Mobile Communications

Jim Irving (Europe) - A Mobile Solution to Lone Working

New technologies, from the latest smartphones to tablet computers, are becoming abundant in the work environment today. As employees and employers continue to embrace this technology, we are seeing an increase in mobile and lone workers who operate effectively outside the traditional office environment. ‘Lone working' delivers big advantages for organisations and employees alike; reduced overheads, more efficient use of time, the ability to cover a larger area as well as having a more flexible and motivated work force.

Earlier this year Skype conducted a survey looking at ‘The future of communications in the workplace'. The survey found that 62% of businesses allow remote working with 40% of those spending time away from the office. Of the respondents who were decision-makers and managers, 75% said working from home was becoming more acceptable, and 56% said workers-from-home were more productive.

However, the rapid rise in this new style of working is highlighting vulnerabilities in businesses. In many cases, organisations simply don't understand the potential support requirements that their newly created ‘lone worker' workforce have. With changes in legislation and the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, employers have a clear responsibility and duty of care for the health, safety and welfare of their employees.

Lone workers are evolving in most organisations around the world. Interestingly it is mobile technology which has helped create this new breed of lone worker, and it is mobile technology that is helping to provide solutions to protect their health and safety.

In recent years there have been major innovative developments in the mobile internet communication space. The lone worker industry has also moved with these developments, for instance a lone worker can use a BlackBerry smartphone for data and voice communication throughout their working day whilst also having access to a discreet panic button which can be used in a time of need.

Guardian24 is a Lone Worker Personal Security service that can be used via a BlackBerry® Smartphone, Windows PDA, Mobile Phone or specialist Lone Worker Device. It allows users to log their whereabouts, daily tasks, and any other important information. Should the users safety be compromised they can easily summon emergency help with the press of a panic button on their chosen device. At this stage the service will record live audio and immediately notify a nominated respondent. Guardian24 provides the user's personal details, activity details and live audio to the respondent receiving the escalated call. The respondent may then call the incident helpline and connect to a live feed through the user's handset for further emergency audio. This information is invaluable if you need to notify the emergency services.

With the need to reduce costs and increase efficiency throughout organisations, technology like Guardian24 makes great use of advancements in technology to ensure lone workers are protected whilst supporting a more efficient and flexible workforce.

Jim Irving, CEO of Guardian24, a leading provider of lone worker safety solutions, writes about the increasing number of ‘lone worker' employees and how business can use technology to ensure their safety.




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