Lone worker health is an important part of keeping them happy, safe and secure in their jobs. In this week’s blog, we look at the impacts lone working can have on an employee’s health and how you can help your lone workers to stay fit and healthy.
Lone Worker Health Risks
Lone working carries its own dangers; from attacks and robberies to accidents and falls. The level of these risks must be assessed, and measures put in place to help lower them. One such measure is a lone worker solution.
The other dangers of lone working are less talked about…
By nature, most humans are social creatures who crave human interaction, so to spend long periods of time alone, whether that be through working alone or being isolated at home, can have a significant impact on the overall wellness of a person.
Lone workers may feel a sense of isolation due to lack of contact with colleagues and in some cases even the public (think of a security guard who works night shifts – this person would hardly encounter any people and any interactions would be short).
Even with a lone worker solution in place, working alone may produce feelings of fear, anxiety or stress. Feeling insecure about one’s safety can be incredibly stressful and long term-stress can have negative health effects.
Some health risks are partly an employee’s responsibility; for example, ensuring that they eat during their shifts and take allocated breaks to rest. However, as an employer, you still have a responsibility to facilitate these healthy habits – by providing break times and ensuring that they are taken.
Lone Worker Health = Employee Wellness
Employee wellness has become a bit of a buzz word in recent times, but it looks like the initiative has taken off and is here to stay. The UK may be behind our stateside cousins when it comes to employee health but there are many new initiatives in the UK that have been adopted by big businesses.
Employee wellness doesn’t just mean looking after just your lone workers, but all your staff. Although lone workers do deserve that little bit extra attention when it comes to wellness, due to the nature of their roles.
There are many wellness schemes to choose from, but which, if any, would be suitable for lone workers?
One wellness programme that has been brought to our attention is Wellspace. Founded in 2017, the technology company have a smart solution for looking after the wellness of your employees. Unlike other wellness programmes, no wristband is required – employees just use a simple app on their smartphones to monitor wellness.
Their application intelligently sets a health baseline target that is unique to each user. The app measures activity through steps taken per day, distance covered, floors climbed, and calories burnt. Wellspace also measures sleep analysis and personal mental wellbeing. All this data is then recorded securely and anonymously and presented at an aggregate level on your employer log in portal.
Analysing this data can help you understand where there are wellness issues in teams or shifts and how you can introduce measures to combat the issues. These measures are usually training courses that are also delivered by Wellspace making it an all-in-one solution for employee wellness.
This type of wellness scheme is well suited to lone workers. Not only to help them monitor their own wellbeing but to help you as an employer understand where there may be issues and what support you can provide to help your team.
But of course, keeping your team in good spirits and looking after themselves doesn’t have to include apps or data.
Start off by talking to your lone workers – gather a focus group and ask them if they have any health concerns and leave your door open for people to report concerns anonymously too.
Once you have established what worries your team you can start to take some positive action. This could range from changing break times, providing fresh fruit, or looking for out of work activities to increase team bonding.
Wellspace also has some great tips on their blog for how you can help create a healthy workplace.
If you are worried about looking after lone workers, then get in touch and see how we can help. We have extensive experience in helping employers roll out lone worker safety solutions.