Among the many things businesses are responsible for, keeping employees safe is a top priority, which is why organizations are increasingly using mobile communications to share timely information with staff during workplace emergencies. These businesses find that office safety communication tools play a key role in ensuring everyone's safety in the case of medical emergencies, cyberattacks, or even threats. Here's a look at how cloud-based communication tools can help keep employees safe at work.
Ensuring Office Safety in a Complex World
HIPAA Journal's overview of Rave Mobile Safety's Workplace Safety and Preparedness report notes that companies are developing emergency response plans for modern workplace emergencies such as active shooters, workplace violence, cyberattacks, and system outages. Businesses that do so are finding that mobile communication technology is a top method for distributing critical communication. Email, while still commonly used, often doesn't reach employees quickly enough to be nearly as effective — and it may be taken out altogether in the event of a cyberattack. Tools like voice calling, SMS messaging, and VoIP paging, however, can help improve employee safety by delivering effective communication right at the moment it's needed — here's how.
With the benefit of modern office safety communication tools, operations professionals can effectively coordinate critical communications using the channels employees prefer.
1. Voice Calling
Reliable voice calling can make a difference in coordinating a timely emergency response. If an employee has a medical emergency, for example, their operations colleagues can rely on a Voice over IP (VoIP) solution to place a quick call and request emergency medical aid on their behalf. That way, the injured or ill employee can receive timely treatment or transportation to the nearest hospital.
Voice calling can also come in handy during extreme weather events or other situations impacting employees' abilities to reach the office. If a severe storm hits the area, employees can use the same business communication solutions they would use when working from home to coordinate office communications so that everyone knows the office has been closed. Since these office safety communication tools enjoy high availability in the cloud, they can be accessed from any broadband internet connection — regardless of whether the main office data center has been affected by a power outage or other systems issue.
What's more, the operations team can configure a special mainline greeting to keep customers and business partners informed about any changes to business operations during the event, facilitating business continuity and minimizing disruptions even when extreme weather strikes.
2. SMS Messaging
SMS messaging to mobile devices can save the day when a business needs instant communication. In the case of a cyberattack, employees may need an immediate heads up about what's happening, along with instructions on how to protect themselves and the business. And according to the Rave Mobile Safety report, 50% of employees prefer receiving emergency alerts via SMS message rather than through other forms of communication.
IT staff can use cloud-based communications systems to send SMS alerts, rapidly informing the main office about what's happening and what action employees need to take. Technology support staff can easily notify traveling or remote office staff as well, sending SMS messages to their mobile devices. If a ransomware attack is underway, for example, the IT team can issue a quick alert explaining what's happened, what employees must do with their computers and devices, and what to expect next. That way, the business can quickly mobilize to protect its assets as well as its customers' sensitive data.
3. VoIP Paging
Although no one likes to think about it, workplace violence — or even just the threat of it — can and does happen. According to a study cited in The Balance Careers, around 2 million people in the United States experience workplace violence each year. It's not uncommon for businesses to receive threats or other concerning communications, unfortunately, but with the right tools, they can quickly respond.
If the business receives a threat, for example, the operations team might have to evacuate the office or floor in order to ensure safety in the workplace. The phone paging capabilities found in today's business communications systems can be helpful in these cases, automatically broadcasting an announcement to the entire business or specific offices or divisions. The operations team can inform the staff that they must exit the office, implement office safety meeting strategies, and advise employees to convene at a meetup location outside the building. This rapid emergency communication can help keep employees safe until the threat is resolved.
Every business takes such workplace safety incidents very seriously, of course, which is why it can be helpful to be equipped with voice calling analytics on the back end to gather data on the caller. Fortunately, cloud-based communications systems feature robust reporting capabilities that can be used for this purpose, aiding a swift response so that your company can get back to normal operations as soon as possible.
Modern Communications Help Keep Offices Safe
Operations professionals face considerable challenges when attempting to keep offices safe during modern workplace emergencies. With the benefit of office safety communication tools, however, they can effectively coordinate critical communications using the channels employees prefer. With the right technology solutions in hand, businesses can give their staff the peace of mind they deserve so they can feel safe and be more productive on the job.