How We’re Making Communication Better for Business Owners and Employees Everywhere

Remember your first hourly job? How did you schedule your shifts? It was probably some combination of handwritten schedules, emails, phone calls, and maybe even post-it notes. You probably hated scheduling as much as your boss did.

When I Work felt that pain and wanted to solve that problem. Companies like GNC, NYU, and the Courtyard Marriott, among other leading consumer brands, were frustrated with the inefficiencies of scheduling and communication among the hourly workforce. When I Work saw an opportunity to build a custom employee communication and engagement chat app. They used Twilio’s Programmable Chat to create a chat application that would work across mobile devices and desktop.

Katie Braun and Sam Tape lead the product and engineering efforts, respectively, for When I Work’s chat product. At SIGNAL, Sam and Katie discuss the key lessons they learned when building WorkChat, a secure and reliable communications platform for the hourly workforce, and how they built a customizable employee communication app that could scale.

Don’t have time to watch the video? Here are four top takeaways.

  • Communication styles are changing for millennials, who rarely make phone calls and hourly workers who often don’t have work-assigned email addresses or phone numbers. However, hourly workers still need to communicate to coordinate shift scheduling and get relevant updates about their workplace.
  • When I Work wanted to integrate messaging into their application but didn’t want to build the technology themselves since messaging isn’t their core capability. They decided to use Twilio Programmable Chat’s SDKs, Rest API, Access Tokens, and WebSockets to build WorkChat quickly and securely with real-time platform syncing, scalability that allows up to 1000 members in a single channel, and continuous market enhancements.
  • Adding customized levels of notifications and permissions to different chat channels gives chat apps the flexibility to meet their users’ needs.
  • Watch the video to see the code that makes WorkChat work and hear the step-by-step process as it takes place behind the scenes.


Editor’s note: This article was originally published Twilio’s blog and has been republished here at the author’s consent.