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/
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.
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/
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.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the way organisations operate, with employees quickly adapting to working from home (WFH) where necessary. WFH throws up challenges, however, even where staff seem to have settled into what is for many a new way of working. A prime challenge is meeting duty of care obligations.
Duty of care is, in general, about workers’ wellbeing and welfare and, related, compliance and good practice by the employer. All employers have a moral and a legal obligation to ensure that all their workers are fully protected from personal physical and/or emotional harm, either on or away from the employer’s premises.
Measures will already be in place to reduce and manage risks to employees in an office environment. However, with WFH, the risks increase because organisations no longer have easy and visual control over the working environment.
Safety of workers encompasses both their physical and mental health. In terms of supporting workers with their mental health, organisations should ideally ensure they have regular contact with them in order to check their wellbeing and reduce the risk of any employee feeling isolated and perhaps suffering the consequences. Monitoring could be through scheduling regular phone calls or by video chats or other method via an app.
In cases of incidents such as a large increase of COVID-19 cases, organisations will need to quickly contact all employees WFH in the affected locality. App-based solutions can help by sending alerts, via a mass notification feature where appropriate, containing critical information to those at risk, whether they are at home, in an office, or elsewhere, including travelling between places.
Organisations need to understand if an employee is struggling or needs some extra support. To help both manager and worker, app-based solutions allow discreet two-way dialogues, starting with the affected worker raising an issue or query with the appropriate team leader or manager. An approach like this enables the worker to feel more confident and less embarrassed or stressed about discussing problems, and seek help if necessary.
WFH brings benefits to our personal lives. Many workers experience an improved work-life balance, which can be highly influenced by less commuting stress. This can significantly increase a worker’s spare time in which they would otherwise be commuting; and saves them money. However, some can feel lonely, isolated and less motivated, even as they appreciate some aspects of it. App-based solutions can provide an way for employees to report how they feel, this can enable a conversation to start if the employee feels comfortable with this.
Ensuring workers are supported and protected is key to a happy and productive workforce. Implementing a solution that monitors employee wellbeing, sends alerts if required and has the ability to send mass notifications in case of an emergency could be vital in protecting employees and meeting duty of care obligations.
Location monitoring and safety specialist Vismo, has made a charitable donation to Unicef.
Rather than sending Christmas cards and corporate gifts to customers, Vismo made the decision to contribute a donation to support Unicef’s relief efforts in Yemen, to help keep children safe.
More than three years of fighting has pushed Yemen to the brink of collapse. The children there are currently caught up in one of the world’s most complex and destructive humanitarian crises and are paying a heavy price. Currently, 3.7 million children in Yemen are being deprived of their education. No place in Yemen is safe for children.
Unicef is on the ground working around the clock to protect children in Yemen. Since the start of the crisis, they have provided school and distance learning opportunities to over 150,000 children and have also vaccinated 4 million children against polio.
Established in 1946, Unicef has been protecting and promoting children’s rights for 70 years.
Unicef is the leading organisation working for children. They ensure more of the world’s children are vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation, and have done more to influence laws and policies to help protect children than anyone else.
Yemen is facing a major humanitarian crisis. Right now, 12 million children in Yemen are in danger. A devastating conflict has left children and families in urgent need of food, water and medical supplies. A donation to Unicef can help keep a child safe.
To read more about Unicef’s aid work for children in danger, please go to www.unicef.org.uk
Established in 2012 with offices in York, UK and New Jersey, USA Vismo takes pride in providing location monitoring and safety solutions to over 300 clients, helping protect over 450,000 users globally. Vismo uses GPS, Wi-Fi Access Points and Cell Tower ID to locate and protect individuals locally and globally through the Vismo App and with other compatible devices such as personal trackers and Satellite devices. The Vismo App uses highly innovative technology to ensure it uses minimal battery and data usage, providing a great solution to employees, whether they are travelling, lone working or working from home.
Vismo are experts in the Global Traveller, Lone Worker and Home Worker fields, with many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SME’s and organisations in the public sector using Vismo as a duty of care towards their employees.
Protecting your mobile employees whilst on the move has never been easier. The Vismo Secure Portal is fully compatible with smartphones and tablets, enabling operational teams to monitor the safety of employees from a handheld device.
The Vismo Secure Portal has the same user interface and features available on a smartphone or tablet device as on a PC. Meaning if travellers are put at risk, security teams can quickly react and immediately view user’s locations and alerts through their smartphone or tablet, irrespective of their location.
All Features are Compatible
Location Updates, History and Trails
Receive Live Red Alerts (Emergency)
View and Edit Geo-Fences
This provides security teams & managers with more flexibility for monitoring the safety of Global Travellers and Lone Workers. Users of the Vismo App can have peace of mind knowing security teams can always gain full access to the Secure Portal if an incident happens. From the device, individuals impacted by an incident can be instantly located and communicated with via Vismo’s Mass Notification feature. These notifications can be personalized and can be set to check the safety status of individuals with custom message responses. Security teams can then easily identify who is at risk and those who need immediate assistance. All the functionality on the Vismo Secure Portal has been highly optimized for smartphones and tablets to ensure individuals are protected at all times.
