Understanding the potential risk to those working from home

As we all have experienced over the past 18 months, the global COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged people to reduce social contact and, in many cases, work from home if it is possible. In some instances, there have been positives to working from home, such as reduced hours commuting for employees and financial gain for organisations. However, there are negatives that can come from this, for example some employees enjoy working within an office or workspace. Or for some, and for various reasons, this can be an escape from their home environments.

Individuals may have varying situations at home; some may have a specific workspace set up which enables them to operate efficiently and walk away from that space at the end of the day. Others may live in smaller environments and have no option but to work from the sofa or kitchen table. Some people may enjoy leaving their home and travelling to work each day, to ensure they have a clear separation from their home and work life. Unfortunately, there are many situations where employees experience domestic abuse at home and their safe space is at work. The increase of those working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenging situation for victims of domestic abuse. Many individuals in this situation are unable to leave home, meaning it can be increasingly difficult to find the opportunity to speak to others who can help, such as family, friends, or a helpline. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees work in a safe space, however, with employees operating from home this brings new challenges for organisations.

Employers need to increase their awareness and understanding of the signs to look out for, this could be through training sessions. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust have many resources available on personal safety for organisations. Employers should also understand how to approach employees who may be at risk and provide resources that could help. Here is a useful toolkit for an employers’ initiative on domestic abuse: Toolkit for Employers — Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (eida.org.uk)

Communication with employees is key, organisations should have a platform or system in place to ensure employees can raise any concerns if they wish to. Organisations can also actively ask employees how they are feeling and check-in with them. Vismo provides a wellbeing feature, where employees are prompted and asked how they are feeling, they can then state how they are feeling on the Vismo App. If an employee is not feeling great, organisations can input options for support, such as a follow-up, details of a helpline or the employee can choose to remain anonymous. The data from the Vismo App is fed back into the Vismo Secure Portal, providing managers with information and reports on their workforce wellbeing. The data can also be fully integrated into Employee Assistance Programmes. This regular communication and check-in could help an employer identify if an employee is experiencing difficulties at home. For employees, this could be a discreet way to raise an alert and start a conversation with the employer.

To find out how Vismo can help, contact us:

Visit: www.vismo.com

Arrange a demonstation: https://vismo.com/arrange-demo/

Call us: +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)

Vismo announces the launch of Vismo Notify

Vismo Notify is an easy to use and reliable platform for organisations to immediately notify all members of staff, which enables organisations to efficiently communicate with staff members, whether this is during an incident or updating them with a new company policy. Irrespective of geographic range, large scale or highly localised, all staff members can be notified of an incident based on their proximity to that risk.

Organisations can reduce and manage business and personal risk by implementing a mass notification system. When an incident occurs, it enables organisations to act immediately and provide critical information to their staff. The notification can be customised by the organisation, providing full control. Delivery methods can be chosen by the organisation, whether they would like to send the message through In-App, Email, SMS or Text to Voice. All of these options can be selected and continuously sent until a message is responded to if required. This ensures the individual can be reached no matter where they are, whether they are at their office desk or out meeting clients.

Vismo Notify is designed to help protect all employees, no matter where they are based or travelling. By using multiple delivery methods, staff members can be reached effectively. Employees gain peace of mind knowing they can be contacted in the event of an emergency.

Find out how Vismo can help mass notify your staff by contacting us today:

Email: enquiries@vismo.com

Call us: +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)

Visit: https://vismo.com/notify/

Vismo to Exhibit at the Health and Safety Event

Vismo will be exhibiting at the Health and Safety Event at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, from the 7th – 9th September. This event is dedicated to improving workplace safety and protecting employees. Vismo CEO, Craig Swallow, will be holding a talk in the Lone Worker Theatre and joining a panel discussion on the advances in technology. See the schedule below for more details.

