Choosing the right technology for frontline employees

Choosing the right technology for your frontline workers is not an easy task - read on to learn what to look for in a modern intranet.

What we'll cover

Frontline workers make up 80% of the global workforce. They play an extremely vital role in many industries across the globe.

But 60% of frontline employees say they’re unhappy with the technology they use at work.

Unfortunately, this stat makes perfect sense. Workplace tech has traditionally been built with office-based workers in mind. So it tends to fall short for the frontline.  

Some companies still use a traditional intranet. And others use a patchwork of different HR and IT apps. These tools may work well for desk-based employees. But they cause three common problems for frontline workers:

  • Limited access to tech. Frontline employees don’t have regular access to a computer and don’t always have a company email address. This means they rely on noticeboards, personal apps, and/or shared company computers to access the information and tools they need.

  • Access to poor quality tech. Frontline employees have access to a system that does some things, but not others. They can access tech tools via a mobile device but features are limited and the user experience is lacking

  • Access to too much tech. When employees use lots of different apps via lots of different interfaces, it creates as many problems as it solves. This piecemeal approach can cause friction and tech tool disengagement

Frontline organizations need streamlined tech that works for every employee. As Ian Gordon, former President of Administrative Operations at Elara Caring, said in an interview:

“Being a frontline worker can feel like you’re on an island by yourself, and the solutions that you need must be quicker and more succinct. You can’t spend a lot of time signing in and navigating. You need to get to your answer now.”

Currently, deskless workers waste time and productivity on tasks that could be streamlined. For example, finding their training documents, communicating with managers, or simply tracking down last month’s pay stub.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. A modern intranet takes into account the realities of today’s distributed workforce. It’s a mobile-first tool that provides the same seamless digital experience for both frontline and desk-based employees.

Here, we explore how the right type of technology can benefit your frontline employees and your organization. We also reveal the three features you should be looking for when choosing frontline tech.

Benefits of a modern intranet for frontline employees

When your frontline has access to the right tech, everyone stands to gain. Let’s take a look at the benefits – for your organization and employees – of a mobile-first employee app.


Higher levels of productivity

When frontline employees don’t have the right tech, they waste a lot of time on tasks that could be streamlined.

They have to call their manager on the phone when they want to change shifts.

They have to use the shared computer on their lunch break to respond to a company survey.

They have to leaf through a paper handbook to find an answer to their question.  

A modern intranet helps frontline employees complete tasks quickly and easily. This means productivity for your organization improves. 

Streamlined workflows

A modern intranet helps streamline the workflow of every employee in your organization, not just those on the frontline.

That’s because frontline employees can use self-serve functions. They can view their pay stubs, launch an assigned L&D module, and request time off. Employees can book shifts and report faults or accidents. They can also chat with their managers via messaging features.

This helps to streamline the work of your frontline workers. But it also helps HR teams and frontline managers. They get fewer queries and fewer phone calls because frontline employees can achieve so much more using the right tech tool - removing the barrier to access and allowing your HR teams and managers to focus on the work they are meant to be doing. 

Tech tool efficiency

The best modern intranets integrate with the software you already use for your business. It's not about adding another tool to your tech stack to be siloed, but increasing access to all of the other tools you already rely on. So employees can access all tech tools from the same, familiar interface.

When workplace tools are intuitive and easy to access, employees spend a lot less time looking for the resources they need. They also spend less time trying to remember different login details. A single click, a single password, and they’re in.

Learning and development

A modern intranet or employee app makes it easy for employees to access vital resources. Like workplace policies, guides, and training materials.

This means new hires get up-to-speed quickly. They can access all onboarding materials via their smartphone. Existing employees also find it easy to weave L&D into their usual workflow.

With access to resources that help them work smarter, not harder, employees become more effective and productive in their roles. 

Improved internal communication

Good internal communication is the backbone of any organization.

Without it, trust in leadership suffers. And with it, engagement and loyalty increases. Employees in organizations with effective communication feel more connected to their jobs. 

But we know that frontline teams usually don’t enjoy the same level of communication and connection as their desk-based co-workers. 

Frontline employees tend to spend very little time at HQ and often spend their days working alone. So they risk missing out on: 

  • Vital company updates
  • Co-worker collaboration
  • Recognition from managers
  • Opportunities to make their voice heard

The right tech helps to bridge the gap. It improves employee communication by connecting frontline workers to their co-workers, head office, and company culture.

Real-time communication

Information is often outdated by the time it reaches frontline employees. It’s hard to spot memos on a crowded noticeboard, and it’s easy to miss an important update in a long thread of messages. 

The best modern intranets solve this problem by supporting real-time communication.

Employees can use newsfeed, group chat, and 1-2-1 chat functions to get up-to-the-minute information.

Managers can send smartphone notifications to highlight vital updates. They can post a video of today’s company standup. They can also create and pin mandatory messages to the company newsfeed, ensuring that essential information cuts through. 

With access to relevant, timely information like this, employees make better decisions and solve problems more quickly.

Two-way communication

Top-down communication is useful for establishing company culture and sharing updates. But for truly effective internal communication, information needs to move in all directions.

Modern intranets support peer-to-peer connection. Co-workers can interact via the newsfeed or chat functions. They can recognize a peer’s hard work. Or wish their work bestie a happy birthday.

The intranet also supports bottom-up communication. With a newsfeed, direct messaging, and company-wide surveys, you give frontline employees a voice.

This makes a positive difference to the employee experience. Employees who say their voice is heard at work are 4.6x more likely to give their all.


Imagine a frontline care worker has come across a great article about elderly care. How does that person share their new insight with other frontline workers in other locations?

