Frontline workers are the backbone of the global workforce and often the first to interact with customers and manage on-the-ground operations. But due to labor shortages and disjointed systems, it can be difficult for these essential workers to focus on the work that really matters. Manual processes, gaps in information, and device overload bog down operational efficiency and hurt the customer service quality while also causing burnout and retention issues on the frontline. According to the data released from the recent Work Trend Index, one in two frontline workers cite being burned out in their job, and 45 percent note they are likely to consider changing employers in the next year.1
But there are ways to help frontline workers thrive. When organizations invest in technology solutions for their frontline, they see improved outcomes like better customer experiences and saved time. Our Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study found a 345 percent return on investment and benefits over USD14.7 million over three years when frontline workers communicate and collaborate through Microsoft Teams.2
And organizations agree—with over 800 customers supporting more than 10,000 frontline workers each with Microsoft 365. And as customers empower their entire workforce on a unified platform, we have seen strong and consistent double-digit growth in frontline workers’ monthly active users of Teams this year.
Microsoft Teams for your frontline workforce
Increasing efficiency for frontline employees.
Microsoft technology transforms your frontline workforce with time-to-value tools that enable:
- Intelligent operations
- Effortless communication
- Trusted experiences
Along with foundational technology like communications that offers organizations quick time to value for their frontline, new innovations like AI are transforming productivity across all workforces. And while there are concerns about AI for certain job roles, frontline workers see the value of AI to improve the customer experience and ensure operations run smoothly. According to our new Work Trend Index, they need technology to reduce the task and administrative aspects of their job, so they can focus on their customer or task at hand to ultimately help drive the business drive their bottom line.1
“With over 400K frontline workers, Teleperformance understands the importance of investing in the total experience to make agents’ work easier and more enriching. When we invest in technology for our customer care agents, they in turn deliver more enhanced experiences for our clients. Using Microsoft technologies, like next-generation AI tools, we have empowered our frontline to streamline administrative tasks to free them up to focus on the more fulfilling aspects of providing exceptional customer experiences. We have already integrated next-generation AI into our internal processes and have gotten a positive response from our agents as well as noticeable efficiency gains.”Dev Mudaliar, Global Chief Information Officer, Teleperformance Group
Between fluctuating team schedules and staying up to date with their often large and dispersed frontline team, maintaining end-to-end visibility on operations can get time-consuming for frontline managers. With the help of AI, managers can quickly identify open items, such as open shifts, that need to be covered with a new Shifts plugin for Microsoft 365 Copilot. Coming soon, Microsoft 365 Copilot can ground prompts and retrieve insights for frontline managers leveraging data from the Shifts app in addition to user and company data it has access to, such as Teams chat history, SharePoint, emails, and more. This will enable frontline managers to quickly get a list of important items specific to their team and location, including references and links to speed up time-consuming tasks like onboarding new employees. Learn more about Copilot licensing and availability.
Teams provides a unified experience to reduce the number of apps your workers need to switch back and forth on to do their jobs. The Zebra Task Management™ app in Teams is now in public preview so customers can better streamline task management and execution with work-based communication. And now frontline workers can access the ServiceNow Employee Center from their home experience in Teams to stay informed of tasks that need their attention, including approvals, trainings, and daily tasks, in addition to the extensive list of integrations with other market-leading frontline solutions in our ecosystem.
Getting the right information to the right people can be a challenge. Today, 64 percent of the frontline workforce says that they don’t have enough of the necessary resources to get their work done efficiently.1 The lack of easily accessible resources and information causes a disconnect in your teams that reduces their efficiency but also their feeling of connection to the organization all-up. Help your frontline workers to make informed decisions faster by targeting important updates, communication, and information for their role.
With Announcements in Microsoft Viva Connections, corporate communicators can now target important communications like urgent announcements, role-specific updates, and safety policy changes to frontline workers. These important messages are delivered through push notifications and announcements that surface in the home experience within Teams. Announcements are coming to tablet and mobile experiences in September.
And organizations with multiple brands can create different home experiences to provide their frontline workers with a tailored experience that reflects each brand’s look and feel. Multiple Viva Connections experiences in Teams is now available.
