Life Safety Solutions for the Hybrid Workplace

As detailed in a previous post, the new hybrid workplace and a shift to more hoteling and drop-in space creates significant challenges for a facility’s emergency preparedness and life safety program.  The trend presents two main issues:

  • Live training and drills are less effective when a large percentage of employees are not on site on any given day
  • Trained floor wardens may not be on site when an emergency happens

A range of operational and technology options can help mitigate these risks.

  • Train more often. To ensure everyone can attend a live training, offer several sessions on different days of the week, rather than just one.
  • Train more floor wardens. Another strategy can be to double or triple the number of trained floor wardens, increasing the likelihood that a sufficient number will be on site when a disaster strikes.
  • Leverage Technology. A spectrum of technology solutions can help address these challenges, including
    • Virtual reality allows buildings to conduct robust training and drills via smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers.
    • Online training platforms provide building occupants, floor wardens, and staff with 24/7 access to customized, building-specific life safety training
    • Mobile apps put step-by-step emergency response steps, customized to each facility, in everyone’s hands, enabling occupants to know what to do even when floor wardens may not be present
    • Use your access control system’s reporting features to see which floor wardens are on-site each day and which floors may not have coverage
  • Work with tenants. Encourage tenants to require that employees who work on-site full time serve as floor wardens.

The mix of operational and technology solutions will likely need to vary building to building depending on the type of tenants, the percentage and frequency of occupants working from home, building staffing levels, and tenant cooperation.

For more information on how to address the life safety challenges in the new hybrid workplace, contact us at