Work.com comprises of Salesforce applications, resources and content for organizations to create more resilient workplaces and a workforce that feels supported.
The initial Work.com “Covid-19 response products” announcement landed at the end of May 2020, only a few months into the pandemic. This was followed in October, of the same year, with more applications for employee engagement (i.e. Employee Workspace, Helpdesk) and a safer return to in-store shopping (i.e. Queue Management, Broadcast Messaging).
The key takeaway so far? Work.com was brought together with tremendous speed and agility by the Salesforce product development teams. Considering that Work.com was never in the development pipeline until the Covid-19 disruption took hold, the output is impressive to say the least.
This guide will cover the Workplace Command Center, Employee Workspace, and how myTrailhead works with both. The Trusted Communications app, which helps businesses create safe, and engaging, in-person experiences for their customers. Then, what does Work.com offer for those who build on the Salesforce platform, including a story of how one organization deployed Work.com in one day. Finally, we’ll tell the story behind how Salesforce’s development teams built Work.com with lightning fast speed.
What is Salesforce Work.com?
Salesforce, in true “trailblazing” fashion, were quick to jump in to solve the resulting challenges of the Covid-19. The need for Work.com doesn’t stop there. With employees opting for a hybrid way of working, the threat of future pandemics, and changing macroeconomics, the value in efficient workplace operations and connecting with employees, is still true.
The result has been a collection of applications, resources and content for organizations to:
- Create more resilient workplaces and a workforce that feels supported.
- Help businesses create engaging (and safe) in-person experiences for their customers.
Work.com can be split into four parts:
- Workplace Command Center
- Employee Experience App
- Trusted Communications
- Emergency Response Management (ERM) App
Work.com comes with a data model to support the Work.com platform applications, plus leveraging functionality from other products in the Customer 360 platform – such as Tableau, Communities and Salesforce Surveys.
Workplace Command Center
The Workplace Command Center is where all Work.com applications unite – an integrated view. Designed for HR and facilities teams who manage workplace operations, the Workplace Command Center helps to answer the question ‘How resilient is our workplace, for whatever the future may bring?’
“Since [Covid-19], the world has evolved – and so has Work.com. With the transition to remote and hybrid work, our customers asked for new ways to help their employees be productive from anywhere, while continuing to support their health and wellbeing. That’s why we expanded Work.com beyond its original focus to help employees succeed from anywhere.” – Patrick Stokes, EVP & GM of Platform at Salesforce.
The Workplace Command Center is made up of components from the various apps. Some examples of components that could be added include:
- Wellness Checks: Status by Location (each office location).
- Contact Tracing: Health assessments, guided interview templates, person-to-person relationship mapping.
- Shift Management: Activated capacity, employees available, shifts assigned.
- myTrailhead: Progress in employee enablement, e.g. compliance training.
Workplace Command Center is available as an add-on to the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Platform products. Each license for Workplace Command Center requires a license for one of these products.
Employee Wellness Assessment
Stay in touch with employees’ health with Monitor wellness – both physically and mentally – using Salesforce surveys through a mobile app.
Contact Tracing App
Contact tracing involves identifying individuals that are unwell and tracing other individuals they have been in contact with. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we heard about initiatives at the national level, in countries e.g. Singapore, or states e.g. Rhode Island.
“It’s a lot like CRM – you’re trying to identify and understand relationships.” – Rob Seaman, SVP of Product for Healthcare and Lifesciences, Salesforce.
The Contact Tracing App identifies:
- Individuals: Health assessments, guided interview templates.
- Risks to communities: Person-to-person relationship mapping.
- Geographic hotspots: Regional areas or specific sites.
The app has the look and feel of Health Cloud and Marketing Cloud’s Audience Builder:
Shift Scheduling App
Included as part of the Workplace Command Center, the Shift Scheduling app helps to keep workplace density to a minimum by coordinating shift patterns – in other words, matching skills required to determine who actually needs to be present.
You may have guessed already that this app will be based on Salesforce Field Service features.
myTrailhead with Work.com
The world is not static, and neither is your organization – new regulations for employees to follow, new ways your teams should be interacting with customers, new updates to Salesforce your development team has deployed – employees need to learn about these changes.
myTrailhead enables businesses to build customized, gamified, bite-size learning for their employees, customers, and partners – all by leveraging Salesforce’s learning platform (Trailhead).
It’s a well-known fact that continual knowledge checks help retain information. Use myTrailhead with Work.com to not only reskill employees, but also to better their career progression – and in addition, keep track of whether training has been completed across the workforce.
A central digital hub for employees to access the tools and resources they need, in line with Salesforce’s work-from-anywhere vision.
“The Employee Workspace is a single pane of glass that brings information and collaboration together [for employees to manage their work-life]”. Genevieve Weber, SVP & COO, Platform, Trailhead, & Developers at Salesforce.
Salesforce used the Employee Workspace internally in the early days, and had great adoption.
Workspace allows teams to access:
- Productivity apps, e.g. Google Workspace and Quip.
- Learning platforms i.e. myTrailhead.
- Employment information i.e. payroll systems.
- Personalized communications, notifications and more.
Employee Concierge allows employees to ask questions and resolve issues quickly on topics such as HR policies, benefits and perks, and IT issues.
- Set up a searchable knowledge base and ticketing system so employees can find solutions and get support when they need it.
- Einstein AI-powered chatbots provide access to knowledge articles and escalation paths, across any department.
IT Service Center
The IT Service Center, developed in partnership with Tanium, empowers IT agents to quickly resolve problems and keep devices secure and compliant, ensuring employees stay productive from anywhere.
“Tanium helps organizations stay secure by providing instant visibility and control over their endpoints — computers, laptops, servers, virtual machines — at any time, wherever they exist. We allow IT teams to know exactly how many endpoints they have, what applications are running, quickly push a patch update or run an audit.” – Orion Hindawi, co-founder & CEO of Tanium
“We partnered with Tanium to create IT Service Center (ITSC), a critical tool that helps IT teams better support employees from anywhere. This is an incredible cross-team, cross-company initiative leveraging Tanium’s real-time asset management capabilities, Service Cloud’s case management technology, and the power of the Salesforce Platform for automation, integration and personalization.” – Patrick Stokes, EVP & GM of Platform at Salesforce.
Remote employees can’t simply stroll over to the IT help desk to get what they need. IT teams have been struggling to deliver support at scale remotely. ITSC lets employees work productively from anywhere, while giving IT teams visibility into employee devices.
The result? Speedy resolution time for IT teams and minimized downtime for employees, keeping everyone productive, supported, and engaged – wherever they’re working.
How Does Employee Experience Impact the Bottom Line?
“Organizations with high employee engagement have 22% higher productivity. When employees feel connected to their workplace, 62% say their work positively impacts their health. We also know that highly engaged teams see 21% greater profitability. If we adopt new technologies to automate IT support – eliminating wait times and helping employees get back to work quickly – imagine the amount of time your employees would get back. Imagine the amount of frustration that would be eliminated.” – Patrick Stokes, EVP & GM of Platform at Salesforce.
Work.com Trusted Communications aims to help businesses create safe, and engaging, in-person experiences for their customers and employees as they operate (originally to reopen safely).
“With new technology to help employees be productive anywhere, and create safe in-person experiences for customers, Work.com is helping companies get back to growth and thrive in the new normal.” – Sarah Franklin, CMO, Salesforce
The Trusted Communications apps still very much have a place in today’s world. Take Queue Management – who wants to wait in line (queues) for hours? Broadcast messaging – every customer wants to be updated about changing appointment times, and relevant reminders.
Enables brick-and-mortar businesses to minimize physical lines by creating virtual queues. Manage onsite capacity by allowing customers to:
- Reserve their place in line from anywhere through the app.
- Get updated on queue status via SMS to avoid waiting outside for lengthy periods of time.
Communicate updated hours of operation, changing appointment times, and other reminders to customers and employees.
Messages are delivered through their preferred channels including SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Businesses can then manage follow-up questions or service requests quickly with automated chatbots and personalized service communications.
Digital Trust Cards
Digital Trust Cards allow local store employees to quickly update safety protocols, specific to their location. Covid-19 use cases included social distancing guidelines, and cleaning policies.
These digital cards can be embedded into any digital property, such as a website or app so that customers can be confident in their safety while visiting in-person.
Emergency Response Management
Emergency Response Management (ERM) is an app to allocate health, public and private sector resources (program management and incident resolution) aimed towards the public sector and health industries
Perhaps less relevant now than in Covid times, this app still can empower certain sectors (i.e. Public Sector and nonprofits) for crisis management.