Schedule – Talks and Panel Discussions at the Lone Worker Theatre

Tuesday 7th September
11.50am – Robust ways to reduce the risks to remote and lone workers
Craig Swallow, Vismo CEO

2.00pm – Panel Discussion – Advances in Technology
Craig Swallow, Vismo CEO, Anmol Sood, Equivital CEO and Phoebe Parry-Crooke, Partnership Manager at what3words

The Vismo Team are excited to be exhibiting at one of the first events back within the health and safety industry. Come and visit us at our stand 4 / D21.

Website: www.vismo.com

Contact – +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)

Vismo – The App that gathers high accuracy locations whilst minimising the impact on battery and data consumption.

Vismo provides a location and safety solution to help employers manage and mitigate risks that their employees may face on a daily basis. Whether employees are globally travelling, working alone or working remotely from home, many workers use devices such as smartphones or tablets as an essential part to day-to-day work. Vismo understands the crucial role that devices play during the work day and therefore the need for highly optimised battery performance.

Vismo has many key features to protect workers whether they are travelling, working alone or working from home. To ensure their availability for extended hours, Vismo uses its patented and highly innovative technology to ensure minimal battery drainage and low data usage. The Vismo App only uses around 1% of additional battery drain per day, this is based on the device reporting location fixes every 15 minutes back to the Vismo Secure Portal. This enables employees to use the devices for their crucial roles whilst Vismo runs in the background of the device. Clients have found that benchmarking Vismo against other similar Apps has shown a 40% better rate of battery performance. Along with having minimum effect on the battery, Vismo also pays close attention to minimising the use of data in order to keep bills low.

To ensure the Vismo App reports the most accurate location, Vismo uses GPS, Wi-Fi Access Points and Cell Tower ID to locate the device. As well as the Vismo App which can be used on smartphones and tablets, Vismo is also fully compatible with many other devices. Satellite devices can be deployed if the employee is working in a remote area with little to no cellular coverage. If a worker is operating in situations where a mobile device being present is not appropriate, an ID Badge or small discreet personal tracker can be used to help protect them.

Vismo is passionate about continuously developing the solution to help organisations protect their workers. Vismo strives to help protect workers and enhance their safety within the workplace.

Find out more.

Visit www.vismo.com

Arrange a no-obligation demonstration https://vismo.com/arrange-demo/

Call us +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)

Vismo Tracks North Sea-Atlantic Ocean Paddle Board Expedition

On Sunday 9th May, 2021, Colin Dale, Vismo Director of Global Sales, began a self-supported expedition across Scotland, paddle boarding the Caledonian Canal. The expedition began in the North Sea in Inverness, where Colin travelled by paddle board around 18 miles per day. The Loch Ness was a large part of the journey, it spans two miles wide and has its own tide. Colin had to battle with this on one particular day where he had to sit down on the board and use both blades to paddle “kayak” style, due to the strong winds. On the journey, Colin travelled through Foyers, Fort Augustus and Gairlochy, whilst taking in the beautiful Scottish scenery. Four days and 65 miles later, Colin had paddle boarded his way to the Atlantic at Fort William, battling a few storms along the way.

Colin took a Garmin Mini device on the expedition, a truly global satellite device which uses Global Iridium coverage over the earth’s surface. The Garmin Mini is small and lightweight, making it an ideal device to take on the trip. The device comes with a carabiner clip, which enabled Colin to safely secure this to his buoyancy aid. Most importantly, the Garmin Mini is waterproof and survived the occasional plunge into Loch Ness.

The Garmin Mini is integrated with the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling the Vismo team to live track Colin on his journey, it also has a Panic Alert if required. A satellite device was an ideal solution to take on the trip, as accurate locations are still reported to the Vismo Secure Portal when there is no cellular coverage. The device also has a long battery life, it sent locations back to the Vismo Secure Portal every 10 minutes and after four days, it was still going strong. The maps below show the historic trail from Inverness to Fort William on the Vismo Secure Portal. The trail on the right shows the journey in a closer view, enabling the team to view the locations taken along the canal.

Congratulations on completing the challenge Colin, we look forward to the next one.

