Have you ever walked into a meeting to give a big presentation only to spend fifteen minutes trying to get the technology to work? We’ve all been there. It’s frustrating, time-wasting, and embarrassing. Thanks to improvements in meeting room technology, these types of mishaps tend to happen less frequently. Still, many employees find conference calls and meetings difficult to set up. And in an age where we can simply say “Siri, what’s the weather like today?” or “Alexa, turn on Pandora,” it’s hard to understand why meetings can’t be just that simple.

Voice control creates a better workplace

This all changes in 2018 when voice control is no longer just the technology you use at home but is what you rely on for a productive work day. Last year, we were introduced to Alexa for Business which brings the power of Amazon Alexa to offices across the country. Through this technology, you can simply say “Alexa, start my meeting,” and voila you’re up and running – no more struggling to find the right dial-in or launch the right app.

Alexa’s technology extends beyond just kicking off a meeting. You can use her for a multitude of tasks that would’ve previously eaten into your productivity, such as asking her to locate an available conference room, log an upcoming PTO day, or make a phone call.

Bring home life to the office

Voice control technology entering the workplace bridges the gap between technology we use at home and the technology we use at work. For decades, there seemed to be a separation between work and home when it came to the tools we used. But the millennial generation, who grew up using technology in every aspect of their lives, has caused a shift in this philosophy. They want the convenience and comforts of home at work. And employers need to cater to this if they want to attract and retain top talent.

Millennials, who have been using Siri for years to set alarms on their phone and look-up information without the touch of a button, are going to look for this same type of convenience in their offices. And frankly, it almost seems silly that we can use voice control to set a timer on our phone but still need to manually dial a phone number for a conference call!

A benefit of bringing already-familiar technologies into the workforce is the minimal training time required. Everyone cringes when they hear their company is going to rollout a new program or system because of the training it will require and the learning curve ahead of them. But, with technology like voice control, there’s virtually no training needed because people already know how to use it! If someone is already using Siri on their iPhone, they can easily (and probably very willingly!) make the leap to using Alexa in a conference room.

The meeting of the future

With voice control becoming more popular, both in and out of the workplace, we’re transitioning from “one-touch” to “no-touch.” As this technology develops, it will start to eliminate other mundane tasks – like note taking, scheduling follow-up meetings, or setting reminders for deadlines.

And as voice control technology gets smarter, soon you’ll have your very own personal assistant that helps you stay organized and keep track of appointments and information both at home and at work. Artificial intelligence will be able to remind you to pick-up a gift before a friend’s birthday dinner or that a proposal is due in the morning. With technology like Alexa, you’ll no longer have to balance and keep track of the various aspects of your life – she will do that for you.

As voice control use in office picks up steam, we’re bound to see more technology providers, like Apple and Google, jumping into the game. This competition will almost certainly bring to life even more uses and advancements for the technology that haven’t even been imagined yet.