As COVID-19 continues to be a prevalent factor in society, lockdowns and restrictions have seen a sharp rise in remote working. While employees are benefitting from the advantages of greater freedom and flexibility during work hours, it has become increasingly difficult for employers to make sure their staff are safe and well.

It is important to remember that employers have a legal responsibility to ensure their staff are safe while at work. According to Safe Work Australia, companies have a duty to take reasonable care to protect employees against foreseeable injury arising out of their employment with WHS laws stating:

‘A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU, or in other words an employer) has a primary duty to ensure the health and safety of workers while they are at work in the business or undertaking and others who may be affected by the carrying out of work.’

What is also important to note is that an employer’s duty of care goes beyond the main workplace and includes taking reasonable steps to ensure employees’ safety wherever they have been asked to work, whether that is in the main workplace or another location.

New technology from ADT Security is helping companies to safeguard their employees’ safety and wellbeing. The technology is not only suitable for workers in high-risk industries, such as drivers, field technicians and in-home health care workers, but is also valuable for large corporations or small businesses with employees working from home or in a hybrid remote environment.

The psychological impact of remote working

While many remote workers have benefited from a sense of freedom and reinvigorated energy for work, COVID-19 has left many others stressed, depressed and isolated. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, conducted in June 2021, revealed that one in five Australians (20 per cent) experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, and almost one in three younger Australians (30 per cent) in the 18 to 34 year age bracket experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.

Due to financial stress and job uncertainty, many employees are working through their distress alone and remote working has therefore made it a challenge for companies to monitor employee welfare and uphold their duty of care.

New technology helps keep workers safe

Organisations can help better protect their staff using ADT FindU, a new lone worker management platform from ADT Security which can be a lifeline for staff in an emergency. ADT FindU provides a holistic all-in-one solution approach with app-based drive and 24/7 monitoring, protecting workers on-site, off-site and on the road. The technology helps organisations stay connected to their employees’ health and wellbeing through real-time monitoring. Employers can set up geo-zones that notify them when an employee enters a designated area. This allows them to instantly confirm that their workforce is safe or can respond to duress alerts quickly using accurate GPS location technology. This is particularly useful for workers on the road who may operate during late hours or high-risk areas. ADT FindU is also compatible with Android and Apple mobiles, as well as Samsung Galaxy and Apple watches, making it accessible from a wide range of devices and platforms.

Regular staff check-ins

Setting up regular check-in times throughout the day using the ADT FindU app helps employers connect with remote staff at designated times to make sure they are safe or verify completion of high-risk tasks. FindU provides a professional yet social connecting tool, by allowing employees to ‘check in’ and answer questions prior to beginning their session. In a work-from-home situation, this can give employers and employees a platform to connect about personal issues, professional challenge or even share a joke or two.

Should a staff member fail to check in, employers can use the app to contact a worker directly, raise an alert or initiate a follow up call through ADT Security’s monitoring centre which is operational 24/7. Employees can also raise alerts, giving managers or team mates the ability to respond with FindU by seeing who’s in the area and allocate resources accordingly. Either way, ADT FindU helps organisations to establish and maintain a strong connection between people working in isolation.

Remote working and COVID-19 may have separated teams across the country, but despite the current landscape there are valuable tools available, like ADT FindU, that allow us to live and work freely and independently, safe in the knowledge that help is never far away.

If you’re concerned about keeping your remote workforce safe and secure during the pandemic, call us on 13 12 38.