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Firstline Workers are, and have always been, the backbone of the world economy. This has become even more obvious in the face of the Covid19 pandemic. While some Firstline Workers are returning to work as parts of the world reopen, others have been on the job throughout the last several months. They are the essential workers who have kept hospitals up and running, staffed grocery stores’ curbside pick-up, and been out in the field keeping services up and running.

As organizations continue to refocus their operations to support and empower employees while maintaining business continuity, Microsoft have been working to create and improve capabilities in Microsoft Teams to support their efforts. These capabilities help you to better connect the Firstline Workforce with your corporate offices, digitize manual processes, equip them with the right devices and, accelerate their on boarding, all on a foundation of security that you expect.

Connect First line teams wherever they are

Whether working in back-to-back shifts where hand-offs cannot occur in person, connecting with corporate employees or consulting with remote company experts – Microsoft Teams has your Firstline Workers covered.

Push-to-talk experience, enables clear, instant and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning employee- or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie. This native built-in app in Teams reduces the number of devices employees must carry and helps lower costs. Customers who currently use analog radio devices would no longer need to worry about crosstalk or eavesdropping from outsiders nor the limited range of radio as Walkie Talkie works over WIFI or cellular data. And for Firstline teams not yet enabled with a push-to-talk experience, Walkie Talkie in Teams enables instant team communication with pre-configured channels set to have the right conversation with the right people.

Digitize manual processes so your workforce can focus on what matters

Today, managers spend hours creating schedules and manually cross checking every shift to make sure the schedule is conflict-free. Coming later this year, Shifts schedule assistance will alert managers if conflicts occur anywhere in the schedule and they will receive conflict warnings when approving schedule change requests. This alerting saves managers time, makes shift scheduling more efficient and reduces inaccuracies that lead to employees not turning up for their shift.

Equip your team with the right devices

Through an integration between Teams and RealWear head-mounted devices, field workers can remain 100% hands-free using a voice-controlled user interface while maintaining situational awareness in loud and hazardous environments. Firstline Workers using RealWear HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1 devices can collaborate with a remote expert using video calling in Teams. Users can access chats, remote assist capabilities, and other resources using only voice commands, as well as conduct calls and field operations completely hands-free. By showing what they see in real-time, field workers can accelerate the time to resolve issues and reduce the risk of an expensive downtime.

Accelerate on boarding so everyone is on the same page, quickly

Training and onboarding are under heightened pressure amidst COVID-19. Everyone needs to be highly aware of new practices and conditions, and communication to your Firstline Workforce is essential. Teams helps Firstline teams share knowledge across teams and departments as well as crowdsource solutions and best practices at the edges of the organization. You can also engage your Firstline Workers with company-wide announcements and live events that employees can access anywhere. With Yammer Communities, Firstline teams can stay connected to what is happening in their communities.

Protect your organization while simplifying IT management for Firstline

Firstline Worker and Firstline Manager policy packages provide IT administrators with pre-defined policies and policy settings tailored for their Firstline workforce. This creates a simple, centralized, and consistent way to manage your Firstline workforce, no matter how big.