Deskless Not Voiceless: Connecting frontline workers with Workplace and WhatsApp

We’re pre-announcing an integration with WhatsApp to help organizations better reach their frontline workers, as new research shows prevailing disconnect and the Great Resignation continues to loom.

Christine Trodella
Director of Client Success, Workplace.

Frontline workers are the lifeblood of organizations everywhere. They may be out of sight from HQ - on the road, up in the air, in stores, manufacturing plants and restaurants - but all over the world these are the workers who are providing essential services and interacting with customers day in, day out.

When the pandemic hit, many organizations found it hard to reach their frontline workforce, due to them not being connected by email. What started as an internal comms challenge became a boardroom problem overnight. And today our latest research reveals the problem is not yet solved.

According to Deskless Not Voiceless: The 2021 Frontline Barometer1 - which examines the views of 7,000 frontline workers and 1,350 C-suite executives in 7 countries - only 55% of frontline workers surveyed feel connected to their company HQ. And many more of those respondents (75%) don’t completely trust their organizations to be transparent about company news and updates.

With the Great Resignation continuing to loom and 45% of workers surveyed looking to leave the frontline altogether, it’s clear many organizations need to do more to build connected employee experiences that will help frontline workers feel part of their organization - and in turn have the potential to attract and retain the best talent.

Connecting the frontline with Workplace and WhatsApp

Connecting the frontline with Workplace and WhatsApp

By better connecting frontline workers and empowering them with information, we believe that organizations can help improve their ability to engage their people and deliver great service. So today we’re pre-announcing an integration with WhatsApp that will make it even easier for businesses to reach their frontline.

Top internal communication tools

Concept design only. Subject to change.

Expected in 2022, this integration will enable companies to share posts from Workplace with employees, including frontline workers, over WhatsApp.

In doing so, organizations will be able to ensure that information and updates reach frontline workers where they are in real-time. You can find out more about how Workplace helps keep frontline employees connected, informed and engaged here.

Ujjwal Singh, Workplace’s Head of Product, said: “At Workplace, we strongly believe that the most successful organizations empower their frontline employees to make a difference and listen to their ideas. So it’s disappointing to see there’s still a clear disconnect between frontline and HQ in 2021."

"Our integration with WhatsApp is designed to help fix that: Helping bring frontline employees closer to their organizations and ensuring the information they need to do their jobs is at their fingertips.”

“Our integration with WhatsApp will help bring frontline employees closer to their organizations.”

Deskless Not Voiceless

Deskless Not Voiceless

Workplace is designed to help companies make great things happen by connecting their frontline with mobile-friendly and easy to use features like Shift Cover, Knowledge Library and Live Video.

Take Virgin Atlantic, which uses Workplace to keep its frontline workers - from cabin crew to engineers - connected. The company was able to keep its staff informed and supported throughout the pandemic, even while up to 7,400 were on furlough.

Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said: “As a people and purpose-driven organisation, communicating openly and transparently with colleagues is paramount. Our frontline teams – whether on the ground or in the skies – are constantly on the move; Workplace allows them to remain connected to Virgin Atlantic, wherever they are in the world and whenever suits them."

"We use it as an internal news channel, where everyone comes together to share information, ideas and values in a uniquely Virgin way. Our differentiator is our people and vital human connection, and Workplace helps us make that a reality.”

You can learn more about how Workplace helps ensure frontline workers are deskless not voiceless and download our 2021 frontline barometer here.


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1 “Deskless Not Voiceless: The 2021 Frontline Barometer” by Coleman Parkes: Workplace from Facebook commissioned study of 7,000 frontline workers and 1,350 C-suite leaders in the UK, USA, Canada, Brazil, France, Mexico and Australia), September-October 2021


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