Workers on the frontlines—deskless, mobile employees who work face-to-face with the public—represent up to 80% of the global workforce. Everyone agrees that they are “essential to the American economy.”1 And yet, according to an Axonify study, during the pandemic, frontline workers didn’t receive the same level of support as their counterparts working in offices or at home.2 Only 35% of frontline workers in one study say they received additional technology to complete their jobs during the pandemic.3
The risks of this dichotomy have already been realized in what’s being referred to as the Great Resignation. In June 2022 alone, 4.2 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily.4 One study showed that over half of these left because they feel under-appreciated by management and/or their peers.
The six principles of frontline support
To offer your critical deskless workers the world-class, secure mobile experience they demand (and need) to work anywhere on any device, you need a flexible and sustainable response. Your answer should support a host of situations where offline mode, mobile apps and device-to-browser interoperability are key. To keep processes and services flowing faster than the competition, manual tasks and workflows will need to be digitized and automated. Here are six critical elements to support the modern frontline:
- Connection that enables seamless collaboration and communication on the frontlines.
- Modern workflows to create a solid foundation for the workplace future through things like automated workflows, no-code applications and cloud technology.
- Empowered employees who can manage their own time and focus their attention better using streamlined tools.
- The right technologies to meet today’s challenges while being sustainable in a changing world.
- Proactive security that protects the data and safety of the frontline without getting in the way of work.
- Cloud-based administration to secure and manage the host of devices the frontline uses—including Bring-Your-Own-Device culture.
Streamline onboarding from day one—and before
With 64% of workers likely to leave a new job after a negative onboarding experience,5 the beginning of your relationship is a critical time. Because it can be hard for Human Resources to keep the onboarding ball rolling with all its steps and contact points, Google Workspace Frontline automates the critical steps through tools like AppSheet, keeping track of processes and personal information with Vault.
Sine qua non: Build on a foundation of security
“Sine qua non” means “without this, nothing.” Security is a sine qua non for the frontline. No matter how cool a solution, if it puts your valuable data, devices, systems or people at risk, it’s a non-starter. But at present, over half (53%) of frontline workers use unapproved messaging and apps that could put your entire organization at risk.6 Google Workspace Frontline’s Advanced endpoint management helps head off this situation. It works with most BYOD or company-owned devices. In other words, you can herd all those users into a situation they—and you—will feel good and secure about.
Set up and connect your frontline for success
No tool or solution will do any good if no one uses it. And if it’s not easy to set up, no one will—not IT, not management, not the workers themselves. Google Workspace makes it easy to set up secure access to any Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps with single sign-on and auto-provisioning. Once set up, Google Workspace makes IT’s job easier through unified management of your entire fleet of devices—for both frontline and information workers. And if you need customized applications, you can create and deploy them in real time with as little or as much coding as you need. All of this is manageable from cloud-based admin consoles.
Everyone talks about automation. Now you can do something with it, easily
Let’s face it, shift scheduling and management is a pain. Wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly, easily—and even automatically—adjust shift staffing with a simple tool? It’s included in Google Workspace Frontline’s shift management calendar function. And Onix can help you customize and digitize manual tasks and streamline workflows using Google Workspace along with custom apps and automations through AppSheet. You not only have built-in intelligence that helps workers set shift preferences, plan for shift changes and schedule swaps, but you can also use insights from Google’s Forecasting AI to improve visualizations and trends and to make scheduling a breeze.
And further up the chain, management can now easily generate and share analytics such as performance, sales and staffing data all within Google Sheets using tools like BigQuery and Looker.
It’s time to think differently about your frontline—because they’re thinking differently about you. No matter whether the employee market remains tight with 3% unemployment rates, whether inflation rises or falls or what the future of the pandemic/endemic COVID situation brings, things are, and will be, different. Three billion workers already use Google Workspace tools, and whether you know it or not, some of them are probably your employees. Why? Because across the board, real workers find Workspace tools more useful, mobile and accessible than other major solutions.7
It’s not only a matter of business effectiveness, productivity increase, ROI or even security. When it comes to the future success of your frontline, it comes down to giving them tools that show you respect, love and support them.
For more information about Google Workspace Frontline and applying the six principles of frontline support, contact us.
1. “United States House Resolution 180 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that it is the duty of the Federal Government to dramatically expand and strengthen the care economy,” Introduced March 21, 2021
2. Essential, Confident and Burned Out: The State of the Frontline Work Experience in 2021.” Axonify & Arlington Research.
3. The State of Technology for the Deskless Workforce.” Emergence. 2020.
4. "Job Openings and Labor Turnover – June 2022,” United States Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2, 2022
5. “64% Of New Hires Will Leave Their Jobs Because Of This Experience, A New Survey Shows,” Brianna Wiest, Forbes, June 21, 2019
6. “Frontline Workers Frequently Turn to Unapproved Messaging Apps for Work-Related Communications, Unbeknownst to HR,” Cision PRNewswire, January 24,2019
7. “Google Workspace vs. O365, Impact on Business,” Quadrant Strategies, 2021