It is also important to target frontline employees with communications around your organization’s mission and drive engagement within the community. With new Targeted Campaigns in Viva Engage, you can select specific audiences to reach and promote company-wide initiatives to build a sense of belonging and purpose across your workforce. Targeted Campaigns will be coming soon. Learn more about recent enhancements to Viva Engage.
And now, with Copilot in Microsoft Viva Engage, corporate communicators get suggestions to further personalize messages, adjust tone and length, and even suggest relevant images to help drive engagement on the frontline. Learn more about Copilot in Viva coming later this year.
“Using the Teams-Connect (Microsoft Viva Connections) app over the past year, I feel more involved with the company every day. I get the same news and information that management gets. Now, frontline security personnel in the field are involved, informed, and they feel part of the GardaWorld family.“Greg Lundberg, Security Officer, GardaWorld
The larger the frontline team and location, the harder it is to communicate with the right people while still focusing on the task at hand. The Walkie Talkie app in Teams enables frontline workers to be hands-free and heads-up with a seamless push-to-talk experience that turns employee- or company-owned smartphones and tablets into walkie talkies. With out-of-the-box integrations with industry-leading devices, including Honeywell, Samsung, Zebra, and now Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola, frontline workers can easily communicate between multiple departments by pinning up to five channels on the Walkie Talkie home screen starting in September.
And make it easy for frontline workers to reach the right group quickly by calling with Microsoft Teams Phone certified devices that can now be programmed to directly dial a pre-configured phone number or contact, such as emergency services or a help desk.
Shifts are inherent to many frontline jobs—and shift handovers are a natural part of operations. But today many organizations face compliance and privacy issues when a device is handed over to the next shift with the previous worker’s data still in there. And it takes time for a worker to sign in and out of all their applications needed to do their job.
Organizations can easily enroll Android devices into Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) shared device mode using Intune to enable a single sign-in and out experience for Teams, Microsoft Edge, Outlook, Power Apps, Viva Engage, and now Power BI in public preview starting in September so that frontline workers can quickly and compliantly wipe their device for the next shift. For customers that need shared device support for iOS devices, Intune provides access to Teams and now Outlook, Power Apps, and Power BI in public preview starting in September. We are continuing to invest in supporting more applications on shared iOS devices. Learn more about how Intune continues to innovate for a simplified frontline experience and deeper administrative control.
“I’m consistently impressed by the level of security that Intune provides. Now with the Microsoft Intune Suite on the horizon, I feel even more confident that my company’s data will remain highly secure, and the straightforward management and deployment of policies will make it easier to help ensure that all devices are safeguarded.”Ibrar Mahmood, Cyber Security Manager, Milton Keynes University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust
And organizations using SOTI and VMware Workspace ONE as their endpoint management solutions can enroll Android devices in Microsoft Entra ID with shared device mode. SOTI’s support for shared device mode will be generally available for Android starting September.
Learn more about Microsoft frontline solutions
When organizations invest in fast time to value technology for their frontline workers, it not only drives positive outcomes for businesses’ bottom lines but also for frontline employees. Learn how we are building frontline specific solutions across Microsoft. And while our solutions are built to work for customers’ frontline needs across industries, we also understand that for some industries there are more specialized solutions for specific roles. Learn more about how we are supporting retailers, manufacturing and mobility organizations, and healthcare companies with technology specific to their industry needs. Connect with an expert to learn more about Microsoft frontline solutions and get a deep dive on all the products and more shared today.
1The Work Trend Index survey was conducted by an independent research firm, Edelman Data x Intelligence, among 31,000 full-time employed or self-employed workers across 31 markets, 6,019 of which are frontline workers, between February 1, 2023, and March 14, 2023. This survey was 20 minutes in length and conducted online, in either the English language or translated into a local language across markets. One thousand full-time workers were surveyed in each market, and global results have been aggregated across all responses to provide an average. Each market is evenly weighted within the global average. Each market was sampled to be representative of the full-time workforce across age, gender, and region; each sample included a mix of work environments (in-person, remote versus non-remote, office settings versus non-office settings, etc.), industries, company sizes, tenures, and job levels. Markets surveyed include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
2The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Teams For Frontline Workers, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, 2022. Results are for a composite organization based on interviewed customers.