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IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
October 6, 2022


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024


Employee wellbeing: “Why basic compliance is no longer enough”

IFSEC Global hears from Peoplesafe, as the company discusses findings from its survey on employee expectation for wellbeing and safety.

Forward-thinking employers are realising employee expectation requires them to deliver above and beyond basic compliance when it comes to safety and wellbeing.

Companies and brands who are investing in a positive employee experience (EX) and culture are discovering that this results in a much more engaged workforce and increased retention rates.

There is now a growing level of expectation amongst a younger and emerging workforce that goes well beyond basic obligation and duty of care. The rise of EX has signified a seismic shift from the traditional employer/worker relationship model to a much more holistic and people-centric approach that requires businesses to deliver above and beyond basic compliance when it comes to safety and wellbeing.

In a study by Peoplesafe, one in five employees (22%) surveyed cited safety concerns as a reason they chose to leave their job and over a quarter would not take on any public facing role due to personal safety concerns. Safety concerns were felt by all types of workers, with 60% of everyone questioned admitting that they even felt unsafe travelling to and from work during unsociable hours.

In the context of the current recruitment and retention climate, these are concerning numbers:

  • 6.8 million workers worry about their personal safety each week
  • 22% surveyed cited safety concerns as a reason they left a job
  • 60 % feel unsafe travelling to and from work during unsociable hours
  • 57% believe that their boss has a duty to make sure they get to work and back home safe

Millennials and generation Z want to work for employers that are aligned to their own values and investing in safety technology that provides reassurance outside of working hours is just one way to demonstrate a desire and willingness to support employee wellbeing.

There is a strong argument to suggest that companies could be enhancing the employee experience and improving productivity simply by bolstering this sense of safety.

The same Peoplesafe study reveals that 6.8 million workers worry about their personal safety each week, while the majority of employers (57%) underestimate the level of concern their employees have for their safety.

Even though not currently set in law, 57% of employees believe that their boss has a duty to make sure they get to work and back home safe; it’s not just about the hours that they are on the clock. Nearly a third believe their employer could be doing more to protect them.

The use of free, downloadable personal safety apps is already on the increase, reinforcing that the demand and desire to feel safe is growing with more than 1 million downloads. However, research published by BMC in June 2022 found that while people downloading these free apps found them useful, they also reported them as being unreliable, not working as described and/or having features that could be exploited.

Peoplesafe CEO, Naz Dossa, who is also Chair of the BSIA Lone Working Group, says: “Many employers are still underestimating the impact that providing 24/7 safety and peace of mind brings. Improving levels of employee safety is an untapped staff retention tool that could make a prospective job more appealing for workers across any sector in the longer term.

“There is a clear, tangible benefit to wellbeing, recruitment and perceptions of roles if prospective employees were to be offered technology and personal safety solutions that they know will reliably keep them out of harm’s way. It’s a win-win state that starts at the price of a cup of coffee. Unlike other work perks, safety and peace of mind are essential and much more than just nice-to-haves.”

Founded in 2001, Peoplesafe provides a range of professional safety apps and devices designed to offer an enterprise-level solution and peace of mind backed by Alarm Controllers trained to handle distressing situations. This 24/7 monitored service helps to keep workers safe – wherever they are – by connecting directly to emergency services. This means that employers can provide staff with the benefit of feeling safe both inside and outside of working hours.

Peoplesafe partnered with IFSEC Global and SHP on a webinar in October 2022, where the results of the survey were discussed in greater detail. Register and watch the webinar back on-demand, here – WEBINAR: How to protect all staff in a world of hybrid working


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