Lone working in the UK has increased significantly over the last decade. But while the number of lone workers has increased over the years, there has been a lack of formal research into the size and shape of lone working in the UK to this point.

In Summer 2021 Pick Protection, alongside partners Yokogawa, G4S, DVS and Unipart, jointly released the 2021 UK Lone Working Survey. The survey yielded a high response rate, delivering a rich data set gathered across 38 different sectors, comprising of small, medium and large enterprises, and with representation across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Key Findings

  • 70% of respondents saw the amount of lone working in their organisation increase over the past 12 months.
  • Two thirds of these changes were due to Covid-19 forcing organisations to change working practices.
  • Nearly 90% of respondents said they will maintain either some or all changes around employee working habits made as a result of the pandemic.
  • Over the next 12 months less than 35% of companies surveyed expect to have little or no lone working taking place.
  • 68% of respondents have some or all employees working remotely.
  • The most common risk highlighted in the survey was lone working employees carrying expensive equipment such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • Nearly three quarters of respondents currently have a lone worker protection solution in place.
  • Less than one quarter of respondents thought their lone working policy was well adhered to.
  • Over 40% of organisations surveyed had experienced a lone working incident within the last three years.

Trends and Forecast

The data shows that there has been a significant increase in lone working over the last year, but whilst Covid-19 is largely responsible for the increase, it is apparent that most of the changes are now here to stay. The implication of this is that organisations must come to terms with permanent lone working and must take the appropriate steps to ensure safe working practices are embedded for the long term.

With the most common risk now stemming from employees carrying expensive equipment such as tablets, smartphones, laptops etc. we predict that while the lone worker app market will continue to grow, the demand for dedicated devices will reduce as more employees move to smartphone solutions.

The survey also provided insight that further education is required around lone worker protection, with only a small percentage of companies confident their lone working policy was well adhered to, and nearly half of organisations experiencing a lone working incident in the last three years.

Further Information

Thank you for your interest in the 2021 UK Lone Working Survey. The key findings summarise the main insights gained. If you would be interested in a further breakdown of the data gathered, please email support@pickprotection.com


Next Steps

Pick Protection and our partners will continue to further analyse the data to predict the requirements for the UK Lone Working market sector moving forward.

Building on the success of the 2021 UK Lone Working Survey, a Global Lone Working Survey will be released later in 2021 to assess the size and shape of lone working worldwide.