We are delighted to be featured in the Security Matters Magazine: The independent voice for security and risk professionals. They have published an article on Locate Global, How COVID-19 is challenging employees mental health, and the benefits of communication platforms.
DURING LOCKDOWN, businesses have adapted quickly to new ways of working and new methods designed to engage customers and communicate with the workforce. Globally, we’re now witnessing a streamlining of decision-making procedures with the use of technology and data to strengthen communications, increase responsiveness, fine-tune planning and drive performance.
In the battle to remain connected, though, how important is technology to the members of your team? How might you keep collaboration active and your employees engaged at all times?
Isolation and loneliness are recognised mental health problems, further impacted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people have been forced to work from home. For many, this has been something of a welcome change in that travel fatigue, for example, has been put to one side (for the time being, at least). For others, including many who live alone, the seclusion and new way of working has been very stressful. Office team companionship isn’t quite the same in the online world.
Impact on mental health
The impact of previous pandemics on mental health has been fairly well documented. Those pandemics have included the 2002-2004 SARS-CoV outbreak with 8,000 reported cases across 29 countries, the Ebola virus disease in West Africa between 2014 and 2016 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea back in 2015. Research studies from previous pandemics highlight the fact that there’s both an immediate impact on mental health and a longitudinal one.*
Typical symptoms suffered by individuals as a result of pandemic outbreaks include depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation and other conditions associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Employees are our most valuable asset and organisations have a responsibility to look after the health and welfare of their teams. It’s essential for those employees to stay connected within a home working environment. Updates and progress checks on objectives, plans and strategies all need to be communicated and discussed.
When, at times like these, the physical presence of an office-based community is no longer available, it’s then the case that regular check-ins, welfare updates and general team comradeship all need due consideration. This is often a challenging prospect when a remote working scenario is involved.
Many companies are now incorporating virtual coffee breaks into the daily routine whereby remote workers share advice and tips on remote working itself, parenting, mental health issues and other challenges brought about by the Coronavirus outbreak.
At the beginning of the Government-enforced lockdown period, the biggest challenge for many organisations was the continuance of everyday operations when buildings were forced to close. Concerns arose around internal communications and ‘tech’ platforms including Teams and Zoom very quickly became something of a lifeline. That said, as we now move towards a phased return to a ‘new normal’, communicating with an entire workforce by dint of using video is possibly not the best option.
To keep a large and/or mobile workforce safe, having clear lines of instant communication is absolutely critical. Communication platforms are a cost-effective way of ensuring global communications remain agile.
For its part, Locate Global is a global risk management platform designed for organisational resilience, critical event management and team communication. End users of the platform can communicate with everyone in their organisation irrespective of where they may be and at the same time, all thanks to the central cloud-based dashboard. Messages can be sent to everyone in the company, individuals in certain locations or specific groups using geo-smart targeting. Teams can be updated on changing quarantine rules, travel bans and curfews as well as any new legislation that could affect operational capability going forward.
Thanks to the mass notification feature, costly individual text messages are no longer needed for everyday communications. Incident communication enables businesses to send mass notifications, thereby keeping all stakeholders informed before, during and after any critical events.
In-built notification logs provide a real-time status of each message sent, the recipient and delivery so that organisations can be sure key messages are reaching the necessary parties.
Pete Murphy, CEO of Locate Global, informed Security Matters: “We’ve all quickly adapted our way of working with the challenges that COVID-19 has posed. The whole world is now battling with an issue of immense scale and the resultant human impact. It’s important that all of us continue to communicate and look out for each other. Collaboration is a key strategic priority. On that note, we believe Locate Global is a vital tool in strengthening global communications for businesses as we move out of lockdown and into the recovery phase leading towards the ‘new normal’.”
*Source: Centre for Mental Health – COVID-19 and the Nation’s Mental Health – Forecasting Needs and Risks in the UK – May 2020 (Dr Graham Durcan, Nick O’Shea and Louis Allwood)
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