19-3-21. Vismo announces its new Vismo Wellbeing feature – https://blog.vismo.com/2021/02/15/introducing-the-new-vismo-wellbeing-feature – a new value-added service designed to help organisations whose employees work from home [WFH] or elsewhere remotely. Included in every Vismo App, the Wellbeing feature assists employers with their duty of care obligations and maintaining or improving their staff’s wellbeing and morale, especially in a COVID-19 enforced lock-down.

Accessible via tiles in the Vismo App, which is used by employees of many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies and NGOs, and SMEs and public sector organisations to help keep staff safe in at-risk areas and at-risk situations, the new feature addresses concerns about the effects of remote working on those who struggle with it, and risks to productivity.

Wellbeing tiles in the app enable employees to press “Good”, “OK” or “Not good” in order to report how they are feeling. HR departments can provide assistance via a helpline including support from a wellbeing team or “buddy system”. Options and wording in the app are fully customisable by HR or wellbeing staff.

Apart from the option of being able to call a helpline, employees can request a follow-up and choose anonymity if they wish. A prompt can be set up by HR or wellbeing staff – every few days or by a set period of time since the last wellbeing check – to ask lone workers how they are feeling.

“The app provides organisations with the capability to understand how their employees are feeling. From there, appropriate support can be provided,” says Vismo CEO Craig Swallow.

“Since COVID-19 lockdowns started and WFH increased dramatically, feedback shows that while there are benefits to WFH and other remote locations, there are downsides too,” Swallow adds. “The upsides include not having to commute, a feeling of freedom and choice of which hours to work, and in some cases increased productivity.

“The downsides revolve around mental and emotional stresses associated with being isolated from colleagues, trying to work among the distractions of children- including home schooling, sharing accommodation with flatmates, having a restricted work space or being alone much or all of the time, and decreased productivity.”

Evidence that wellbeing has become a significant issue in its own right can be seen in an uptick among corporations taking steps to manage it more effectively. Capita, for example, with 62,000 staff around the world, has set up its own in-house wellbeing website for its workers.

The data from the Vismo Wellbeing feature can be fed into external HR systems through an API, providing great flexibility to organisations in their use of the feature.

Duty of care

Employers have a duty of care towards their lone working employees, whether those staff work at home or are employed outside the home or office in the local community or beyond.  Source: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg73.pdf

Many organisations use tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom to encourage social interaction among staff. Additional steps they could take to proactively check on their employees’ wellbeing include sending automatic messages to their lone workers to check how they are feeling and then make a judgement on if they need extra support.

Mass notification

Apps that enable automatic sending of messages include the Vismo App, which has a “mass notification” feature. It’s used by client organisations to send information to staff in any general or specific geographic area to alert them to risks associated with COVID-9 or other dangers. It’s also used, where appropriate, to advise staff about changes in corporate policy, and now can also be deployed alongside the new Vismo Wellbeing feature.

Long track record

Swallow points out that Vismo has a long track in helping organisations support at-risk staff. Launched in 2012, the app is used to alert staff to dangerous and potentially dangerous situations – and by staff, using a panic button in the app, to alert their employer to any dangerous or potentially dangerous situation they are caught up in.

Examples range from terrorism incidents to political demonstrations and industrial accidents, and incidents such as the explosions at the port in Beirut in August last year 2020. There, the Vismo App’s mass notification feature was used by a large American multinational oil and gas corporation to communicate crucial information and alert all staff, in the Beirut area, of the situation, with message response options. All employees were able to confirm their current status – “safe”.

About Vismo

Established in 2012 with offices in York, UK and New Jersey, USA, Vismo provides location monitoring and safety solutions to more than 300 client organisations, helping protect over 450,000 Vismo App users globally. Vismo uses GPS, Wi-Fi access points and cell tower ID to locate and protect individuals locally and globally through the app on smartphones, tablets, personal trackers and satellite tracking devices.

The app is specifically designed to help employees, including senior executives, who are travelling, lone working away from home or working from home.

Many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SMEs and organisations in the public sector use Vismo as a duty of care towards their employees. More at vismo.com