To find out more about Vismo or the Garmin Satellite Devices, contact us:

Email: enquiries@vismo.com

Call (UK and RoW): +44 (0)1904 616666

Call (USA): +1 866 815 9128

Visit: http://www.vismo.com

Are you prepared for when international travel resumes?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected travel around the world and caused both business and leisure travel to come to a halt. With the success of the COVID-19 vaccines, many countries are seeing success protecting people against the virus. In the coming weeks and months, international travel is likely to resume in countries with low COVID-19 cases and with successful vaccination programmes. Organisations have a moral obligation and a duty of care to implement measures to ensure their employees are safe whilst travelling.

As COVID-19 cases are rising in some parts of the world through second or third waves, organisations and workers need to stay cautious and vigilant when travelling. Vismo has integrated COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University into the Vismo Secure Portal. Organisations can easily view the COVID-19 cases in relation to the location of their travellers, providing organisations with the knowledge to make better informed decisions.

As well as the Vismo App, Vismo provides solutions suitable for those who are travelling to more remote areas, where cellular coverage may not be guaranteed. Vismo supports the Iridium 9575 and Garmin inReach Explorer+ and Mini, as well as many others. The Vismo App and Satellite devices all have a Panic Alert, enabling travellers to activate this in cases of emergencies. On activation, this will immediately notify security teams via SMS, email and/or an automated phone call. This provides peace of mind for travellers, knowing they can instantly inform someone if there is an incident.

Security teams can send a Mass Notification to travellers via the Vismo Secure Portal, this could be sent to all travellers or to those in a specific geographic area. This capability ensures travellers rapidly receive critical information in the event of an incident, these notifications can be delivered via an in-app message. The Mass Notification can include response options, to check the safety of the travellers. These responses are then categorised on the Vismo Secure Portal and administrators can escalate situations on a case-by-case basis. This provides organisations with an immediate way of sending critical information and understanding who requires assistance, this can play a vital part in an employer’s continuity plan whilst also reducing risk.

To better understand the traveller’s location, organisations can set up virtual Geo-Fences within the Vismo Secure Portal. When a traveller enters or exits an area, it will automatically inform the organisation through SMS and/or email, this will include the name of the Geo-Fence, the traveller’s last known location, date and time. Geo-Fences can be set up for any area the organisation would like, this could be places of safety such as an approved hotel or the office block, or this could be areas of high-risk. This tool better informs organisations of the traveller’s location and enables them to take action if required.

In some parts of the world, travel is starting to resume, whether that be domestically or internationally. Implementing measures is an effective way of reducing risk and better protecting your employees. To find out how Vismo can help protect your travelling employees, contact us today:

Email us: enquiries@vismo.com 

Call us: +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)

Visit: www.vismo.com

Top 5 Measures to Protect Lone Workers

All employees have potential risks within the workplace. Those individuals who work alone have increased risks as there are usually no other workers around to help or support them. Or, the location they are operating from may have an inherent risk. Measures should be implemented to manage and reduce such risks. Lone Workers can include those who are based at home, visiting different sites, work alone at a permanent location and those working outside normal hours.

1. Risk Assessment

Firstly, organisations should conduct a risk assessment. This will enable employers to understand any potential hazards or risks that a Lone Worker may encounter. This could include reviewing where Lone Workers are based, their working environments and processes. By understanding potential risks and hazards, measures can be implemented to manage and control them.

A risk assessment should be reviewed whenever there is a new process implemented, or a new employee starts. For full information on conducting a risk assessment, visit the HSE website: https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/risk-assessment-template-and-examples.htm

2. Implement a Lone Worker Policy

Guidelines and policies should be put in place for those working alone. The policy should clearly display the correct procedures when working alone and explain what to do in certain situations. This should be revised and updated regularly to incorporate any new procedures. The document should be easily accessible for Lone Workers to view.

