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What is a lone worker?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in the UK, lone workers are those that work by themselves without close or direct supervision. Anybody that works alone, including contractors, self-employed people and employees, is classed as a lone worker. 

Lone workers exist in all sectors. Including those that work alone outside of normal business hours, those that work from home, or those that visit other people’s homes. 

Across the UK up to eight million people are lone workers.

Lone working can be a bit different from a job surrounded by people. But for those looking to work independently, often in hours that fit around other commitments, lone working is the perfect fit.

What are the key strengths of a lone worker?

Strong time management skills

With no direct supervisors, lone workers must be able to manage their own time. To help, lone workers are often supported by cloud-based systems like IQ:timecard, which gives businesses the ability to provide tasks, instructions and real-time alerts.

The ability to solve problems independently

While most employees can quickly grab their manager for advice, lone workers must have the ability to solve problems themselves. This might mean deciding what to do in the event of an emergency or simply deciding what tasks to tackle first.

Good communication skills

While making decisions independently is an important trait for lone workers, they also have to know how to communicate with those around them. Recalling events, handing over tasks, or reporting problems should come naturally to a lone worker.

Ability to identify hazards

Lone workers should be skilled in identifying potential hazards and taking steps to manage them. Each role will have unique hazards and lone workers need to be able to take care of their safety.

Willing to undertake training

All lone workers should be armed with the skills and to carry out tasks safely. But as the world changes, Lone Workers are often the first that need to adapt. So whether its updated safety policies or the implementation of new technology, lone workers have to be open to learning new skills.

Manage stress and maintain wellbeing

Working alone can be hard on your mental health and wellbeing. Feeling isolated or exhausted is not uncommon. While managers and supervisor need to implement robust stress management processes, lone workers may need to figure out ways of switching off and recharging.

Want to know more about the benefits of remote workforce management software? Take a look at our dedicated resource guide.


Unique IQ’s award-winning software helps businesses manage their remote teams and keep lone workers safe. Find out more.