Emergency Response Management will include the following features:
- Health Cloud: Allows you to collect and use personal information about individuals, including health-related information, which is subject to various legal requirements in different jurisdictions.
- Emergency Program Management: Prioritize and mobilize emergency resources.
- Lightning Scheduler: Streamline scheduling by allowing individuals to self-serve according to the availability determined by your Salesforce records.
- Salesforce Maps: Visualize your Salesforce data on interactive maps.
Note: These are separate offerings that have been bundled. Pricing is publicly available here. Last we heard, if you already have purchased any of the above, you will only need to purchase those you don’t currently have.
Volunteer and Grants Management
Volunteer Management and Grants Management are Salesforce.org products. Salesforce markets them as complementary offerings alongside Emergency Response Management:
- Volunteer coordination: Digital sign ups, scheduling, and reminders to get the right volunteer, to the right activity, at the right time.
- Grant making processes: Tracking initial application to the final award.
- Tracking philanthropic efforts (with Einstein Analytics).
Customizing and Extending Work.com
Work.com comes with a data model to support the Work.com platform applications, repurposing a proven set of platform features, which means that you can customizing Work.com the way you need to, using the tools you’re familiar with, e.g. SalesforceDX.
First, browse apps from partners on the AppExchange – including free ones!
If none of these pre-built apps suit your use case (or budget), then there’s plenty of opportunity for app builders.
- Employee, crisis and crisis assessment objects will be added to the data model to support the additional data that needs to be stored, processed and related to other objects. These, and other new standard objects, went straight into GA (kudos to the Salesforce engineering team – they delivered!)
- Workplace Command Center has been designed so that apps can be built on top that ‘plug in’.
- UI Eventing allows the independent components to function together, laying the foundation for additions you want to make, such as contextualisation (filtering the components by location, for example).
- Shift management is Salesforce Field Service.
- Employee wellness is Salesforce Surveys.
Elements, a Salesforce ISV, was one of the first organizations to share their experience installing and configuring Work.com. Their recommendations for how you approach a Work.com implementation cover speed, risk and user adoption.
“By the end of the day, we had a Work.com Org installed and configured. We had installed the Wellness Survey, Shift Management and myTrailhead managed packages. We also installed a couple of ISV packages, too – Reputation Studio and Traction Guest – that had been developed alongside Work.com.” Ian Gotts, Founder, Elements.
The installation instructions are well written and easy to follow. It took Elements a couple of hours to get the core platform all set up and running, then configured, to meet the business needs, just like any org.
Elements believe it all starts with agreeing to the new operational processes so that the configuration requirements are crystal clear. During their exploration, Elements produced process content which can be freely used by anyone (functioning like accelerators).
Work.com Risk Assessment
Look at any implementation from the perspective of risk in 3 areas:
- Organizational: What impact does this have on the business?
- Technical: How hard is this to deliver?
- Regulatory: What compliance risks are there?
This translates to high/low risk:
Organizational: HIGH RISK
These are new operational processes supported by a completely new system that employees are going to have to learn and adopt. Business processes and the apps will need to evolve quickly to adapt to the changing business environment – no-one has a “reopen playbook”! It is like compressing 5 years of digital transformation into 5 months, which will put a significant strain on organizations.
Technical: LOW RISK
This is a new org with limited external integrations based on a proven stable platform. For some organizations locked in Classic, this is a chance to benefit from Lightning and an opportunity to learn from past experiences. Many (everyone) wants to build in a way that minimizes the technical debt that hobbled them in previous implementations; configure not code; proper documentation; formal CI/CD cycle. LOW RISK becomes MEDIUM RISK if organizations try to take shortcuts to implement faster – it will catch up with them.
Regulatory: HIGH RISK
The data privacy implications are significant. Wellness surveys are asking employees about their medical status. Track and trace require consents far beyond those expected by any employee. What consents are visitors expected to sign and should they be covered by track and trace? GDPR and CCPA have largely been ignored in the effort to control the pandemic, but this cannot be the status quo.
Finally, some of the operational processes such as track and trace will require evidence that those performing the work are following documented processes. Food, pharma, financial services and construction are used to this oversight. This may be a rude awakening for other industries.
The Elements Challenge
The Elements team set themselves a challenge: In a single day, could they develop the operational business processes diagrams for the areas that the Work.com apps and ISV apps supported? Could they sync the Org into a metadata dictionary with items linked to the key process steps? Could they extend the Salesforce help icons for key objects and fields with pop-up help linked to process diagrams, video and notes?
