they need faster.

It can help employees manage scheduling and conference room booking, run more efficient meetings, and even achieve more balance between their professional and personal lives.

Voice technology is already transforming the way we search for information online. It won’t be long before it makes its way into your workplace.

Before you rush to implement voice-enabled applications, however, consider your goals, ease of use, and the technology you already have. Adding voice technology just because it sounds cool without considering how employees will actually use it will only create a more frustrating experience for everyone.

Learn more about the emerging workplace technology trends that will impact your post-pandemic office.

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