DYNAMIQ IN THE NEWS: MODERN TRACKING TOOLS FOR A MOBILE WORKFORCE
With huge advances in tracking technology over the past five years, organisations are increasingly using devices other than mobiles to monitor their travellers.
Business travellers are spending longer periods away from home and facing increasing risks while overseas.
FCM Travel Solutions global client survey, Unpacking our Traveller showed the business traveller spent 12.7 days away in 2005, jumping to 19.3 days per annum in 2015. Travel alerts rose 40 per cent and critical alerts rose 11 per cent from 2014/15 to 20015/16.
The FCM research also found "bleisure" now accounts for up to 30% of all their bookings, as more travellers seek to mix business trips with their annual leave.
With increasing terrorist attacks, political instability, natural disasters and health pandemics, it’s more important than ever for organisations to know where their people are and be able to assist them in an emergency.
It’s well known in Australia that complying with Duty of Care obligations to your workforce, means employers must protect the health, safety and security of an employee wherever they travel for work, so far as reasonably possible.
The BSI code of practice released late last year, PAS 3001:2016 Travelling for work – Responsibilities of an organisation for health, safety and security went into detail about communicating with business travellers.
Section 10 noted that arrangements for two-way communications should be resilient and include ‘alternative communications and IT equipment’. In addition, these arrangements should address ‘communications access to assistance providers in the event of an incident’.
Who’s using tracking devices?
From 2014 to 2017, Dynamiq has seen a 30 per cent increase in its clients integrating GPS tracking into their workplace and travel policies.
GPS devices were once mainly used to protect lone and remote workers, often in energy, mining and infrastructure industries. However the majority of this 30 per cent increase in the use of GPS devices has come from large corporate organisations or government departments with ‘white-collar’, mobile workforces.
Phone tracking can be risky
These GPS monitoring devices can include mobile phone apps. However, during a large scale terror incident or natural disaster, mobile phone networks often go down, rendering the phone useless. Relying on mobile or land based lines, when there are better options available, are not the best options for the modern traveller.
Many organisations are now looking to panic alarms, satellite phones, emergency beacons and vehicle monitoring systems as best-practice forms of traveller monitoring.
Itinerary and GPS travel tracking services are integrated into one interactive portal including two-way alerting and messaging. This means the traveller can call for help, without saying a word.
The traveller can also choose when they will, or won’t, be tracked. They can simply switch off their tracking device at the touch of a button allowing for privacy when they’re off the clock.
Integrating tracking devices into travel policies
The devices pair with an organisation’s tracking platform, which allows the risk manager to set specific, relevant rules around travel, access and behaviours. For example, if the traveller is moving by road from the airport to the work site and it usually takes three hours, if they haven’t checked in within three hours and thirty minutes, the emergency team will be alerted and the traveller will be contacted.
Having a GPS device to monitor the safety of your people is great but if it isn’t backed by around-the-clock assistance, which can be activated in seconds, it won’t be much help during a medical or security incident.
Pre-set protocols, which determine when an emergency team is activated, are just as important as the device itself. Late check-ins, erratic behaviour or a diversion away from their planned travel route are some of the ways the emergency team can be alerted.
There can also be pre-set multiple parameters and geofences which automatically alert a specified distribution list. For example a geofence can be set around a forbidden travel area and if the employee enters, it will send a message to the traveller, and their employer, to turn around and go back.
Implementing smart tracking devices with adequate protocols and allowing your people to switch off devices when they’re off the clock will meet your duty of care obligations and keep your travellers’ privacy concerns at bay.
Contact us about tracking tools for your workforce.
For more information on new ways to monitor your travellers, download our webinar, Terrorism and Duty of Care - Best Practice Response.
Dynamiq looked at strategies to keep employees safe - both inside and outside the office.
You will learn about:
What would normally happen during a terror incident
Preparation and prevention strategies
Ways to track, monitor and communicate with your people during an incident.