There are two trends progressively appearing in the modern workplace: 1) businesses are increasingly asking employees to travel for work, and 2) the world is a steadily dangerous place. According to the IDC (International Data Corporation), mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce by 2020.
While the growth of the mobile workforce is a boon to productivity both inside and outside the traditional fixed workplace, it also places a huge responsibility on the expanding organizations. Whether workers are on-site, at alternate office locations, over-the-road, in the field or in the air, all businesses must have the proper tools in place to ensure their mobile workers’ security; tools that not only to protect their personnel as a safety net, but also help to reinforce and support the procedures and protocols put in place to prevent incidents proactively.
Businesses Understand and Demand the Importance of Mobile Safety
A recent research paper titled, “Safety and Security for Business Travelers, Lone and Remote Workers,” found that only 37 percent of enterprises maintain an accurate record of where employees are expected to be during their working hours.
The feature that almost every enterprise looks for in a mobile worker safety strategy is the ability to facilitate communication with an employee who is in an area affected by extreme weather, fire, the possibility of explosion, exposure to the public at large, and even criminal activity. Incidents in these environments occur quickly and often without advanced warning. It’s important that companies have a suite of tools on hand and procedures in place to help them react quickly to respond accordingly when every second counts.
Additional research statistics underscore how often mobile workers find themselves in harm’s way:
- 25% of employers stated that they have had their mobile workers in the proximity a “violence in the workplace” situation in the past 12 months
- 20% of business travelers are involved in or have been in the proximity of an attack within 72 hours
- 84% of respondents said they’ve had remote workers affected by a location-specific weather event in the last twelve months.
Modern mobile worker safety programs hinge on three key capabilities:
- Understanding who potentially could be affected by an event
- Utilizing a “check-in” system that allows employees to inform management or security teams of their status
- Providing the necessary information to assist personnel out of unsafe situations.
LINX meets and exceeds each of these requirements through key features such as live GPS tracking with integrated zone and landmark monitoring, panic/emergency alert systems, man down/lone worker alarm settings, messaging and file transfer capabilities, and instant push-to-talk voice communication.
Effective Mobile Worker Programs Rely on Data
Many enterprises use manual processes – i.e., call lists, printed work orders within territories and zones, and timesheets or spreadsheets – to manage their workforce. With LINX, companies maintain a live database of where their employees are in the field while monitoring their zones, record all route histories, and use the data for operational improvements.
LINX is designed for automated communication and incident management. When an event occurs, the first step for emergency response is determine who is in danger and where they are located. With LINX, designated dispatchers monitor all personnel on a live and interactive dashboard. If an emergency state occurs, the affected employee is centered and highlighted with audible and visual alarms to prompt immediate response. The LINX app also transmits data instantaneously – meaning a dispatcher or manager will automatically acquire employee locations (or last known locations) and can communicate with them instantly.
Additionally, LINX user devices can be set to automatically transmit emergency alerts if the worker, such as a utility worker or roofer who spend their shift elevated above ground, should fall or fail to check in within a determined time frame. The system’s administrator activates these settings to automatically operate in the background of team devices to provide an additional mobile worker security layer beyond voice and location tracking features.
These safety features exist to protect mobile workers through automated status check-ins and the use of innovative gyroscope technology within mobile devices that can detect falls by reporting the phone when tipped past a certain angle.
Simple, Two-Way “All Clear” Functionality
In the previously mentioned report, 78% of respondents stated their leadership expect confirmation that all their personnel are safe and accounted for within an hour of a critical event and only 36% of the respondents have this capability today!
Systems that enable employees to initiate instant communication have a greater impact in securing their safety in emergencies. If an employee, such as a hospitality worker left alone on a floor or in a room to complete their tasks finds him or herself in a hostile environment for example, the LINX panic button emergency alert capability is extremely valuable in warning security and management to receive assistance as immediately as possible.
The panic button sends an SOS message to monitoring security, dispatch and management teams – automatically transmitting the employee’s location. Other LINX features provide instant group audio that is securely recording, as well as shared messaging and photo/file transfer abilities with just the push of a button.
With increasing reliance on technology and an ever growing mobile workforce, cell phones serve as the centerpiece to mobile worker security strategies. Whether employees bring their own devices to work for business use or have company issued devices – it’s up to you, their employer, to provide a safety application that will ensure the security of your personnel while on the job.
Choose a solution that keeps you informed, monitors and manages in real time, links all your teams together, and that meets the challenges of your mobile work environment.
See how LINX can connect and protect your mobile workforce. Request a free demo today.