Among the litany of ways in which COVID has changed the business landscape, one area of significant growth is the increase in lone workers. Whether working from home or in more socially distanced contexts, more and more individuals find themselves working in environments where they are the only employee present. This is especially true in the healthcare field, where COVID has accelerated an already developing trend—the rise of in-home healthcare. From organizations who have worked in this space for decades, such as Visiting Nurse Associations, to new players both big and small, “The doctor is in” … literally.
Ideas and Insights
for Safety Champions
Safety is often seen as the perpetual enemy of productivity. There is an anecdotal tendency to see safety parameters as hindrances that will only slow the process of getting the job done. There is just one problem with this notion – it’s not only wrong, it can be very dangerous.
One of the many things the pandemic surfaced is how employers monitor lone workers. A Harvard Business Review article found that even before we were all sent home to work, over 60% of C-suite executives reported leveraging digital tools to collect employee data (HBR, 2020). This “corporate surveillance” has left employees hesitant and suspicious of company-mandated apps and programs.
Effective methods for a lone worker to check in when offsite often presents challenges. The “tried and true” approach to lone worker check in is simply having the employee phone in to check in. However, that system is fraught with errors as calls are missed or people often forget to check in. If a call center is used, it becomes very costly. In addition, occupational health regulations can sometimes be frustratingly vague, leaving the employer to figure out how to uphold a duty of care with their employees. Recently, several different cloud-based apps have come to the forefront to offer new solutions to old problems.
For whatever reason, whether there was a recent incident or to plan for worker safety, as a company, you’ve decided to explore App-Based Check-In tools for your lone workers. A quick Google search or perusal of App Stores, however, can return results that are daunting. With so many options--each claiming to have a leg up on the other—how do you determine which one is the right fit for your company? A seamless fit solution is key to employee buy-in, compliance, and success.