Business travel is back, are you prepared?

Recent statistics show business travel is on the rise, which has meant Vismo has seen a significant increase in enquiries over the past few months about protecting traveling employees. In recent weeks, the US has re-opened their borders to foreign visitors after 20 months, a significant move for the travel industry. As the world adapting and slowly returning to normal, many employees are keen to get back to business travel and see customers and sites face to face.

COVID-19 has increased risks for organisations and travellers, meaning there are additional risks to take into consideration and manage. Organisations need to understand the COVID risk at the destination and implement measures for employees to easily raise an alert if there is a problem or emergency.

Five ways to improve the safety of business travellers:

  1. Provide travellers with a Red Alert feature to quickly get help in an emergency
  2. Inform travelers of high-risk areas
  3. Provide a discreet location monitoring solution to ensure travellers can be located
  4. Implement a way to mass notify travellers in an emergency
  5. Ensure two-way communication is available to provide support when required

Vismo can help organisations better manage and mitigate business risk by keeping employees safe and informed. While doing so, staff gain peace of mind knowing they can easily raise an alert in an emergency and receive assistance. 

For organisations to easily identify when employees have entered a high-risk or safe area, virtual geo-fences can be created on the Vismo Secure Portal. Employers are automatically alerted when a user enters or exits one of these areas via SMS and Email. This enables organisations to be more informed about potential risks and this can be passed onto the employee, through the two-way messaging on the Vismo App and the Vismo Secure Portal. Employees also have visibility of the geo-fences through the Vismo App to provide clear awareness of the risks at their destination. 

Using Vismo, organisations can easily send mass notifications to employees through the Vismo Portal. This could be to all employees or those in a specific geo-graphic area. This enables employers to quickly provide crucial information in the event of an emergency. Organisations have control over the message content, delivery method and response options, providing full flexibility within an easy-to-use system.

Risks for those who travel have always existed but the ongoing need to manage COVID-19 has led many of our clients to ensure they are able to locate and protect all of their staff, now more than ever. Vismo helps organisations manage travel risks with the simple deployment of our Vismo Locate & Protect App & Portal. Users benefit from a Red Alert feature, Check-Ins and Mass Notifications and many more.

Find out more:

Visit: www.vismo.com

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

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

Vismo to use what3words location technology to help organisations protect their employees

Vismo has announced the rollout of what3words location technology into the Vismo Secure Portal, to help organisations respond to incidents more effectively and keep their employees as safe as possible.

When a user presses the Red Alert or misses a Check-In on the Vismo App, administrators will receive an email and SMS notification with the details, including the what3words address, enabling organisations to find and get resources to the scene.

Craig Swallow, Vismo CEO, says, “Integrating what3words into our platform gives Vismo an extra edge in helping our clients and their employees. It gives administrators – those involved in the escalation process at the client end – a simple way of understanding the precise location of one or more employees. In an incident, it’s critically important to be able to convey information quickly and easily to administrators. Valuable time, and therefore lives and wellbeing, can be saved.

“Using what3words is especially useful in rural or unknown areas, where, using traditional means, finding a precise location can be difficult.”    

Swallow adds, “Emergencies, from a road collision in the middle of the countryside to an incident outside a sports or music stadium gate, can happen anywhere. In an emergency, identifying precisely where help is needed is key. The what3words approach to location identification uses a combination of three words that is unique to a location.  ///clean.fairly.hype, for example, is very useful to have – and is helping to save precious time, resources and lives every day.”

Find out more and contact our team:

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

Email us: enquiries@vismo.com

About what3words

Find your what3words address: http://www.what3words.com/

Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. The system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. A what3words address is a human-friendly way to share very precise locations with other people, or to input them into platforms and machines such as ride-hailing apps or e-commerce checkouts. It is optimised for voice input and contains built-in error prevention to immediately identify and correct input mistakes.

The free what3words app, available for iOS and Android, and the online map enable people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in 50 languages to date. Millions of what3words addresses are in use around the world, with thousands of businesses using them to save money, be more efficient and provide a better customer experience. what3words is integrated into apps, platforms and websites, with just a few lines of code. Products are available for free or for a nominal fee for qualifying NGOs. Its partners include Mercedes-Benz, Triumph Motorcycles, Premier Inn, the AA and many emergency services across the world. what3words has a team of over 100 people, across offices in the UK, USA, Germany and Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. The company has raised over £100 million in capital from investors such as Intel, Aramex, Deutsche Bahn, Subaru and the Sony Investment Fund.

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 demonstration: 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/