Big Tech is pushing smart home devices as the latest work-from-home tools

Portal users can use their devices to make video calls on services including BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Webex and Zoom. They can also integrate their work calendars from services like Google and Microsoft. (Michael Short / Bloomberg, file)

Smart home devices made their way into our living rooms and bedrooms across the world helping us turn off our lights and lock our doors remotely. Now they are taking on new territory: our home offices.

Big tech companies including Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and Google are expanding work applications for the smart home, one that’s controlled by a group of connected devices that can be accessed remotely.

The coronavirus pandemic blurred the lines between people’s home and work lives. As a result, some workers are asking Alexa or Google Assistant to book their virtual meetings, fetch revenue targets or remind them about important events on their busy work calendars.

And while all of these work productivity features may add convenience to working from home, experts say they are also raising security and privacy concerns that could cost workers and their companies if not managed properly.

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