The online magazine Work Smarter Magazine recently published an article entitled: Top five lone worker apps in the UK.
It ranked Ok Alone at #4 but contained a number of inaccuracies, we have included our response below.
Thanks for your review and feedback. May we provide a few clarifications so that your readers get a more complete picture of Ok Alone and its capabilities. For example:
“OK Alone’s easy onboarding and beyond-basic design may attract tech-phobic users, but after some real testing, its simplicity feels indicative of a lack of quality, rather than a commitment to ease of use.”
Ok Alone’s simplicity is actually a feature, not a bug. The app is designed to be easy to use, even for people who are not tech-savvy. This makes it a good choice for businesses that need to protect their lone workers, but don’t have the resources to train their employees on complex software.
“In fact, there really isn’t a lot to this app. Upon signing in, workers are given one option: ‘Start shift’. After that, they have the options to check in, call for help, or end their shift. That’s about it.
This is simply not true, our app does have many features for workers to use, however in order to keep the design as user friendly as possible and as easy to use in an emergency, the main features are on the home screen.
All other features such as man down, high-risk check ins, messaging, location settings are accessible through a drop down menu. If you look at the options on our dashboard or read any of the ‘Feature’ pages and articles on our website you will see all the features available. https://www.okaloneworker.com/ok-alone-features/
“Similarly, this ‘one size fits all’ model will surely annoy users who want to create longer tasks without being bothered all the time. Beyond this, the app looks so basic that you don’t really want to trust your team with it.”
Our app does not apply to ‘tasks’ we are used for shifts, which are very customizable. The app can be set to have regular check ins from every 5 minutes up to 24 hours depending on the individual worker’s needs.
You can even choose not to have check ins other than starting and ending a shift. As for being basic and not trustworthy, our app has saved the lives of users in emergency situations, and therefore is very trustworthy. https://www.okaloneworker.com/ok-alone-saves-a-workers-life/
“Does not provide a “discreet” alarm option. This means that, while serviceable for manual labour jobs and other roles where the largest risk is from accidental injury, the app may not be appropriate for customer-facing roles such as nurses, shop workers and estate agents.”
This is also not true. Our app has multiple ways to discreetly call for help. If workers are using an iPhone they can set up multiple taps to the back to request help immediately. If they are using an Android phone they can use the shake for help feature.
We also have a desktop app that can be set up on the taskbar and discreetly activated without alerting people in the surrounding area. This was developed to be used by those in ‘customer-facing roles’. https://www.okaloneworker.com/ways-to-request-help-with-ok-alone/
“Again, while some workers may embrace this simplicity, over a long period it can lead to a series of problems. Creating dozens –or even hundreds– of identical one-hour shifts writes off any chance of analysing or even sorting through your staff’s work at a later date.”
Again this is completely incorrect. As stated above the shift length and check-in frequency is decided by the monitor and is not restricted to one hour. In fact, in our documentation, we suggest checking in every two hours if the work is not high-risk.
Workers’ shifts and actions throughout a shift are visible on our dashboard. As to being able to ‘sort through your staff’s work later’ the app is designed to be used for lone worker safety, not for tracking employee productivity.
“Beyond these worries, OK Alone is not accredited to BS8484. This should be taken very seriously as BS8484 is the UK standard for lone worker safety platforms and marks a company out as meeting (or not meeting) the challenges of lone worker safety.”
It is not a legal requirement to have BS8484. The standard is also now able to be self-assessed and certified so its authority is now somewhat diminished. BS8484 is a fantastic standard for those solutions that rely on Police intervention or need an ARC as help requests cannot be handled in-house, however, our app does not require either option and therefore does not require BS8484.
The Ok Alone team writes informative articles about lone working. Through our articles, we aim to educate readers on the benefits and best practices of using our lone worker app, and how Ok Alone can help mitigate risks and enhance communication between workers and monitors. Learn about other areas including legislation, risk management, and legal compliance plus lone worker features such as man down, high-risk check ins and location monitoring.