It took one of their team members all day, but they delivered. Any customers or partners can log in and see what they did, and then copy it and reuse it for themselves (you just need to request access to their Work.com Space Elementswork.com).
- Organizations already have a database of employees that will need to be kept in sync with Work.com.
- Adoption will be the largest challenge by far, that is, getting employees up to speed on a new set of applications with the confidence that they are entering clean data and staying compliant.
The History of Work.com
If Work.com seemed familiar to you (pre-2020), then you’re not wrong. Those long-serving in the Salesforce ecosystem may remember Work.com as the ‘social performance management platform’. Aimed at HR managers, the idea was to drive motivation and performance (e.g. see team member goals, give feedback on Chatter, share recognition from Salesforce records).
The now legacy Work.com was launched in 2012, later retired in 2015 (replaced by Thanks and Badges in Lightning Experience). Salesforce still owned that powerful website domain name – the opportunity to put it to use then presented itself.
The rebirth of Work.com makes a bold statement to the world: Apps can be developed with lightning speed on the Salesforce platform. The first reiteration of Work.com was turned around in 6 weeks. Salesforce became one of its own model customer stories – bringing to market, in 2020 alone, Workplace Command Center, Contact Tracing, Shift Scheduling, Work.com for Schools, Work.com for Vaccines, Work.com for Employees, and Work.com for Customers.
What’s the story behind Work.com’s pivot, and how did Salesforce development teams build with lightning fast speed? Where is Work.com headed, and which challenges are left unsolved?
Fortunately, I had the chance to speak with Genevieve Weber back in 2021:
“I returned to work at Salesforce after 4 months of maternity leave, and in my first meeting the work.com logo appeared on a slide. I had no idea what that meant, so I frantically started searching through my emails for background. It had only been a month since Covid-19 hit the United States, so I was amazed we were about to launch a solution to help our customers survive the impact of the pandemic. I was impressed by the speed and customer focus. Now I’m proud of how work.com has allowed our customers to go from survive to thrive.”
– Genevieve Weber, SVP & COO, Platform, Trailhead, & Developers at Salesforce
How was the Work.com Roadmap Formed?
The first release of Work.com reimagined landed in May following a 6-8 week turn around. For Salesforce, it was an opportunity to demonstrate the true power of the Salesforce platform for rapid application development – the proof is in the pudding, as we say.
We can find answers from Assaf Ben-Gur, VP of Product Management at Salesforce.
“The platform is effectively a set of building blocks that allow organizations to take pieces, combine them, and stack them together to build solutions and apps that best fit their unique business needs.”
The following was leveraged to build, test and deliver Work.com in 8 weeks:
- Development environments like Scratch Orgs – a disposable deployment of Salesforce code – were spun up for every developer across the development teams.
- A branching process that allowed them to build much faster,
- Continuous integration and delivery to ensure any development was vetted for quality at every step.
- Using the Salesforce Platform’s built in capabilities for automation, privacy, security, mobile, AI and more.
- The Salesforce Platform is defined by an open, standards-based developer experience that empowered the teams to work at speed.
These reasons demonstrate how Salesforce were able to move fast by leveraging their own platform. They suddenly became their own customer success story, to add to their growing portfolio.
Read the full Q&A with Assaf Ben-Gur.
The Future of Work.com
We see each part of the Work.com collection addresses different verticals or demographics.
I asked ‘Is there a play for every industry?’, perhaps this is how Work.com will expand and evolve.
Genevieve said that, yes, Work.com will continue to evolve in 2021, and beyond:
“I can’t predict the future, but what I do know is that in this all-digital work-from-anywhere world, work.com is helping companies better prepare for the future. There’s so much opportunity in this digital world – teams that used to be in one location are now distributed. This all-digital world is here to stay and will help us unlock innovation and productivity that was previously five years down the road. Work.com will become a powerful tool to manage future crises, but more importantly it will continue to help companies treat their employees like customers and help them thrive.” – Genevieve Weber, SVP & COO, Platform, Trailhead, & Developers at Salesforce
The need for Work.com’s solutions hasn’t gone away even though COVID-19 under control. There’s still a future need should natural disasters and other pandemics occur, an unfortunate reality that we have to face – and arm ourselves with the technologies to respond and mitigate their effects.