It’s common to feel some level of workplace anxiety every day. Are you going to finish that project on time? Will you get through the client presentation without messing up? Will your boss have critical feedback on the work you just submitted? With all of the things there is to worry about at the office already, the last thing you may be thinking about is your safety.
But how prepared is your office if an emergency were to occur? A new CareerBuilder.ca survey explores just how safe workers feel in their workplaces and how much they think their companies are working to ensure their security.
Lack of preparedness apparent
How secure employees feel doesn’t exactly match up with how prepared they really are. While the majority of workers (95 percent) feel their office is a secure place to work, just 62 per cent say they would know what to do to protect themselves if there was an emergency in their office that posed a physical threat. Thirty-eight per cent say they would not know or were unsure if they would know how to protect themselves in an emergency situation.
Well-protected from weather
Despite some doubt about their general emergency preparedness, the majority of workers do feel confident that they’ll be safe from a workplace-related natural disaster. Sixty-four per cent of workers say they feel their workplace is well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, and 67 per cent feel their workplace is well-protected from weather-related threats.
Yet, should a natural disaster strike, plans aren’t necessarily in place to cope with every kind of emergency. A majority of workers (65 per cent) say their company has an emergency plan at the ready in case of fire, flood or other disaster. Yet only half (50 per cent) say the same of extremely severe weather.
More uncertainty around manmade threats
Workers have less confidence in their office’s readiness when it comes to threats by people or technology. Only 52 per cent of employees believe that their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person, and less than half (48 per cent) say their company has an emergency plan in place for this type of danger.
Technology threats are even more of a worry for workers. Only 48 per cent say that their workplace is well-protected from a digital hacking threat, and 44 per cent believe their company has an emergency plan in place in the event of such a breach.
In case of an emergency…
Mark Bania, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada, says that workplace emergency plans need to be treated with as much importance as any other type of workplace policy or procedure. “It is of the utmost importance that all employees are not only aware of office emergency procedures, but are well-practised in them so they know what to do to protect themselves and others.”
So, what should you do if you don’t feel secure in your workplace, or are unsure of your office’s preparedness? Take matters into your own hands.
Ask your boss or office manager whether there is a plan in place, and if so, request that they find a way to communicate the procedure to their employees. If no one in your office is sure of what to do, go straight to the building security team or manager and see if they can share the building’s protocols. Find out where your nearest stairwell is, and check your supply closet or kitchen area for an emergency preparedness kit. By being proactive about your safety, you can ensure that you’ll be prepared should disaster strike – even if your office isn’t.
Debra Auerbach researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder.