Smart speakers have quickly developed from a novel way of playing music (and showing off to visitors) in the comfort of your home into a multi-functional, digital personal assistant used by companies and business owners across the world.
The growth of smart speakers for business use can be attributed to the ever-expanding range of apps available for them. Amazon alone boasts a library over 80,000 apps for its range of Echo smart speakers! To save you hours of scrolling, we’ve highlighted the most useful functions for freelancers and small business owners:
Start Your Day Smoothly
Freelancers and small business owners are busy people so multi-tasking is a vital skill. Using a smart speaker in your home as a personal assistant is an increasingly common way to save time. Whether reading your emails whilst you make a morning coffee or checking share prices whilst you get dressed; having a smart speaker is like having an extra pair of hands, helping you start the day that bit more smoothly.
Manage Your Meetings
Research has found that the average worker spends 23 days a year in meetings with 56% of them being seen as unproductive by attendees. Smart speakers in meeting rooms can be used to connect with existing conferencing technology to streamline the process of attending remotely. They are also able to book meeting rooms or extend meeting times with simple voice commands!
Plan Your Projects
It’s increasingly rare to find a team that aren’t collaborating on one of the many project planning tools in the market. So it’s no surprise that there are integrations for these tools such as Slack with Voice allowing you to add messages to your boards with quick commands. Similar to the email functionality, smart speakers can also read unread board notifications and archive messages ready for you to pick up later.
Set Up A Schedule
Time management is essential for any freelancer or small business owner so why not use your smart speaker to plan your day? Set up to do lists and for each task set yourself a time limit, your smart speaker will then let you know when it’s time to move on.
As a self-employed worker it can be a headache arranging transport to see clients but a smart speaker can do this for you! Simply ask for the latest train times to London and you’ll be given all the information you need, choose the one you want and ask for it to be booked. Job done.
Freelancers and small business owners have to wear many hats and the ‘always on’ lifestyle can often take a toll on your mental health. A smart speaker can provide structured rest periods throughout the day and even guide you through meditation with apps like Headspace. If you’re feeling restless, why not try 7-Minute Workout to burn off that excess energy, after all, regular exercise improves memory and promotes creativity.
Can’t find it? Create it!
Alexa for Business Blueprints is a new system created by Amazon allowing third parties to create skills for their smart speaker without writing any code at all! This is a huge step forward as previously only tech-savvy developers and Amazon themselves have been able to add new skills whereas now, thanks to an intuitive interface and preconfigured templates, companies can create unique skills in-house to empower their workforce.
As we’re always on the lookout for ways to make our clients’ lives easier, we’re rewarding every person who refers a friend to ICS in 2019 an Amazon Echo Dot! Know someone who could benefit from ICS? Let us know at icsuk.com/refer-a-friend or call our team on 0800 195 3750!