Firstline workers are the visible face of almost every organisation and
industry. From receptionists and retail assistants to customer support
officers, maintenance workers, transport operators and medical professionals, Microsoft
estimates
that there are over two billion firstline workers globally.

There’s no denying that firstline workers navigate unique challenges.
They’re often at the coalface with customers, acting as the conduit between the
customer and their organisation.

What’s more, many firstline workers are mobile and may need to work from
multiple locations. To add complexity, they often work in hierarchical
organisations where clear and regular communication is paramount.

The good news is that Microsoft
Teams
is making it easier for firstline workers to focus on delivering
positive customer interactions, without having to worry about the challenges
and limitations of their working environment.

With a new experience that’s customised exclusively for firstline workers,
Microsoft Teams makes it easier to overcome the challenges of mobile,
shift-based and customer-facing work.

Read on to find out how Microsoft Teams is changing the game for firstline
workers.

A mobile experience

For many firstline workers, mobile work is a fact of life. Employees might
work from a different location every day, move between multiple locations
within a given shift, or perhaps have no fixed office. But irrespective of
where they’re working, firstline workers need to be able to access the
information they need to do their job and communicate freely with colleagues in
other locations.

Too often, firstline workers are expected to make the best of systems and
tools that were designed for desktop users or office-based workers. This can
not only impact efficiency and productivity, but it can also incentivise the
use of unapproved workarounds.

For example, firstline workers may resort to using unsecure messaging apps
like Facebook Messenger to communicate with colleagues, exposing their
employers to security and compliance risks.

Microsoft Teams has introduced a new offering that is purpose-built to
support firstline workers in mobile work. It offers a secure and integrated
platform for firstline workers to access the information and people they need
on the go.

For starters, Microsoft Teams is optimised for use on phones, tablets and
other mobile devices, and offers 24/7 connectivity to company information.

Firstline workers have a range of choices for how they can communicate
through Microsoft Teams including private chats, online team conversations,
video calls and group calls.

In addition, Microsoft Teams also has features that are specifically
designed to support mobile workers, such as location sharing, smart camera and
audio recording.

Uniquely customisable

There are over two billion firstline workers globally, but there’s enormous
diversity in the roles they perform and the functionality they require to do
their jobs.

Microsoft Teams makes it easy for IT administrators to define employee-based
roles and assign relevant features to each. For example, retail assistants can
receive access to teams and channels. Store managers, on the other hand, are
given additional access to private chats, calendars and video calls.

Importantly, it’s not only IT administrators who can configure Microsoft
Teams. Individuals can customise the app on their phones by pinning the modules
they use most often.

Simplified workforce management systems

Firstline workers and their organisations regularly access workforce
management systems to manage timesheets, rosters, payroll, performance, sales
and a range of other functions.

In many organisations, staff must follow the frustrating and time-consuming
process of accessing a different system or tool for each workforce management
function.

Microsoft Teams simplifies this approach for firstline workers. For example,
Microsoft is developing a suite of APIs that will enable staff to access all
their frequently used workforce management systems from within Microsoft Teams.

This means that firstline workers won’t have to expend time and effort
looking for information – they can access everything they need quickly from one
secure mobile app.

Recognise staff achievements

Firstline workers often bear the brunt of unhappy customers and are
typically first on the scene when something goes wrong. These challenging
experiences can have a material impact on team culture and employee morale, and
in some cases, contribute to high staff turnover.

Microsoft Teams gives firstline workers and their managers a new set of
tools to support, recognise and praise staff for their achievements in what can
be a difficult working environment.

The new ‘Praise’ tool allows employees and managers to assign badges to
those who have done a great job, whether it’s extending a thanks, recognising
kindness or leadership, acknowledging creativity or giving a kudos to problem
solvers and team players.

Praise is visible to the whole team, enabling everyone to collectively share
in each other’s success. Sometimes, it’s small gestures like these that go a
long way towards improving team morale and culture.

What next?

Antares Solutions is a leading Microsoft Gold Partners offering the full
spectrum of Microsoft solutions. We have an outstanding track record of
supporting our clients to transform their ways of working and realise business
value through Microsoft Teams. To find out more, contact us today.