Employers have a legal obligation to consider employee health and safety risks. The risks workers face need to be understood and a plan needs to be executed to manage and reduce these risks. Employers should ensure adequate safety measures are implemented to protect workers. In 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Act came into force, ensuring employers have processes and measures in place to protect their employees. Employee safety should always be at the forefront of planning, to make sure the correct procedures are in place to manage and reduce employee risks.
Why do Organisations Implement a Monitoring and Safety Solution?
There are many reasons and benefits to both employer and employee when implementing such a solution. A monitoring and safety solution can be employed in many different situations and environments, to ensure the necessary measures are in place to protect employees.
Many employers have employees working alone, it is estimated there is anywhere between 6-8 million Lone Workers in the U.K. A Lone Worker is defined as someone who is out of direct sight of another colleague, meaning their individual risks are increased as they are working alone. A monitoring solution can also be implemented for those working from home and travelling employees, to ensure employers are monitoring wellbeing and safety.
A monitoring solution is a tool to manage incidents and emergencies, as operation teams are immediately informed if there is an incident with an updated location from the individual. This provides peace of mind to both employer and employee, which in turn increases employee morale and productivity.
How do Monitoring and Safety Solutions Work?
Monitoring solutions use technology to ensure individuals can be located for safety. This can be through different methods such as:
App Based Solution, deployed on smartphones or tablets
Dedicated devices such as Personal Trackers or discreet but connected ID Badges
Satellite Devices if there is limited or no cellular coverage
These solutions ensure there are other technological efficiencies such as ensuring minimal battery drainage and data usage, to make sure the solution can effectively run day to day.
These solutions incorporate features to protect workers, such as a Red Alert features for emergencies, this automatically sends alerts back to dedicated individuals or a monitoring centre to escalate and provide assistance. Ultimately, implementing a monitoring and safety solution ensures there is an effective system in place for employees and employers to rely on.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipping industry has come under immense pressure to ensure the commodities are received at the dock on time, as well as ensuring staff are safe. The individual measures different countries have implemented require constant review, as local restrictions of the vessel destination need to be clearly understood. Organisations need an efficient system in place to know the location of all vessels in real-time and to be able to efficiently review the situation with COVID-19 at the destination.
Using the Vismo Secure Portal, vessels can be tracked and viewed in real-time on the map, along with individual locations of staff. This could be staff working on the vessel or at the port destination. Vismo can be activated on smartphone devices as well as satellite devices if there is limited or no mobile coverage. The vessels can be added as a Point of Interest (POI) layer on the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling them to be seen in relation to employees on the map. Other layers can be added to the map such as oil rigs in various locations, these can then be viewed in relation to employees or other assets.
Vismo incorporates live feeds into the Secure Portal, enabling organisations to view world alerts in relation to their travelling vessels. By having this ability to view real-time alerts, organisations can have more transparency regarding incoming situations. When an alert comes into the Secure Portal, organisations can then send out a Mass Notification from the Portal to large groups or people in the specific geographic area. This provides peace of mind to both the employer and employee, knowing they can be contactable in the event of an emergency.
Vismo incorporates daily updates of COVID-19 confirmed cases from Johns Hopkins University. This provides clear transparency to organisations when analysing the COVID-19 situation at their vessel’s destination. The cases can be clearly viewed in any area, as a POI on the map. Enabling organisations to add the POI layer to map to view their vessels in relation to the COVID-19 data. Having this information readily available within one Secure Portal helps with contingency planning whilst also putting the safety of workers first.
It is vital for organisations to take a proactive approach to safety management and implement measures to protect employees and their safety. This ensures workers are better prepared and organisations know staff are easily contactable regarding world alerts whilst also knowing the local situation with COVID-19 at their destination.
As the nights get darker, risks to Lone Workers increase. Do you have extra measures in place to protect your Lone Workers? Implementing a monitored solution can help you better manage the increased risk workers face when out in the community or working alone in general.
The Vismo App & Portal enables operation teams to monitor locations for safety, providing accurate and up to date information to those in the field. The App also incorporates many features to enhance traveller safety including the Red Alert feature which allows a worker to raise an alert if they find themselves in an emergency. Having the ability to discreetly activate an alert within the Vismo App or having timed Check-Ins provides peace of mind for workers out in the community. The Red Alert feature discreetly records audio once activated, to enable security teams to listen and better understand the situation at hand.
Another key feature is the Mass Notification capability from the Vismo Portal. The feature enables managers to send Mass Messages to either large groups or people in a certain geographic area. If an incident occurs, the Vismo Portal can quickly identify the incident area and send a Mass Notification to those in the affected area. There are many other features of Vismo to protect workers when out in the community. The Check-In feature can inform the security team when the user is entering a high-risk area or leaving a client visit for example.
