Microsoft announces new study and technology to empower millions of frontline workers

New features emerge as the company sees 400% monthly growth in Microsoft Teams from frontline workers during the pandemic.

Microsoft announces the Work Trend Index Special Report, “Technology Can Help Unlock a New Future for Frontline Workers”, and introduces new capabilities in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva designed to meet the needs of millions of frontline workers.

The world’s 2 billion frontline workers make up 80% of the global workforce, with 88% of organizations hiring for frontline roles. Increasingly, companies are investing in digital tools for frontline workers to modernize workflows, improve work performance, and improve workplace culture and communication.

Microsoft has registered a 400% growth in the monthly use of its Teams collaboration platform since March 2020, by these professionals. The sectors that stand out the most are Health Care (560%), Financial Services (550%) and Media & Telecommunications (545%).

The report reveals key insights that impact nearly every segment of the workforce:

  • A culture of solidarity is the new frontline priority: 76% of workers feel connected with their colleagues, yet more than 60% say their company should better prioritize culture and communication from the top. In addition, 51% of those in non-management positions on the front line do not feel valued.
  • Frontline workers are at a tipping point: In the midst of the Great Reshuffle, frontline workers cite better pay and benefits, work-life balance and flexibility as reasons to consider a job change.
  • Optimism about technology is high: 63% of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities technology creates, ranking third on the list of factors workers say can help reduce workplace stress. work.
  • There is an opportunity to bridge the technology and training gap: 46% of frontline workers feel pressure to adapt to new technologies or fear losing their jobs – but 55% say they had to learn new technologies quickly without any training.

Today, Microsoft introduces new offerings in conjunction with industry partners, as well as features designed specifically to support frontline workers in Teams and Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform, launched in early 2021.

  • Microsoft is strengthening its strategic relationship with Zebra Technologies Corp., a world leader in innovative digital solutions, to support the frontline workforce. The two companies are making the Teams Walkie Talkie app available, including a dedicated push-to-talk (PTT) button on a wide range of Zebra devices.
  • Microsoft is improving Teams integration with Zebra Reflexis™, which links Reflexis Workforce Management solutions with the Shifts app in Teams. This new integration simplifies shift scheduling and downtime requests in Teams, making it easier for managers to approve.
  • Scheduled queues for virtual appointments are now available in Teams, providing a one-stop-shop for on-the-fly updates on wait times, missed appointments, and staffing delays to create a seamless and seamless experience for clients and patients.
  • The Viva Connections app in Microsoft Teams connects frontline workers to company culture, resources and tools, news and employee resource groups in the workflow. Integrations with strategic partners like Workday and Expressive make it easy to access important resources and put HR tools like payslips in one place.
  • The Viva Learning app allows frontline employees to discover, share and track learning content directly in Microsoft Teams – making it easy for the entire workforce to update on required and recommended training. New updates facilitate attribution of learning from partner solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand and Saba Cloud, and partnerships with education providers such as EdCast and OpenSesame enable access to an extensive library of content to help frontline workers enhance skills and training with workflow-relevant learning content.
  • For IT, better device management helps ensure that misplaced shared devices can be easily located and secured.

Paula Fernandes, Director of Collaboration and Productivity at Microsoft Portugal, comments: “Frontline workers play a leading role in the response to the pandemic and in the business continuity of many organizations. The acceleration in the change of work models that we have experienced in the last two years also has an impact on their expectations, namely the prioritization of social capital and well-being and greater investment in adoption programs and technological training. Together with our partners, we at Microsoft continue to release new features and integrations to empower these teams and help organizations create an inclusive, resilient and thriving culture.

The increase in online purchases and changes in customer loyalty were some of the challenges that the Retail sector faced in the last year with the pandemic. On February 1st, Microsoft will release the Microsoft Cloud for Retail solution, a solution that integrates different data sources from across the value chain, allowing companies to create more relevant, consumer-driven recommendations and notifications and more personalized experiences. and immersive.

Additionally, Microsoft Cloud for Retail includes the Teams and Viva features announced today, enabling organizations to expand customer service options, simplify payment processes with superior security levels, while optimizing operations that simultaneously translate into sustainable profit.

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