How Blink’s digital front door is making employee's jobs easier

In this article, we’ll break down the challenge office workers face with so many tools available to them, and how Blink is helping frontline organizations avoid these challenges.

What we'll cover

The digital revolution has reinvented how workers interact with their colleagues, customers, and their employers. But not all workers have felt the impact equally. Most office workers today have access to more digital platforms and tools than they can manage. But for the millions of deskless, frontline workers in industries like healthcare, transit, logistics, and retail, they have the opposite problem, often lacking access to basic corporate tools like email. 

Many employers find themselves in a Goldilocks situation—some workers have too many digital tools to manage while some workers have access to too few. In both cases, the impact can mean employees are more frustrated and less engaged with work. 

In this article, we’ll break down the challenge office workers face with so many tools available to them. Then, we’ll talk about how Blink is helping frontline organizations avoid the same challenges with our “digital front door” approach to our employee app. 


More tools doesn’t always make for a better employee experience

If you ask an economist, they’ll tell you that, thanks in large part to advances in technology, productivity in countries like the U.S. has increased steadily this century. In the U.S., for example, labor productivity is up 1.5% per year since 2000—meaning that workers “produced 60 percent more ‘stuff’ and only increased their hours worked by 10 percent” during that period. As more employees in the workforce come to rely on computers, mobile phones, and applications to get their jobs done, productivity will continue to climb.

But when you ask office workers how the proliferation of technology is impacting their jobs, you’ll likely find a slightly different story. According to research, employees feel overwhelmed by new technology as much as they find it helping them. In fact, 96% say workplace tools aren’t helping them to keep up in their jobs because the “workplace tools are not addressing the root cause of the problems, and employees want tools that help them work smarter, not harder.” 

According to that same research, one of the biggest issues (for 26% of workers) comes from “app switching,” with workers saying that they would prefer to have access to everything they need within one solution. A similar survey from Asana found that “21% of respondents agreed that flicking between apps had made them less efficient at their job.” 

What, exactly, is behind the frustration with app switching, though? Why is productivity up for businesses but office workers themselves feel less productive? Let’s take a look at some of the factors.

1. There are more tools than ever that workers need to manage 

Gartner found that, between 2019 and 2023, the average number of applications that knowledge workers need to do their jobs has nearly doubled, from 6 to 11, with some using 26 or more. That number doesn’t include the HR, scheduling, payroll, survey, and learning tools that workers need to manage as well. All of that adds up to a lot of needless switching between apps and a multitude of passwords to keep track of. 

2. More tools means more notifications

Every tool and application is sending a constant stream of notifications to workers’ phones and email inboxes. Despite—or sometimes because of—the large number of notifications, 36% of workers are still missing or failing to notice important updates because of the number of applications used and the amount of information they’re being exposed to. 

3. Tools don’t work together as seamlessly as workers would like

Whether it’s constantly having to login to different platforms or having to put the same information into multiple tools, workers are feeling frustrated by the challenges of managing so many tools. Sure, there are technological solutions such as API integrations and single sign-on that make juggling so many tools easier for workers. But, it can still feel like the incompatibility across different tools and the constant app switching is negating the productivity benefits of the tools themselves.  

4. Burnout is bringing down engagement and productivity

Despite technology making employees’ jobs easier, the employee experience hasn’t necessarily improved alongside. When workers feel overworked and don’t get personal satisfaction out of their jobs, the end result for many is burnout. In 2023, 65% of employees reported suffering from burnout, which is impacting employee performance and retention for many employers. 

How the “digital front door” makes for a better experience

Blink’s employee app was developed for the frontline organization. We know how challenging it can be to bring a deskless, email-less workforce into the digital age. Rather than developing Blink as a standalone app for frontline workers, we’ve built Blink to be the digital front door for the entire workforce.

What does a digital front door do and why does it matter? 

Think of every app your employees use as a house. When knowledge workers get frustrated with app switching, it’s because they have to travel to a new house, unlock that house, and move stuff between houses. 

Blink takes all of those detached homes and makes them rooms in the same house. Workers only have to walk through one front door to access all of the critical tools and systems they need—from scheduling and pay stubs, to HRIS and benefits, to internal communications and training modules.

That’s why we like to call Blink the employee super-app. It’s not just a place for workers to communicate. It’s not just an intranet. It’s not just a feed for important updates. It puts all of this and more into one personalized app experience that is accessible through any mobile device.  

How Blink makes the digital front door work for frontline organizations

In today’s world, security concerns mean that a lack of a corporate email would typically keep frontline workers from using many corporate tools. Another concern is the added cost: whether it’s the cost of  managing thousands of extra email accounts for frontline workers or the risk of low adoption rates for expensive tools. 

Blink’s solution to these challenges is what creates our digital front door approach and helps elevate Blink from employee app to employee super app. Here are the three things Blink does differently to help bring frontline organizations into the digital workplace:

1. Solving the identity challenge

Identity and access management is critical for a secure technology stack, and it usually revolves around a work email address. No email is no problem for us, however: Blink can act as an Identity Provider. 

By providing an identity to frontline workers, Blink can integrate with any third-party application that supports the SAML 2.0 authentication standard. 

This allows deskless workers to effortlessly authenticate and have their accounts automatically provisioned on third-party applications—without asking workers to juggle multiple usernames, passwords, and applications.

Extra security can be added to Blink through biometric verification and enforcing minimum OS requirements for access to tools via the Blink Hub.

2. Leveraging existing IAM solutions

For companies who have existing identity access management systems like Okta or Azure, employees can still access third-party tools and systems via Blink while using the existing IAM tools to authenticate. 

By linking directly into relevant sections of the workplace tools that are already part of your identity infrastructure, Blink can create a secure and cohesive experience for your entire workforce.

3. Solving the third-party app access challenge

With Blink Hub acting as the digital front door for third-party tools, employees have a consistent, familiar user interface, even as tools come and go. 

Thanks to deep links between Blink and the third-party tools, workers can focus on their task at hand, such as “Request time off” or “View payslip,” without worrying what application they need to open. Blink handles it all and takes them directly to the action in the third-party app. 

See how the digital front door could benefit your frontline workforce

The goal of the digital front door approach is to make a seamless and efficient experience for workers to interact with the digital workspace. For frontline workers who have historically lacked access to many tools and platforms, Blink flattens the learning curve and helps avoid the frustration and burnout that many of their office-based colleagues have experienced.

If you’re looking to bring the benefits of the digital workplace to your frontline workforce, sign up for a personalized demo of Blink’s employee super app today

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The Blink employee app

Explore how Blink combines all the tools a frontline employee will need in one easy-to-use app.

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The Blink employee app

Explore how Blink combines all the tools a frontline employee will need in one easy-to-use app.

Explore Product

The Blink employee app

Explore how Blink combines all the tools a frontline employee will need in one easy-to-use app.

Explore Product

The Blink employee app

Explore how Blink combines all the tools a frontline employee will need in one easy-to-use app.

Explore Product