To protect the privacy of employees, the Vismo App has a Privacy Mode feature. This enables individuals to enter this mode as and when they wish, to protect their privacy. If an individual is in privacy mode and an emergency arises, the Red Alert can still be activated within the Vismo App, to inform the operations team of the situation. This provides privacy to employees whilst also supporting Lone Workers if an incident was to occur.
Employers have a legal and moral Duty of Care towards Lone Workers and protecting them with highly capable health and safety measures is essential for their safety and peace of mind. Implementing Vismo to improve worker safety can provide a clear ROI, help improve employer/employee relations and help protect corporate brand values.
If your organisation needs to increase measures to protect Lone Workers, especially with the darker nights, arrange a demonstration today: https://www.vismo.com/arrange-demo
Vismo enables travelling employees and Lone Workers to be located globally through the Vismo Global Traveller App or on other compatible devices. Many unique features are incorporated into the Vismo Secure Portal to help an employer better manage the safety of its employees, in many market verticals.
Discover some of the best features of Vismo below:
1. Mass Notification
If an incident or emergency crisis occurs, organisations need to quickly update employees with critical information which may be vital to their safety.
Using Vismo, Mass Notifications can be sent out from the Vismo Secure Portal, to individuals, groups or those within or in close proximity to a defined geographic area (i.e. where the incident has occurred). Mass Notifications can be sent through multiple channels so that delivery of critical information is assured. This can include SMS, Email, In-App and automated Phone Calls; focusing on reaching the individual, not just the device.
These messaging channels can be sent simultaneously or consecutively within a set time period, and loop the communications until a response is received and measured.
The Mass Notification feature provides the necessary tools to enable organisations to send out critical information to individuals, receive an updated location and understand their safety status’ through their response then follow the required escalation process. It’s a rapid, easy to manage and cost effective solution for any employer faced with the challenge of managing risk related messaging to a global employee base.
2. Point of Interest (POI) Layers
Organisations may want to view their employees in relation to key POI’s to further understand their location and proximity to a POI, should an incident occur. This would enable organisations to quickly, and specifically react to a situation through identifying the nearest places of safety or other material POIs which may be relevant (e.g. known high risk sites, dangerous storage sites, flood areas etc).
Vismo has integrated POI layers into the Vismo Secure Portal, which can be added to a map to view different areas in relation to the employees. Vismo clients can define and create their own layers to enable them to take account of specific POIs which are applicable to their organisation.
Vismo has incorporated COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University and UK Government, to enable organisations to view employees’ locations in relation to the latest COVID-19 statistics. As the spread of COVID-19 evolves, Vismo can support organisations to keep track of the outbreak in relation to their employees location.
When Lone Workers are undertaking an assignment or task, monitoring their location and two-way communication is vital to help protect workers and help provide peace of mind.
Vismo has introduced Assignments into the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling organisations to create an Assignment and appoint a task to any user. Employees will be alerted when an Assignment has started, and the organisation can set a time frame in which the user must Check-In on the Vismo App. If the user does not Check-In within the given time frame, a Red Flag Alert is activated within the Vismo Secure Portal to notify managers of the account of a potential incident.
The user can alter or extend the Assignment and add notes within the Vismo App, which is then updated in the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling two-way secure messaging. This feature keeps both the Lone Worker and organisation informed of the task at hand, its status and location of the worker and any updates or potential risks.
4. Red Alerts
In an emergency situation, employees need a way of quickly alerting others of an issue, to ensure their safety is being monitored.
The Red Alert within the Vismo App is easy to trigger from a smartphone or tablet with a simple press and hold. When an Alert is activated, email and SMS notifications are sent to the managers of the Vismo account and includes the individual’s last known locations. As the Red Alert is activated, an audio clip between 20 seconds and one minute (definable length) will automatically start to record and is sent back to the Vismo Secure Portal to inform managers of the situation.
This feature provides users with peace of mind and if a situation occurred, a Red Alert could be triggered through the App and the relevant teams are notified to respond to the situation.
5. Privacy Mode
To protect employee privacy without comprising safety, Vismo has integrated a Privacy Mode feature. This enables individuals to enable Privacy Mode as they wish and choose when their device is located, to safeguard their privacy whilst using the Vismo App. However, if an individual is in Privacy Mode and an emergency arises, the Panic Alert may still be activated. Once the Panic Alert has been activated, Vismo will disable Privacy Mode and will report on the location of the device.
These capabilities provide peace of mind to employees that if an emergency occurred, the Panic Alert can be activated, and a location will be visible within the Vismo Secure Portal.
These features enable Vismo to support and protect organisations in various industries globally. Vismo also incorporates many other excellent features into the platform to protect employees and Lone Workers. Features such as geo-fencing capabilities, the ability to create incident areas and set country change alerts, accurate location reporting and many more.