Employees today are busier than ever. On a daily basis, employees face mounting pressure to work harder, smarter and faster in an effort to keep up with today’s changing world. What’s worse? Our most valued resource – time – is often spent on mundane work. Administrative tasks clog up our days, jeopardize our creativity and take us away from projects that bring out our passions. Instead of professionally thriving, we’re often just trying to survive the workday by constantly keeping up with our overstuffed inboxes and ensuring our calendars are up-to-date.
What’s a workforce to do? Lean into technology! More specifically, voice technology. When it comes to how employees get work done in the enterprise, voice tech is taking siege and changing the way we do even the most basic of tasks. Over the last several years, voice-first interactions through devices such as Siri, Google Home and Amazon Alexa have become commonplace. More recently, Siri and Alexa have become increasingly active in enterprise. In fact, Gartner predicts that nearly 30% of all web browsing will be screenless by 2020. At this rate, voice tech will be as relevant at work as it is at home.
While much of the buzz around voice technology remains consumer-centric, Siri, Google Home and Alexa are increasingly commonplace in the enterprise world. Employees, who are used to hands-free and voice-first technology at home, are beginning to bring the expectation of a similar experience into the workplace in an effort to cut down on mundane tasks. That’s all due to voice technology’s ability to free up people’s hands, place experiences “in the air” and automate and perform tasks with merely a simple voice-activated cue.
While voice tech for enterprise continues to be evolve, the workplace comprised only 3% of voice tech usage in 2016.
What’s behind the sudden lift in voice tech usage in enterprise environments since 2016? Voice technology continues to prove to be an effective means for enterprises to circumvent the perils of antiquated, legacy tech that burdens their employees. Moreover, the increased usage of voice tech at work actually bolsters an employee’s ability to better perform their job, lighten their administrative workloads to focus on more creative, strategic tasks and, ultimately, foster a better employee experience.
Overall, the driving force behind the increasing presence of voice tech in the workplace is the automation and interconnectivity that voice-first technologies like Alexa and other digital assistants bring to a business. Three out of ten organizations have already implemented AI-powered voice assistants and chatbots to help automate menial tasks and empower employees by granting them more convenient ways to do their work, overhauling the employee experience at these companies for the better. The ability to literally call out to a device to check your schedule, book a conference room, record notes during a meeting, quickly reply to an email or inquiry, etc. is making these mindless work nuisances faster, more efficient and, dare we say, even fun for employees.
Currently, the reigning enterprise voice champ is Cortana, a surprising top-dog considering its lack of notoriety compared to household names like Alexa and Siri. Still, as voice interactions and commands in the enterprise achieve greater efficacy and sophistication thanks to advancements in the AI, machine learning and natural language processing algorithms that power these devices, we could very well be on the precipice of a new frontier for how work gets done across all jobs, industries and tasks.
Something as simple as a voice assistant can facilitate this welcome change, offering a better way for employees to do their job, lightening their load by automating and/or offsetting tasks to their own personal, voice-activated His Girl Friday. As a result, employees not weighed down by the time-consuming demands of administrative work tend to be happier and more fulfilled in the long-run. For any enterprise that prides itself on bolstering their employees to do their best work possible, introducing voice tech into the mix is an obvious choice.