Supporting lone workers

Lone working

There are lots of adult social care roles where lone working might happen, for example, domiciliary care workers, personal assistants, live-in carers, drivers and overnight workers.

It’s important that employers establish a healthy and safe working environment for lone workers.

Our online guide provides information about what works well for employers that employ staff who regularly work alone.

Download the guide here 

It’s based on learning and recommendations from research that Skills for Care did with adult social care employers that employ lone workers.

It has top tips for best practice under key headings such as recruitment and retention, planning the workload, learning and development, health and safety, and supporting mental health and wellbeing.

You can use the guide to learn new ideas and make changes to your practice.

Key learning from the research

Skills for Care commissioned York Consulting to carry out research with adult social care employers that employ staff who regularly work alone.

Download the research report here

Here are some of the key findings from the research report.

Graphic that says 76% of respondents said that lone working had a positive impact on their decision making skills
Graphic that says 80% of respondents said that lone working had a positive impact on job satisfaction
Graphic that says 38% of respondents said that lone working had a positive impact on their mental health

Graphic that says 78% of respondents said that lone working made them more productive
Graphic that says 59% of managers said that staff turnover was a challenge of employing lone workers
Graphic that says 78% of respondents said that lone working had a positive impact on work-life balance
  • Job satisfaction amongst the lone workers was high - 80% said that lone working has a positive impact on their job satisfaction. The reasons for this include the opportunity to provide one-to-one care and build strong relationships with people, and a preference for working alone.
  • Lone workers were very positive about the impact that working alone has on their decision making, productivity and self confidence.
  • A large majority of the lone workers in the sample gave positive feedback about communication between themselves and their managers. Good examples include approachable managers, having clear escalation procedures and good out-of-hours support.
  • Lone workers said that they found it challenging to build relationships with colleagues, but when they did, they found it very rewarding.
  • The research uncovered mixed views on the mental health impacts of lone working. At a headline level, 38% of the lone worker sample said that lone working had a positive impact on their mental health, 30% said it had no impact and 25% said it had a negative impact.