Do Employees Have a False Sense of Security in the Workplace?

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder shows that while most respondents feel safe at work, they appear to have blind faith.

CHICAGO — While some workplace disasters can be avoided — such as oversleeping for a meeting or missing a major deadline — others are beyond anyone’s control. From weather-related damage and natural disasters to technology breaches, a new study from CareerBuilder looks at how prepared workers feel they are to deal with those other types of workplace disasters. According to the survey, the vast majority of workers (93%) feel their office is a secure place to work.

But is this sense of security misguided? Fewer than half of workers (37%) say they have a security guard at their workplace, and 1 in 5 (22%) are unsure how they would protect themselves in the case of an emergency in their office that posed a physical threat.

The national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between Feb. 10 and March 17, and included a representative sample of more than 3,000 full-time, U.S. workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

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While workers feel safe in their workplaces overall, when it comes to specific threats and how prepared their employer is to handle them, they aren’t as confident.

  • 17% do not feel their workplaces are well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, and 22% don’t believe their companies have emergency plans in place should such events occur.
  • 19% do not feel their workplaces are well-protected from weather-related threats, and 26% do not think their companies have an emergency plan in place if they were ever faced with extremely severe weather.
  • 31% do not feel their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person, and 41% do not believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from another person.
  • 31% do not feel their workplaces are well-protected from a digital hacking threat, and 39% do not feel their companies have an emergency plan in place in the event of a technology security breach.

“As an employer, you have an obligation to protect your employees by every means possible, and having an emergency plan in place to deal with unforeseen events is part of that,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “However, an emergency plan is only as good as how well it is communicated. It is crucial that employees not only know about this plan, but have easy access to it and participate in regular drills so they know how to protect themselves and others.”

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