3. Implement a Lone Worker Solution

A Lone Worker solution is a tool to support employees within their role, providing peace of mind to Lone Workers as they can alert security teams if there is an incident. With Vismo, employees can easily raise a Red Alert discreetly through the App or a device such as the ID Badge or Vismo Alert. Audio is automatically recorded and sent back to the Vismo Secure Portal to provide a security team, or an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) with an understanding of the situation.  

If employees are entering a high-risk situation, they can check-in with a timer. If they have not checked back in within the time specified, an alert is automatically raised.  Implementing a Lone Worker solution is an essential tool to support and protect workers in their role.

4. Training

Lone Workers should be provided with adequate training to understand the potential risks within their roles and how to manage and reduce such risks. If a Lone Worker solution is implemented, training should be provided to ensure employees understand and feel comfortable with how to raise an alert, check-in or send a message for example. By providing training, Lone Workers should be well equipped to operate in their working environment.

5. Promote Employee Wellbeing

Working alone can negatively impact an employee’s stress levels and mental health. Employees can feel isolated and disconnected if there is a lack of communication with the rest of the team and management. Organisations should implement measures to effectively communicate and check-in with Lone Workers to see how they are feeling.

Want to know how Vismo can help with protecting your Lone Workers? Email us: enquiries@vismo.com or call us: +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US)

Better understand the whereabouts of your expatriates for taxation purposes

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s ability to move freely to and from different countries. This has resulted in many individuals spending more time in a certain country than expected. Many have no way of returning to their home country and therefore need to understand the financial implications that may occur. Some countries have implemented emergency measures to try and reduce the taxation rules due to COVID-19.

Many organisations have expatriates in various countries and there are vast tax implications for those who find themselves in a country for a prolonged period of time. As many employees are remote working, it is essential for organisations to know where their employees are currently located to avoid unexpected international taxation. This can have a significant impact financially on organisations.

In order for the employer to understand where their employees are currently located, Vismo can provide location updates on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Vismo provides organisations with a tool to understand if an employee has been in a country for an extended period of time. This information can then be used to help identify potential tax implications. Vismo can produce reports with a country location of individuals on a regular basis, providing organisations the necessary information to stay informed.

The employer can be notified when an employee is approaching their deadline for remaining in a country from a tax liability to the organisation. Vismo can also alert managers or teams when an individual changes country, an automatic email and SMS notification is sent with the individual’s name and new country location. Providing an immediate alert of an individual changing country.

To understand how Vismo can assist with better understanding the location of expatriates for taxation purposes, arrange a demonstration today: https://vismo.com/arrange-demo/

Introducing the new Vismo Wellbeing Feature

Vismo has introduced an additional feature to assist organisations in understanding and supporting their employees’ wellbeing. Over the past year there has been a significant increase in those working away from other colleagues and those working from home. Many different processes have had to change and adapt to the new circumstances we face, to ensure employees are protected and safe. However, research has shown many employees are struggling with their mental health, which is impacting their overall wellbeing. Indicating that more measures need to be implemented in order for employees to feel supported within the workplace.

Vismo is helping organisations to easily deploy an ability to know when an employee needs extra support. The new feature is a wellbeing tile, enabling employees to go to the Vismo App and press how they are feeling on that particular day, whether that be ‘Good’, ‘OK’ or ‘Not Good’. The employer can decide the next steps if an employee has pressed ‘Not Good’, this could include calling a helpline, requesting a follow up or the employee can remain anonymous. Employers can also deploy a daily or periodic prompt to workers to proactively enquire about their wellbeing.

User Scenario


3.30pm – Employee receives a notification (prompt) to ask how they are feeling today.

3.31pm – Employee goes to the Vismo App and presses they are feeling ‘OK’ today.


11.10am – Employee receives a notification from the Vismo App to ask how they are feeling.

11.11am – Employee goes to the Vismo App and presses they are ‘Not Good’.

11.12am – Vismo App asks the employee if they would like to call the helpline, request a follow-up or remain anonymous.

11.13am – Employee chooses to call the helpline and chats to a member of the team. Immediate support is provided to the employee.

