Microsoft records 400% Teams growth by frontline workers during the pandemic
Microsoft has seen 400% growth in monthly active usage of its Teams collaboration platform among frontline workers since March 2020.
According to its Work Trend Index Special Report “Technology Can Help Unlock a New Future for Frontline Workers,” two billion frontline workers worldwide represent 80% of the global workforce, with 88% of organisations employing people in frontline roles. Companies are increasingly investing in digital tools for frontline workers to modernise workflows, enhance job performance, and improve workplace culture and communication.
The Work Trend Index report revealed key insights that impact nearly every segment of the workforce:
- A culture of caring is the new currency on the frontline: 76% of workers feel bonded to each other, yet over 60% say their company should better prioritise culture and communication from the top. In addition, 51% of those in nonmanagement positions on the frontline do not feel valued as employees
- Frontline workers are at an inflection point: Frontline workers cite better pay and benefits, work-life balance, and flexibility as reasons for considering a job change
- Optimism for tech is high: 63% of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities tech creates and tech ranks third on the list of factors workers say could help reduce workplace stress
- There is an opportunity to bridge the tech and training gap: 46% of frontline workers feel pressure to adapt to new tech or fear losing their jobs – but 55% say they have had to learn new tech on the fly, with no formal training or practice
The company is introducing new joint offerings with industry partners as well as capabilities specifically designed to support frontline workers in Teams and Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform introduced in early 2021.
Microsoft is deepening its strategic relationship with Zebra Technologies Corp., a world leader in innovative digital solutions, including software and hardware such as rugged Android mobile computers for the frontline workforce. The two companies are delivering the Teams Walkie Talkie app on a wide range of Zebra mobile computers, including a dedicated push-to-talk (PTT) button to access Teams Walkie Talkie functionality on Zebra devices. In addition, Teams Walkie Talkie digital PTT is now available on all iOS mobile devices in addition to Android.
“It’s no secret that the pandemic is reshaping work for all workers, and at a faster pace than we have ever seen,” said Emma Williams, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “Empowering frontline workers remains essential for digital transformation. Together with our partners, we’re equipping frontline workers with tools that allow them to stay connected with their team and company leadership while concentrating on the customer or job at hand. If done well, we believe technology can modernise workflows and enhance job performance while also improving workplace culture and communication.”
In addition, Microsoft Cloud for Retail will be generally available from 1 February. Microsoft Cloud for Retail accelerates business growth by providing trusted retail industry solutions that integrate with retailers’ existing systems. It starts by unifying disparate data sources across the end-to-end shopper journey, allowing retailers to maximise the value of their data, resulting in one holistic view of the consumer.
Once connected, data and AI help retailers better understand and elevate the consumer shopping experience. In providing more relevant and streamlined experiences throughout the retail value chain, retailers can build a real-time sustainable supply chain. The solution also includes the Teams and Viva capabilities announced today, all working toward empowering store associates.