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IVR Work Alone

What is IVR?

IVR is a telephone industry term: Interactive Voice Response. Ironically, IVR work alone is navigated mostly by touch-tone keypads (press 1, press 2, etc.), and not by "short voice messages" like 'business', 'residential' and so on.

The attraction of IVR is that it's automated. Once you have your telephone switch (a specialized computer) set up properly IVR systems can run for hours, days, and months with little or no human interaction. This saves labour for both the caller and the call centre. There are drawbacks to purchasing and setting up large IVR systems. Hardware and software development costs can easily run into the mid-six figure range.

What is Work Alone?

The death of a convenience store worker in the 1990's prompted Alberta's first legislation for protecting workers who work alone. At this point the majority of Canadian provinces and many states have work alone legislation.

At minimum, work alone legislation requires each employer who has workers working in isolation to have a plan in place to protect that worker, and to ensure the worker has knowledge of that plan.

IVR Work Alone Example - 250 Employees

After the initial one time set up fee of $750.00 ($3.00 * 250 employees) the ongoing usage fee per billing period will be $850.00 per billing period for 250 employees ($3.00 * 250 employees + $100 line fees). This portion of the billing remains fixed regardless of how often employees check in or out because there is no operator "talk time".

When employees quit or new employees are hired our programmmers make the required changes for an hourly fee of $60.00 per hour or $6.00 for each ten minutes. Each change usually takes less than a couple of minutes so ongoing maintenance costs are low.

If an employee fales to check in with the IVR system on time, a series of events are triggered depending on how the account is programmed. The first response usually is for the system to call out to the employee's contact number. If no contact is made, then a supervisor number is notified. At any stage the automated IVR system can 'revert' to a live operator who will then take appropriate actions - usually calling 'on call' supervisors and initiating an incident report. Operator intervention is usually charged at $2.00 per minute.

IVR Work Alone - Sample Process

Typical check in conversation

Each account is programmable according to the customer's policies and procedures. This is one common example:

1) Employee dials IVR Work Alone Number

2) Call is answered by IVR Work Alone system, and employee enters their PIN (personal identification number).

3) IVR system asks for work alone location. Employee says their work location: ex. "Lodgepole gas plant #2."

4) The system asks for elapsed time before next check in. Employee presses '1' for one hour, '2' for two hours, etc. In some cases the call back time is set by the employer.

5) After two hours (for example), if the employee has not checked in, the IVR system will call the employee's contact number. If no answer, and after a programmable delay, the IVR system will then call the employee's supervisory contact number. If no response is received, the IVR system will then revert to a live operator who will take over and resolve this person down situation according to the customers policies and procedures.

Note: This is just one of many scenarios. The IVR system is programmable for each employee.


IVR Work Alone makes managing employee work alone programs easy and economical.

Reports identify who is using the work along system, and customers can contact us for assistance at roll-out meetings, safety meeting and company events like barbecues and awards presentations.

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