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Most of us are lone workers, says survey

'I vant to be alone,' Greta Garbo is famously supposed to have said, but a recent survey reveals that 71% can be identified as lone workers. On the back of that research, telecoms company Orange and personal safety charity Suzy Lamplugh Trust have launched a guide to advise people working alone on how to stay safe and confident.


With the growing trend to work outside the office for at least some of the time, 18% of those surveyed said they spent over half their time as a lone worker.

The strain of lone working is also revealed by the survey, with 49% admitting it made them feel uncomfortable. However, 45% took no action to deal with it as they were nervous about the consequences, or felt threatened by a person’s behaviour and didn’t want to make it worse.

Government agency Business Link’s definition of a lone worker includes the self-employed, people working away from their business base, those working outside normal business hours and mobile workers. Of 1,000 respondents to the Orange survey, more than two-thirds said they fell into one of these categories.

The Orange Guide to Working Safely Alone gives advice both to individuals about safety (recommending alarms/panic buttions) and to companies on how to meet their legal responsibility to keep employees as safe.

The guide is available for free download from Orange Business.

The survey of 1,000 people in full-time employment in the UK was carried out by RedShift Research in January 2011.