This article confronts an underlying problem regarding the decline of stand-alone lone worker devices.
There are many thousands of staff that work alone and dedicated lone worker protection devices are expensive and becoming obsolete.
At first glance, with the increasing amount of lone working being carried out in the UK it doesn’t make sense for these devices to be dying out.
Actually, the reason for the dramatic increase in lone working is due to advances in technology – almost everybody carries a smartphone, maybe a tablet or laptop leading to 20% of the working population working alone in some parts of their job role. Due to these same advances in technology, dedicated lone worker devices are coming to the end of their useful lives.
What is a dedicated lone worker device?
A dedicated lone worker device allows an employee at the touch of a button to summon an emergency response to their location. They can also proactively confirm the safety of the employee allowing them to safety check in and out or even alert somebody if the employee is not moving.
A smarter solution.
The reality is that any smartphone made within the last 5 years has this technical capability too. In fact, the GPS chipsets in modern smartphones are more sophisticated than the older technology in these dedicated devices.
Taking into account that nobody leaves their homes without their smartphones and nobody forgets to charge their smartphone this is actually a more robust approach to lone worker protection. User adoption will be much higher as using their smartphone is already part of a daily routine.
A simple lone worker protection app can allow organisations to provide the highest level of functionality without being required to purchase an expensive device.
You might be thinking there is a big problem we have not mentioned and you would be right. How do you easily activate an SOS alarm when the phone might be at the bottom of a handbag or buried in a pocket? Well, thanks to advances in technology connected devices can be used, such as discreet fobs or buttons that are connected to your smartphone. These can be clipped to a lanyard to trouser clip etc. and can provide an easy and cost-effective activation method. With battery lives of over 12 months these devices are a hassle-free alternative if easy activation is a key requirement for your lone workers.
Gone are the days when companies can overcharge for expensive devices when people already carry around the technology required to protect them in their pockets.
Dedicated lone worker devices will never die out completely. There is still a place for these dedicated devices such as for employees that are not allowed to carry smartphones whilst working or for employees with uniforms with no pockets where a device would have to be worn on a lanyard around the neck.
The purpose of this article is to help educate organisations to choose the solutions that are right for them. We do provide a range of lone worker solutions including a dedicated device.