We’ve talked in our blogs throughout the pandemic about the importance of employers looking after their lone workers at home. With Safe Hub on their side, workers can get help if they get into trouble at home. From Red Alert emergency help through to reactive Worker Down impact detection, employers can meet their health and safety requirements even in workers’ homes. But for many workers who were office-based before March, the new reality is that they are likely to be working more flexibly from now on. Many will choose, and many more may be asked, to work at least some of their time at home. The rest of their time they’ll be back in an office or out and about with clients. In this blog, we’ll look at trends that are already in evidence, and how Safe Hub protects lone workers wherever they are.
A new more flexible way of working
Before the lockdown changed the face of remote working, working from home was actually not that common in the UK. Office for National Statistics data shows only 1.63 million people, or 5% of the active UK workforce, considered their home as their main place of work in 2019. This figure grew to 4 million when factoring in those who work at least in part from home. Some 70% of the workforce (23.9 million people) had no experience of spending their week working from home before 2020. Of course, there are a number of sectors where working from home isn’t really an option. But nevertheless, during lockdown a vast number of people had a taste of working from home.
Moving forward, it seems likely that there will be an appetite for continuing to work from home for at least part of the working week. From the employee’s perspective, not having to commute and being able to work at times that suit them have been benefits. For employers, having quieter offices where it is easier to maintain social distancing has allowed them to look after health and safety in the workplace. And it may allow them to work differently, decreasing the number of desks and reducing their rent bills long term.
Flexibility between working at home or in any other environment
Even once they’re out of the home, lone working of course remains the norm for many UK workers. Thankfully, Safe Hub thrives on its ability to be flexible. For lone workers at home, we suggest that our Safe Hub App for mobiles is often the best option. Given workers will often use their phones during the course of their working day anyway, this avoids them having to remember to charge a separate device. But those same workers may also be lone working when they’re in a central workplace or working with clients but without colleagues present. For those workers, shared devices may be most suitable, as well as being a cost-effective solution for their employer. For instance, SOS Fob is ideally suited as a pooled device.
Of course, Safe Hub is smart enough to know where a lone worker is, thanks to pin-sharp GPS location. But if they’re working flexibly within a working day, lone workers have the added option of leaving a Yellow Alert voice memo with salient information. This can provide extra detail on their location, highlight their working pattern for a particular day, and confirm their escalation protocols if they’re using a shared device.
Managing flexible lone working through a single online portal
Wherever an organisation’s lone workers are, the Safe Hub portal allows managers to keep up to date with their location. We can tailor Safe Hub to fit their needs via the information we deliver through the Safe Hub portal. We can customise managers’ access to provide them with the precise data that they need about their home lone workers. We can outline how an individual lone worker has accessed Safe Hub throughout the course of their working week. And we can even set different escalation protocols for an individual lone worker depending on whether they’re lone working at home or outside it.
One of our lone worker safety features is all about customisation and flexibility: Group Alert. By targeting particular groups of workers by location or job function, managers can disseminate key messages to everyone who needs to know particular information. It’s often useful for telling workers about natural disasters, extreme weather, or terror threats. Safe Hub can respond to an individual’s working styles. We’ll provide customised lone worker safety by ensuring that Group Alert messages reach them wherever they’re working. As flexible lone working becomes the norm, Safe Hub is ideally placed to keep on providing best-in-class lone worker protection.
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today to find out more about how Safe Hub supports flexible lone working.
· Call: +44-(0)161 885 2122
· Email email@example.com
· Website www.loneworkersolutions.com
Post by Spencer Wild
Spencer is an Account Executive at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). As well as supporting existing clients, he works to introduce new clients to Safe Hub, and its package of emergency, buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for anyone working alone or out of sight of colleagues. The system supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of BS8484:2016 Gold Certified devices, including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerrys, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.
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