The Psychological Wellbeing of Lone Workers: Tips for Employers
Lone workers are required to work often long shifts by themselves. This can produce psychological effects that must be handled appropriately by employers to ensure the mental health of lone workers remains strong. Understanding the psychological impact of working alone is fundamentally important to developing a framework for handling the toll facing lone workers.This involves recognising stressors, building a supportive work environment, communicating frequently, ensuring mental health training is available and providing emergency response plans. We discuss the aforementioned topics in this blog.
Understanding the Psychological Impact of Lone Work
Working for long shifts without human contact can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression that, if left untreated, can lead to chronic mental health problems. Poor mental health of employees leads to unproductivity, nonchalance about the job and unsafe working conditions. In fact, employees with depression are categorically shown to take one day off work per week. Untreated depression results in over 6 million working days lost each year in Australia.
Recognising Lone Worker Stressors
In most cases, mental health conditions do not just suddenly materialise: they develop over time. It is therefore fundamentally important for employers to recognise lone worker stressors such as irregular hours, remote locations and lack of human contact and do everything they can to balance these with incentives, supply of appropriate safety equipment and ongoing communication. Open communication should be encouraged between workers and employers to ensure that positive mental health outcomes are assured.
Building a Supportive Work Environment
Organisational culture has a large impact on the mental health of its workers. A supportive and inclusive workplace will always result in more productivity, motivation and safety. By appointing human resources employees with mental health first aid training, employers equip their teams with the skills needed to identify workplace crises and handle any lone workers facing stressors before their demeanour develops into a chronic mental health problem. This will have a strong impact on overall business performance.
Communicating openly and frequently with lone workers is another way that employers can ensure good psychological outcomes for workers. Checking in with lone workers using a radio or mobile phone can go a long way to ensuring their wellbeing. Check-in procedures and protocols should be developed in order to achieve this. Lone worker safety devices supplied by TWIG Australia can be used to check in with lone workers and ensure they are happy and cared for in their role.
Mental Health Training and Resources
Providing mental health training and resources goes a long way to preventing crises from emerging in the workplace. Mental health first aid training is one system that can prevent poor mental health from developing into something more severe. Employers should promote mental health services during regular communication with lone workers and do their best to remove the stigma of mental health issues.
Emergency Response Plans
Deploying an emergency response plan for lone workers can reduce the potential for them to develop anxiety over their professional responsibilities. Lone workers must be trained in emergency response plans and in the use of their lone worker safety devices. Emergency response plans must factor in potential hazards located at lone workers’ work sites and provide detailed instructions on how to avoid hazards when they are present. Finally, emergency response plans must include capacity for lone workers to signal for help in the face of danger. TWIG Australia can supply lone worker safety devices that achieve this at the click of a button.
TWIG Australia: Your Safety Partner
For over a decade, TWIG Australia has been a trusted supplier of personal safety alarms for lone workers. Our commitment to the safety of lone workers in Australia is unwavering. If you’re a lone worker in Australia, taking the proactive step of equipping yourself with a personal duress alarm from TWIG is more than a safety measure; it’s a lifeline.