Voice Assistants Create a Future of Improved Productivity for Businesses
Jul 20, 2021
7 MIN READ

Voice Assistants Create a Future of Improved Productivity for Businesses

Employers of both office workers and the deskless workforce are turning to the future of voice AI technology to innovate the way their employees operate. From an office worker scheduling a meeting and then receiving an accurate transcript and assigned tasks via voice to a construction worker operating equipment or taking down measurements simply by talking, voice assistants can offer solutions to make employees’ lives more efficient, accurate, and safe. 

With 8.4 billion voice assistants projected to exist worldwide by 2024, according to Statista, employers are capitalizing on the benefits of a faster, more accessible voice-first experience. For the deskless workforce, tasks that would normally require pen and paper or a series of types and swipes while multi-tasking or holding tools can be done naturally and conversationally, all hands-free. 

The evolution of voice technology to embedded and cloud connectivity in mobile apps, tablets, websites, and smart office technology will create endless possibilities for how employers can incorporate voice AI into their workplaces. We’ll dive into how voice assistants will improve the day-to-day life of both desk-bound and deskless employees and propose workforce solutions to: 

  • Increase productivity
  • Enable accurate and timely communication
  • Assist with scheduling
  • Record data
  • Provide operational efficiencies
  • Improve employee retention 

Voice assistants increase productivity in the office

Employers of the desk-bound workforce are looking to the future of voice AI technology to improve productivity, communication, operational efficiencies, and employee retention. Voice-enabled call centers, smart technology, and mobile apps have the ability to improve customer service, interoffice communication, and increase productivity while streamlining operations in the office environment.

IT help desks

IT help desks are often overrun with too many calls and long wait times, interrupting the employees’ workday and slowing productivity. Conversational AI can relieve some of the pressure by helping with tasks that don’t require a human operator or directing callers to the right person who can assist them. 

Conversational AI can relieve some of the pressure by helping with tasks that don’t require a human operator or directing callers to the right person who can assist them.

A voice-enabled IT help desk using conversational AI technology can reduce operational costs, increase employee productivity, and speed up the time between reporting and resolving an issue—getting employees with technical issues back to work faster.

Office tasks

Email is one of the most used tools of the modern workplace. According to a study by Adobe, respondents spend an average of 209 minutes checking their work email every day. With the future of voice AI technology, email websites or mobile apps could be voice-enabled so employees can receive and send emails or accept meeting invites and schedule or reschedule meetings while driving, drinking their morning coffee, or performing other tasks.

Respondents spend an average of 209 minutes checking their work email every day.

Adobe

Tablets can also be integrated with voice assistants to improve interoffice communication and make work easier and more efficient. Employees could access any apps by voice to achieve tasks such as setting up lunch reservations, booking business travel, and printing documents.  

With the rise of video conferencing, employees are using technology to efficiently manage and attend meetings. Adding a voice user interface to meeting software further increases its usefulness and efficiency by performing any of the following functions:

  • Scheduling meetings
  • Setting reminders and sending alerts
  • Facilitating meetings
  • Transcribing the proceedings
  • Assigning tasks to attendees
  • Assigning screen sharing
  • Sending messages for people not in attendance
  • Providing information through voice search

Interested in learning more about voice assistants and video conferencing? Check out our AI-Powered Voice Assistant for Video Conferencing and Meetings demo.

HR

Regardless of company size, employee onboarding requires new hires to submit the same information in multiple places. The addition of a voice-enabled employee onboarding app would reduce the time and effort required to populate all the forms and paperwork that currently take hours to complete. Instead of a tedious and repetitive process, employee information could be gathered, recorded, and stored safely and securely—regardless of the employee’s physical location.

Although employees will often request more training and opportunities to build and improve skills, few actually have the time and energy to invest in training programs. Voice-enabled training apps allow employees to sharpen skills and learn new material on the go. A conversational interface makes training sessions interactive and interesting and allows individual employees to move along the training program at their own pace. In addition, these educational applications allow employees to spend more time and get instruction in the areas where they are struggling to comprehend while quickly moving through those concepts that are easily understood.

Voice-enabled training apps allow employees to sharpen skills and learn new material on the go.

