- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
A majority of employers (74 percent) reported that they felt it was more dangerous for employees to travel domestically and internationally than two years ago, according to a study by a company that offers software for travel and other event managing and notifications, Everbridge.
A quarter, 25 percent of respondents stated that a dangerous workplace violence situation has occurred near their mobile workers in the past 12 months, while 20 percent have had travelers in the proximity of a terrorist attack within 72 hours of its occurrence. Companies report sizeable mobile worker populations. A good third, 37 percent of companies stated that more than a quarter of their workforce spends at least ten hours a week working remotely, away from a fixed office location.
With increased travel and work mobility comes the expectation – that employees and employers share – that it is the company’s responsibility to keep its employees informed and safe, no matter where they might be. Most, 81 percent of companies reported that their employees expected their employer to help protect them while they are mobile, traveling or working remotely. Near all, 97 percent of companies said that they believed it is important to be able to at least share information about potential threats with employees who may be in harm’s way. And most, 83 percent said it was their responsibility to do more: to locate mobile workers who are potentially at risk, alert them to local threats and confirm their safety.
And most, 77 percent of employers said that their employees would prioritise safety over privacy concerns when it comes to identifying their location during a critical event. The key actions companies take during a critical event are to send out alerts and instructions widely when threats occur (65 percent) and to provide annual training on how to respond to a threat (49 percent).
However, firms have difficulty pinpointing who among their mobile workforce might actually be affected: only 37 percent said they maintain an accurate record of where employees are expected to be during working hours, and only 25 percent said they dynamically locate employees when a threat occurs and tailor alerts to those potentially affected.
Although field worker safety was seen as a top mobile worker safety concern (by 65 percent of respondents), only 18 percent said that they require lone or field workers to regularly check in on their safety and only 14 percent stated that they send out regular communications to lone/field workers to check on them. Companies also have difficulty meeting expectations from their leadership team in reporting on the safety of employees. Most, 78 percent of respondents stated that their leadership team would like them to be able to confirm that all their people are safe and accounted for within an hour of a terrorist act or critical event in a location where they have employees; only 36 percent said that they could do this today.
Imad Mouline, CTO, Everbridge, said: “The increasing mobile workforce provides organisations with greater flexibility, but also challenges them to keep their employees safe in an environment of increasing threats. Our research indicates that both employers and employees expect companies to protect them wherever they are, but that there is a gap between these expectations and companies’ ability to meet them. Closing this gap so that companies can accurately locate, inform and get feedback from potentially affected employees when a serious threat occurs will be part of the successful transition to a mobile workforce.”
About the research
Done in May 2017; security, risk management, business continuity and emergency management leaders at 412 organisations across a range of industries were surveyed. The median size of the companies responding were 1000 to 2500 employees. To request the full report, visit http://go.everbridge.com/mobile-employee-safety-research-report.html?trk=pr.
Picture by Mark Rowe; signpost, Craven Arms, Shropshire.