More and more of us are working from home especially since the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions into home working. The world of work has been changed forever and many people will be permanently working from home on either a full or part-time basis. Like many people, I have an Amazon Alexa smart speaker in my house. In fact, I have several dotted about the house as well as in my car. There’s an Echo Spot (the small one with the screen) in my bedroom, an Echo Dot (the small round one) in each of the children’s bedrooms (they like to listen to stories in bed with Audible), an Echo Dot in the playroom, an Echo Show (the large one with the screen) in the lounge, another Echo Dot in the kitchen and an Echo (the original tall cylinder-shaped one) in my office/the dining room. As I’m at home pretty much all day I use her to help me work in a number of ways:
Amazon Alexa for Organisation
Firstly my Amazon Alexa smart speaker helps to keep me organised. I ask her what time/day it is when I just can’t remember and without having to look up.
She reminds me when there are certain times that I need to do something, like the school run (it’s surprisingly easy to forget when you’re engrossed in what you’re doing and have lost track of time). In fact, she can link up to my calendar so she can tell me what appointments I have that day and at what time or I can ask her to add things to my calendar so I don’t forget.
Another great way to use her is to create and update my to-do list and my shopping list, again this is handy as I can do it hands-free which means I can add to my shopping list (which is linked directly to my Tesco online order so it adds things straight into my basket) while I’m cooking dinner or my to-do list while I’m ironing.
Another way I can keep organised is by asking Alexa to print things for me. I have my HP printer linked to my Alexa devices which means I can ask Alexa to print things like colouring pages, my to-do list or shopping list, a calendar, lined or graph paper, bingo, word searches and number puzzles.
Alexa for Focus
At times I often need a little help focussing, as a copywriter I need to make sure I am writing fresh content for my clients so I use my Alexa to help me keep that focus. The most useful way is to time how long I’m working. I like to use the Pomodoro Technique to help me focus and Alexa helps me with that, I ask her to set a timer for 25 minutes and then I get stuck in.
Another way I use her to help me focus is by getting her to play relaxing and soothing music with Amazon Music.
Alexa for Motivation
Sometimes, we all need a kick up the bum to get us fired up. I like to do this before I do a Facebook live or host a Zoom call so that I feel positive and energised which then comes across in the way I present myself.
I also like to dance around my office if I start to feel myself getting tired or bored so I listen to my empowering playlist which really livens things up!
Alexa for Comfort
The final way I use Alexa to help me work is to get her to make my office more comfortable. I have her connected to my lightbulbs, I have both Philips Hue and Hive bulbs, which means I can adjust the light to suit me and I have a Nest Thermostat which means I can adjust the temperature to suit as well. You could even add mood lighting by using Phillips Hue Light Strips, see this article from Steph at Renovation Bay-Bee to see how to install them.
There are so many ways that you can use Alexa to help you stay productive at work and you can get an Echo for as little as £39.99 (price correct May 2021). You could even go one step further and use Alexa and your Alexa App to run your appliances such as a kettle, charger or vacuum cleaner.
What about the rest of the house?
Amazon Alexa is such a versatile device that it can be used throughout the home, we have them in our cars, the bedrooms, the kitchen and the lounge as well as in my office. They can provide so much entertainment and functionality because there are thousands of skills (a bit like apps) that you can download to enhance their performance. Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate an Amazon Alexa device into your home.
How do you use Alexa in your home or office?