Eliminating the need for employees to access keyboards and to interact with technology physically opens up the workplace to greater accessibility and helps organizations meet their diversity and inclusion goals. Making room for more people at your workplace is a positive side-effect of voice user interfaces that democratize technology and the workplace. 

Voice AI adds hands-free operability in the field

The deskless workforce is always on the move, creating unique challenges for recording and accessing information or communicating with dispatchers and other workers quickly and efficiently. Oftentimes, workers’ hands are busy operating equipment or performing tasks and in order to see the next steps for the project, record critical information for the job—such as precise measurements—or communicate with their team, they’re forced to stop work. Voice-enabled devices designed for the deskless workforce can help eliminate these inefficiencies and create better work environments for a variety of workers, including:

  • Construction workers
  • Telephone repair crews
  • Nurses and doctors

Being able to receive instant, hands-free answers to common questions or complex queries increases productivity and efficiency for deskless employees. Voice-enabled devices with cloud connectivity can provide voice search capabilities to employees in the field who can use their devices to ask questions such as:

“Show me building plans.” 

“What’s the next construction sequence?” 

 “Any records of outages in this area?”

”What are the reported interactions with this drug prescription?”

Construction workers, telephone repair crews, and healthcare professionals can use their voices to access documents, records, next steps, and company databases—without interrupting the task that is simultaneously occupying their hands. Adding a visual element, such as a tablet or mobile device screen provides multimodal interaction and a way for employees to view information with a visual component. 

Companies looking to invest in this technology would need to ensure that their voice assistant could parse through background noise on construction sites and hospitals or noise from the roads and wind for telephone repair crews. These employees operate in a fast-paced environment, and if they are not quickly understood by the voice assistant, they will grow frustrated and stop using it. Voice assistants in these environments must be trained using the ambient noise of the environment and be built with advanced noise cancellation technology.

By offering voice user interfaces that help employees work faster, more accurately, and more efficiently, companies not only improve productivity, they may also increase employee retention through greater job satisfaction. 

Recording of data

Taking down measurements on a construction site, vitals of a patient, or diagnostic information from atop a telephone pole requires accuracy and precision, which is often dampened by having to juggle tools, paperwork, medical equipment, or balancing above the ground. Voice assistants can offer a solution by providing an efficient, hands-free way of recording data. 

Voice assistants can offer a solution by providing an efficient, hands-free way of recording data. .

For nurses and doctors, hygiene is a vital aspect of the job, and touchless interactions limit the amount of surfaces they would come in contact with while seeing a patient. For employees in the field, consider having them update statuses on a job, create job assignments, and record other essential job information via voice without having to use pen and paper or navigate a complicated series of types and swipes. 

Communication

Communication with teammates is an essential element of construction workers, telephone repair crews, and doctors and nurses. Companies could consider voice assistants as a possible solution to obstacles of communication, such as full hands, being busy with a task, or needing to relay information as quickly as possible. 

With voice AI, deskless employees could communicate with their team without ever having to pause what they are doing and navigate through their devices. Notifications for emails, texts, and calls, can also be relayed all through voice without ever having to look down at a screen. Voice assistants could improve the productivity of employees while easing how they communicate. 

With voice AI, deskless employees could communicate with their team without ever having to pause what they are doing and navigate through their devices.

Voice assistants offer solutions to workforce challenges for both deskbound and deskless employees. For those in the office, consider improving the efficiency and productivity of IT help desks, office tasks, and the HR department through voice AI technology. For those in the field, including construction workers, telephone repair crews, and nurses and doctors, voice assistants can help with searching for information, recording data, and communicating with the team. Companies currently not investing in voice assistants in the workplace should evaluate the benefits before their employees turn to other voice-enabled employers. 

At SoundHound Inc., we have all the tools and expertise needed to create custom voice assistants and a consistent brand voice. Explore Houndify’s independent voice AI platform at Houndify.com and register for a free account. Want to learn more? Talk to us about how we can help bring your voice strategy to life.

Kristen is a content writer with a passion for storytelling and marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, reading, and spending time with her nieces and nephew.

Interested in Learning More?

Subscribe today to stay informed and get regular updates from SoundHound Inc.