Hello, is there a robot out there that can fix the light over my desk?

by Eric Graham February 12th, 2020

person holding smartphone

Eric Graham shares some of his observations and frustrations about today’s tech environment in the workplace. What follows are his words about the employee experience.

I listened to a great podcast with the Chief Digital officer Vinay Goel. I love to hear Vinay talking about bringing Corporate RE into the modern age. I’m thinking, “Phew, awesome, maybe he get’s it!” At CrowdComfort, we have been talking about this for the last 6 years. Then the podcast conversation went into the machines taking over and how that might improve the employee experience, and I started to think “give me a break”.

Most employees can’t effectively communicate their everyday needs to a person, let alone a robot.

At CrowdComfort, our employee feedback data suggests that it is the speed of “human response”, not a “machine based auto-reply” that drives employee satisfaction. In most corporates when you need something that is related to your workplace, it’s not like picking up the phone in a hotel to ring the front desk and speaking with a person who is right there. It’s like the phone ringing endlessly, and if there is even a message box, no one responds to quickly if ever.

Putting a sensor on someone’s desk or in the office doesn’t improve the employee’s experience. It helps the managers understand how employees use the space. Great, how does the employee benefit?

Is there a machine learning algorithm that can fix this? At CrowdComfort we use algorithms that become a Bot that auto-routes a request to effects a human response, and yes we use natural language, photos, and text to convey information. I could blather on about the technical ML, AI mumbo jumbo that we do, but at the end of the day, this is basic stuff for employees that deliver great experiences. Why? because it streamlines communication between people.

Person to Person, not Bot to Person or even Bot to Bot, which is where these folks starting going in the conversation. Uber and Lift don’t put a sensor in the cars that picks you up. A person uses their device to communicate with the person who needs to be picked-up!

Get the basics done first, like how does one communicate a need for a projector cable or that there is a running faucet in the restroom….then talk to me about the whiz-bang stuff that is nowhere near working in your workplace anytime soon!


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