In the last ten years, the workplace has transitioned from stationary to mobile. As technology has advanced it’s changed the way we work, where we work, and when we work. In fact, this report by Global Workplace Analytics discovered that employees are not at their desks as much as 50-60% of the time. Many employees change locations multiple times a day, and others frequently travel or do offsite work. With the rise of staff on the go, there is an increase in external risks in addition to those that occur in the office. So how do you keep your people safe? You need a system that can adapt to people’s changing location and the changing landscape around us.
Having access to your employees’ location data can improve your ability to respond to disaster in many ways. Location improves your emergency plan by allowing the message to get to the right people in the affected area. A robust emergency notification system should quickly find the appropriate audience based on location, only reach the people who need the message, have geofencing capabilities, and give you extended map functionalities to see the proximity of emergencies to your users and notify them of the situation immediately.
- Quickly find the right audience based on location
Location functionalities within your mass notification system can help you quickly find the right audience for your message based on their current mobile device location. Knowing your employees’ exact location is huge when it comes time to putting an emergency plan into action. Starting with up-to-date, real time location data, then choosing the best channels for your message allows you to find the correct audience quickly and remove any guesswork.
Enabling location services via users’ mobile devices encourages your audience to stay engaged and open to communication at all times. As a user’s location changes, they may need different messaging. A dynamic employee communication system that is aware of their changing location can keep you up to speed on who needs what information at any given time.
- Only reach the people who need the message
During a disaster, nothing is worse than messages that don’t apply to your audience and add to the chaos. Many of your notifications will likely not apply to your entire employee base. Location services within your employee communication system allow you to effectively track your people and send notifications to only those users that appear to be nearby a dangerous event or risky situation.
On top of using real time location data, you should set up groups for each of your branches or sites as well. Breaking down your users by location enables them to receive the most pertinent and accurate messages for what’s going on in their surrounding areas. By pre-segmenting groups, offices, or departments, you save time during a critical event by ensuring the right people see your message. Manually adding each individual or trying to sort through your entire database of employees whenever there’s an emergency can lead to errors, and errors in a serious situation can be dire.
Dividing your audience based on location allows for easier target messaging. Working on this ahead of time will streamline the notification process in times of crisis when tensions are high and mistakes can be easily made.
- Geofence recipients to visually grab your audience
Geofencing is an invaluable tool for when several of your groups are at risk, as it allows you to collect location and user information within the geographic parameter you specify. The area of interest could either be a potential risk, an imminent threat, or a current disaster. Geofencing enables an administrator to take a bird’s-eye view of an unfolding situation to see which users will be affected and how admins might go about mitigating the issue.
Geofencing eliminates the need to find the specific location of each worker and instead focus on the parameters of the threat you need to notify people about through geofencing capabilities. Mass notification systems store user data so that admins can have it readily available.
- Visually see the proximity of your people to emergencies
A quality emergency notification system will enable you to both manage ongoing critical events and monitor for potential upcoming issues. A map should show not only where your people are, but also what issues are headed their way to ensure you keep those at risk safe. Monitoring impending issues on the map empowers you to respond quickly, take preventative action and provide assistance to workers in affected areas.
Just as users aren’t stagnant, neither are events. A dynamic map will track not only changing user locations but also changing event locations. As a storm moves, or as traffic impacts your delivery schedule, the map will evolve to allow you to send the most accurate information to your affected people.
Hundreds of companies now have employees that spend over half their time working remotely. Knowing a user’s location easily allows you to keep track of everyone and their surroundings. One simple view should tell you everything you need to know about any potential or ongoing threats users may face. In a crisis, location functionalities can help you feel in control no matter where your people are.
DR Journal 27th July 17