Retail giant Walmart is set to give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year so they can use a new app to manage schedules and perform a wide variety of other tasks in the store. Employees will be free to use the phone for their personal business as well.
CBS News reports that the retail giant Walmart has announced plans to give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year so that they can use a new app to manage schedules. The phone will be a Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro and can also be used by employees for personal use. The phone’s retail price is currently $499.
Walmart stated in its announcement that employees will only be able to use work features on the new Me@Walmart app while on the clock. “The idea of this app started as a way to manage associates’ schedules and has grown into our single in-store app for U.S. associates, saving them time and helping them be more efficient,” the company said. “We believe it’s the first of its kind in the retail industry.”
Currently, associates at Walmart stores use handheld devices they share to communicate, but an initial test with employee smartphones was received well and will now be expanded upon, Walmart stated. The Me@Walmart app boasts a number of features including scheduling, push-to-talk with employees, signing into work by phone, and a voice-activated personal assistant.
“As retail continues to evolve — and quickly — it’s more critical than ever to equip our people with the tools and technology they need for success,” Walmart stated. “Doing so makes work easier and more enjoyable, and it keeps the focus where we need it most — delivering a great in-store, pickup and delivery experience for our customers.”
Walmart added that it would not have access to any employee’s personal data and they can “use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they’re used to.”
While one retail giant is providing employees with free phones, others such as Amazon are creating “despair closets” where employees can take mental health breaks. Breitbart News recently reported that the e-commerce giant Amazon has introduced a human-sized box featuring an interactive kiosk where workers can watch videos about “mental health” and “mindfulness practices.” The booth is referred to as “AmaZen” and is described by Amazon as a place for employees to go and “focus on their mental wellbeing.”
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