The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 led to the largest “worker migration” — moving employees out of the office and into their homes. And with this migration came a newfound sense of safety. With so many remote workers telecommuting from their home offices instead of commuting to large buildings that house hundreds of people at once, organizations and employees alike reported far fewer concerns over workplace safety.
However, we’re beginning to see a move back into the office, bringing about the question of safety once more. Now more than ever, with a population of people still recovering from the emotional intensity of a worldwide pandemic and the loss of millions of lives, we need to know that we are safe in our workplace.
At Rave Mobile, workplace safety is of paramount importance. In September of 2022, we conducted our 5th annual Workplace Safety and Preparedness survey, with over 550 respondents in various industries across the United States.
Findings showed that the majority of employees are looking for communication centered around workplace safety. Our findings clearly indicate that it’s more important than ever for employers to be clear, direct, and open with their workplace safety plans.
A hybrid work model remains popular
Even though many employees are returning to the office full-time, a hybrid home/office work model remains quite popular. 35% of employees surveyed reported working from home between 2-4 days per week. Yet, 57% of remote workers were and are still involved in workplace safety training.
However, despite this large swath of employees working from home some or all of the time, safety plans still need to be communicated to all workers, regardless of in-office status.
Communication channels and clear methods of getting information to all employees are becoming even more important as employees remove themselves from the office.
Traveling and remote workers need to be considered
As extreme events have begun to occur at higher and higher frequencies around the country, including extreme weather events and active assailants, employers need to plan for and practice preparedness for employees of all types, whether in office, hybrid, fully remote, or in a position that requires frequent travel.
In fact, our survey found that 57% of remote workers and 60% of traveling workers are involved in safety drills. While this is an improvement over the previous year’s numbers, it’s imperative that all employees at a company are involved in safety drills and plans. When all employees are not on the same page, it can lead to heightened danger in unsafe situations.
What can employers do to make employees feel safer at work?
Employers now have more channels of communication than ever before. Unfortunately, this can lead some employers to believe that simple communication is enough to ensure employees’ safety during a natural disaster, attack, or other emergencies.
So, what can you do to help employees not only feel safer, but be safer?
Here’s what our respondents had to say:
58% of employees surveyed said they would like their employers to hold trainings around emergency preparedness. Remember that these trainings should include in office, hybrid, and remote employees.
Digital safety plans
One of the best ways to utilize the technology we have at our disposal is to craft digital safety plans that employees can access from anywhere, including their phones. Rave Collaborate is a great way to develop and share plans with employees, as well as notify them in the case of an emergency.
Offer a workplace safety app
27% of employees surveyed mentioned that they would like access to a workplace safety app for real-time updates and notifications. Rave Guardian is an app specifically designed to help workplaces, schools, and healthcare organizations connect and engage with their communities, wherever they are.
Employees still miss safety procedures
Additionally, more and more employees are reporting higher levels of anxiety which, in the event of an attack or emergency, can lead to a poor response when there is no clear safety plan. The best way to combat this increasing anxiety is to regularly check in with employees on their feelings around workplace safety, as well as consistently evaluate your safety plan, and communicate that to your employees.
Most importantly, the majority of employees have not been involved in workplace safety drills. And while plans are important and must be clearly communicated to all employees, a theoretical plan is no match for physical practice.
At Rave Mobile Safety, we encourage all employers to practice safety drills with employees on a regular basis.
This includes clear communication with all employees, whether in office or remote, so that everyone understands the protocols to follow in the face of various emergencies. Then, you will need to carry out a drill, such as an active shooter drill.
As the working world continues to evolve, employers must practice agility, flexibility, and caution in order to ensure the safety of their employees.
If you’d like to explore more of Rave Mobile Safety’s solutions to your organization’s safety needs, contact us today to learn which of our tools is right for you.