Guest Post: Protecting a travelling workforce

Guest Post: Protecting a travelling workforce

Real-time information is more important than ever, says Dataminr SVP EMEA & APAC Jonathan Barrett 

While global expansion provides numerous business advantages, it also exposes organisations to new and unfamiliar risks that they must navigate, from political, to cultural, financial, and the unpredictable.

Now, as the world wrestles with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, global businesses must prioritise the safety of employees, especially those on the front lines in public-facing roles, as they navigate lockdown and adjust to the challenges of the ‘new normal’, in addition to preparing for their safety once business travel resumes. Real-time information was important before this crisis, but now it’s more essential than ever as businesses operate an evolving global landscape and plan for the safety of their employees today and in the future.

Ensuring employee safety in turbulent times

With employee safety front of mind, access to real-time information is key to fast and informed decision-making. However, as the amount and variety of publicly available information rapidly increases, teams across an enterprise are struggling to ensure that they remain one step ahead of unplanned occurrences.

Real-time alerts powered by artificial intelligence (AI) have a crucial role to play here. With the ability to sift through large volumes of data at speed, identify relevant events, and provide updates and context as a situation unfolds, well-equipped organisations can better understand their overall threat landscape and quickly act in employees’ best safety interests.

Protecting employees in light of Covid-19

In response to Covid-19, countries around the world have been forced to enact lockdowns of varying degrees. Now, select employees who travel for work may be at increased risk of being unable to return home, and also face a higher health risk if they have travelled to countries currently under governmental restrictions. And when employees face risk and uncertainty—by extension—so, too, do their employers.

To underscore the importance of real-time data in protecting employees, Dataminr uncovered early indicators of the virus and alerted its clients on December 30, 2019 – 11 days before the disease claimed its first casualty in Wuhan, China. Consequently, multinationals who received advanced warning of the virus were armed with the information they needed to inform and make critical decisions and protect their employees and assets, long before their governments started to publicise the outbreak.

The importance of real-time alerts

As the pandemic continues to evolve and affected countries grapple with testing, tracing, and treatment, it is imperative for organisations to keep abreast of new public health announcements and orders, emerging supply chain disruptions, macroeconomic interventions, and much more.

With so much uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, and high-impact decisions being made at a rapid pace, visibility over the evolving global landscape is vital. This is true in both the immediate and long term future. As restrictions begin to lift and changes to regulations occur as the pandemic passes, remaining one step ahead will be invaluable to businesses preparing their employees for the transition after Covid-19.

With real-time alerting, organisations can make insight-led decisions faster and enhance their awareness of emerging global threats. Armed with these invaluable data points, businesses are in the best position to ultimately ensure the protection of their most precious resource, anywhere in the world: their employees.

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