Organisations can view this data within the Vismo Secure Portal to understand how their workforce are feeling. By protecting employees, this can improve general wellbeing and happiness which in turn is likely to lead to an increase in productivity. Arrange a demonstration to understand how Vismo can help you better protect your employees: https://vismo.com/arrange-demo/

Visit www.vismo.com for more information.

How an employer can demonstrate the ROI on the deployment of a Lone Worker Solution

Within any organisation the responsibility to protect employee safety and wellbeing should be a given, but there are cost and productivity benefits to be realised too. Many different types of workers will become more productive and value their employer more if improvements to their safety standards are adopted. This responsibility should be naturally embedded and form part of an organisation’s goals and planning, as employee safety and security is paramount.

When planning, understanding the different risk profiles that staff may have needs to be taken into consideration. For example, the risks for a localized lone worker are different from those of an executive travelling the globe, and differ again for someone now working from home. These risks need to be assessed when analysing and implementing safety measures to protect employees.

Costs of an incident

Significant material costs associated with an incident can arise if the correct safety measures are not in place because management hasn’t taken a view on worker safety risks. In the UK, for example, cases where suitable processes and practices have not been implemented have seen organisations found guilty under the Corporate Manslaughter And Corporate Homicide Act. The act came into force in 2007 in the UK and can impose significant fines and imprisonment on guilty parties.

Safety consideration of employees aside, organisations have a brand reputation to build and maintain, a continuous process that can take years. When incidents do occur, the detrimental and immediate impact to brand awareness and reputation can be catastrophic where convictions for corporate manslaughter are made – or the employer has breached the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Reputations can be destroyed overnight.

Other ‘knock on’ costs relating to staff being off work and the cost to back-fill and train, or costs from increased insurance premiums or disruptions to service delivery all tot up.

A possible solution

An app-based GPS monitoring system can accurately locate employees in known danger or be used to help advise them if they move into at-risk areas.  If an employee is in the vicinity of known neighbourhood risks or an industrial accident, for example, the employer should be able to monitor the employee’s location and check their safety status. The organisation can also communicate with the employee to understand their situation and give advice, or organise physical help via emergency and security services if necessary.

Mass notification allows the administrators to quickly send potentially critical information via personalised messages, perhaps on entry to a given location. The lone workers can respond with their safety status, enabling the administrators to quickly identify anybody in need and provide further assistance. The messages can be sent to either a wide group of people, workers in a specific geographic area or individuals, with message response options that can be customised to the situation.

Legal perspective and benefits

Implementing a location-based monitoring system can provide benefits to employees and organisations alike. From a legal perspective, it can help employers meet their legal and moral duty of care obligation to employees, and if an incident was to occur, an efficient communication process is already ready in place to be used. Two-way communication not only helps workers feel supported but can more easily result in rescue.

Other benefits include reducing costs in areas of the organisation and, perhaps, increased productivity. A policy of supporting and protecting lone workers can help them feel more valued, and thereby increase employee loyalty. This result can reduce employee turnover and related costs including the cost of recruiting and training new starters. Investing in lone worker safety has a very clear ROI in a number of respects.

By avoiding an incident, the employer organisation will also have escaped financial costs through loss of time at work, business interruption and any penalties from not complying with legislation. Or, by minimising an incident’s impact, any financial costs and penalties are likely to be greatly reduced.

Intangible factors are harder to measure accurately but can have a significant impact through damaged or ruined brand reputation.  Additionally, it’s generally accepted that workers who feel safer are happier, and happier workers tend to be more productive. Staff well-being is a major focus point for many employers. Improving staff safety, and being seen to do so, will help staff feel better about their employer and their work.

To conclude, organisations should have health and safety measures at the forefront of their goals and planning. The safety of employees affects many different parts of an organisation, not least the recruitment function within HR, brand reputation, the financial implications of an incident and, most importantly, the lone workers who need to be protected.

To discover how Vismo can be implemented into your organisation, visit: https://vismo.com/lone-worker/