Technology can help to unlock a new future for frontline workers, according to a Work Trend Index Special Report released by Microsoft.

The 2-billion frontline workers worldwide represent 80% of the global workforce, with 88% of organisations employing people in frontline roles, the report finds.

Increasingly, companies are investing in digital tools for frontline workers to modernise workflows, enhance job performance, and improve workplace culture and communication.

In light of this, Microsoft has seen 400% growth in monthly active usage of its Teams collaboration platform among frontline workers since March 2020.

The Work Trend Index report reveals key insights that impact nearly every segment of the workforce:

* A culture of caring is the new currency on the frontline: 76% of workers feel bonded to each other, yet over 60% say their company should better prioritise culture and communication from the top. In addition, 51% of those in nonmanagement positions on the frontline don’t feel valued as employees.

* Frontline workers are at an inflection point: Amid the Great Reshuffle, frontline workers cite better pay and benefits, work-life balance, and flexibility as reasons for considering a job change.

* Optimism for tech is high: 63% of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities tech creates and tech ranks third on the list of factors workers say could help reduce workplace stress.

* There’s an opportunity to bridge the tech and training gap: 46% of frontline workers feel pressure to adapt to new tech or fear losing their jobs — but 55% say they’ve had to learn new tech on the fly, with no formal training or practice.

Microsoft is introducing new joint offerings with industry partners as well as capabilities specifically designed to support frontline workers in Teams and Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform introduced in early 2021.