Beekeeper app aims to create buzz for hard-to-reach workers
A new app for workers claims it can improve inter-company communication by enabling every employee to instant message one another.
Beekeeper, which was developed in Switzerland, is aimed at those who do not work at a desk and are without a computer but want to be able to share and receive information with colleagues quickly.
The app has a central activity stream to which anyone can post text, images and video, as well as instant messaging capabilities - similar to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger - which enable users to converse one-to-one or in group chats.
Dr Cristian Grossmann, head of Beekeeper, said the app could help create a "virtual office".
"Firms and their staff can engage with each other via their mobiles as if they were having a face-to-face conversation even when they're in different places and without the need of a voice call," he said.
"This enables everyone to be part of the big picture, builds stronger working relationships and reduces the risk of difficult to contact employees feeling cut-off and excluded."
The app, once implemented by a company, can be downloaded to smartphones, tablets and desktop computers with users then able to target announcements towards specific people or the entire company.
"Posts can be personal too. It's OK as well to be less formal and for staff to show how they're feeling even if that's simply by adding a smiley face," Dr Grossmann said.
"What's important is that now everyone has a voice and the power to motivate and support one another in whatever way feels comfortable.
"Ultimately, we believe this will lead to a happier workforce where each employee is more able to achieve their potential."
Dr Grossmann also suggested that the amount of time spent online using social networks meant interacting in a similar way for work would become more common.
"Checking the weather, social networking, online banking and reading news are in the top 10 activities people do on their mobile apps," he said.
"Work-related content consumption, communication like messaging and carrying out practical tasks will soon be just as popular."