Perhaps they’ll mention the article to the co-workers they physically cross paths with. Or send a link to the small group of people in their work WhatsApp chat. 

But you really amplify the reach and impact when that care worker can post the article to the company employee app.

The right tech tools allow frontline teams to share the knowledge they gain when they’re out in the field. They can share best practices and collaborate with other employees, even though they’re not based in the same office environment.

Empowerment and engagement

When employees feel empowered and engaged at work, they’re happier and more productive. They provide better customer service and produce better results. They’re also less likely to look for a job elsewhere.

Employee engagement relies on strong employee communication, development opportunities, recognition – and the right tech.

The wrong tech can be a big drain on employee engagement. When workers use slow, inefficient, and ineffective digital tools, it adds friction and frustration to their work day. So implementing a modern intranet can help with all the following. 

Empowering employees

With a company super-app at their fingertips, frontline employees are empowered to make informed decisions and take a proactive approach to their work.

Thanks to user-friendly employee communication channels, they can report safety or equipment issues. They can share their knowledge. And they can access company resources exactly when they need them.

A modern intranet also empowers employees to progress in their careers. 70% of frontline workers are interested in career progression opportunities. But they don’t always get the resources or support they need.

Via an employee app, you can give frontline workers easy access to L&D information, new job opportunities, and any available employee development activities. 

Engaging employees

The right frontline tech helps you to improve employee engagement. It allows employees to engage with co-workers and company culture. And it mirrors the experience provided by employees’ favorite social media apps.

A newsfeed. Likes, comments, and shares. Pulse surveys. Digital 1-2-1s. A searchable company library. A modern intranet with a user-friendly interface creates an experience that employees are excited to use and keep using.

The best frontline tech also offers personalization, another thing that helps to level up engagement. Employees can switch up their dashboards to put their preferred features first. Or prioritize their newsfeed to focus on posts that are most relevant to them. 

Retention and attraction

Frontline teams experience high levels of churn. A McKinsey study found that 45% of frontline workers planned to leave their jobs within the following 3 to 6 months.

Workplace technology is an important part of the puzzle. 78% of deskless workers say they consider the technology at a company when deciding whether to take a job there.

When you equip frontline workers with the right tech, you show your employees that you value them and care about their experience.

You also provide communication channels that support a better employee experience. You allow employees to give feedback and build stronger relationships with co-workers. This makes it easier to hold onto existing staff – and to attract new talent too.

Choosing the right tech for frontline employees

Some tech solutions – like the traditional intranet – don’t fit the realities of frontline work. So what should you be looking for when choosing tech for frontline employees?

The best frontline tech:

  • is a one-stop-shop
  • offers an intuitive user experience
  • has a mobile-first design

Let’s look at these features in a little more detail.

It’s a one-stop-shop

Currently, many organizations are at risk of app overload. 37% of frontline workers use five or more apps every day. But 39% say that apps aren’t actually helping them in their work.

A patchwork of workplace tools means workers have to learn different interfaces and remember lots of passwords. Tech complicates their workflow instead of simplifying it.

The best modern intranet brings together all the software you use. It acts as a digital front door for your organization.

Behind this door, employees find everything they need to do their jobs. Tools for communication, operations, training, shifts, collaboration, and HR. It’s all available via one interface and a single login.

Tech that acts as a one-stop-shop reduces friction in frontline employee workflow. It also drives adoption for your existing tools, improving the ROI on the software you’re already paying for.

Supercharge your frontline with an employee super-app


It provides an intuitive user experience

Investing in the best frontline tech is pointless if you can’t persuade employees to use it. So you need tech solutions that can prove high usage and adoption rates.   

Bear in mind that 56% of deskless workers are using personal tech tools instead of workplace tools. As well as posing security risks, this illustrates a really important point when choosing frontline tech.

Your chosen solution has to compete with the user experience (UX) provided by the most popular social media platforms. So you need tools that offer an intuitive, friction-free UX.

These intuitive tools don’t have a steep learning curve. Instead – because they’re so similar to the apps your employees already use out of work – employees can pick them up and start using them with next to no training.

Because they’re so easy to use, these apps provide clear employee benefits from the get-go. This helps to drive organic app adoption and ensures a higher proportion of your workforce downloads and uses your intranet.

It’s a mobile-first solution

Frontline workers don’t sit at a desk. They don’t always have a company email address, let alone a company computer. Therefore, any workplace tech you choose must be available via a mobile device.

The best solutions have a mobile-first design. They’re not tools designed for desktop with an app added as an afterthought. Instead, they offer the same great features and user experience on a smartphone as they do on other devices.

This allows frontline team members to stay up-to-date with company news, book time off, or look at their shift schedule while they do their daily work. They can access workplace tools from any location, at any time.

Blink: an employee app for frontline workers

The Blink employee app is a modern intranet for a modern frontline workforce. Our app acts as the digital front door for your organization. 

It provides access to the tools and systems your entire workforce needs day to day. And it integrates seamlessly with the software you already use. So employees can access all workplace software using one secure single sign-on (SSO).

As a mobile-first solution, Blink provides the same great user experience on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Frontline workers have exactly the same access as their desk-based peers to company culture, co-worker connection, and workplace resources. 

If you’re looking to improve the frontline employee experience, connect your workforce, and increase productivity, frontline tech is a great place to start. 

Book a Blink demo. Or discover how Blink works for people teams by reading our recent article: Transforming HR teams with the help of a frontline app.

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Discover how Blink's employee app modernizes the intranet and tears down the silo between the office and frontline.

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Discover how Blink's employee app modernizes the intranet and tears down the silo between the office and frontline.

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The Blink modern intranet

Discover how Blink's employee app modernizes the intranet and tears down the silo between the office and frontline.

Explore Product