This post is in conjunction with Local Heroes, but all thoughts are my own.
When the pandemic first hit, our immediate thought was around things like food supply, income, schooling, and our general safety. We worried about local businesses too, and how they’d survive local and national lockdowns, but it’s not until our boiler broke that we realised how different life would be when it came to allowing trades people in our home. Not to mention finding one that hadn’t been furloughed or had, sadly, shut down indefinitely.
Backed by British Gas, Local Heroes has identified how difficult it can be for consumers finding a reliable and trustworthy tradesperson. Through the creation of a booking platform which puts the customer and tradesperson in control, the Local Heroes service enables you to book a time which suits you, providing reassurance that the work is guaranteed.
But, during a pandemic, how do you balance Tradespeople & COVID-19? How do you make sure that both you and any tradespeople entering your home are kept safe?
Peace of Mind
Local Heroes aims is to provide peace of mind to customers. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they want everyone to stay safe whe n using Local Heroes and booking tradespeople to fix jobs around the home. During this time you can still request a job within the trades of gas, heating, drainage, plumbing, appliances and electrical, and Heroes will be matched to your job.
Research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that two in five UK adults haven’t been inside other households since the pandemic began . Understandably, people are being very cautious. However, there are all kinds of circumstances when you might need a tradesperson to come to your home. There now may be a lot of questions you’ll be asking yourself around how to act.
If you are self isolating or exhibiting symptoms you should only book a job when there is a direct risk to the safety of your household. If you can book later, please do so.
From the moment you answer your door, it’s vital that you wear a mask (unless you have a suitable reason not to). If the person is going to be working in the same room as you, then the mask must remain until they leave. They will do the same.
Remember; it’s not anti-social to distance yourself!
Tip: If the work required means that the tradesperson or technician is going to be staying indoors, then make sure you open windows to ventilate the rooms. An hour or so beforehand is perfect.
Cleaning & Sanitisation
Depending on the work, it is likely that you will be requested to clean around the area in which the technician or tradesperson will be working. In addition, clear any furniture that might get in the way. When we had someone visit to look at our electrics, we removed chairs and tables so that they didn’t have to. This also reduces the risk of cross contamination.
Tip: Provide a spare pack of anti-bacterial wipes for any extra cleaning, as well as a bottle of hand gel. It’s just as important that you reassure anyone entering your home, as them reassuring you.
Offering Food & Drink
From the dawn of time it’s common courtesy to offer a guest or visitor a hot or cold drink. In our house, any tradespeople get cake and/or biscuits with their brew and full access to the kettle. Following the pandemic, however, this is no longer a safe and viable option.
Tip: Instead of a mug of tea or glass of water, why not offer a sealed can of pop or bottled water? If they’re going to be with you for the day, have packets of crisps, biscuits or sealed snacks on hand. It’s unlikely they will accept, but at least the offer is there.
Nowadays, a lot of businesses will invoice you after the work has taken place, or they’ll expect payment prior. However, in some instances, there may be occasions when you’ll need to pay cash-in-hand. Try and offer a payment transfer via PayPal or similar, but if they can’t accept that, then it may be necessary to wear gloves when handing notes and small change.Why not withdraw fresh money from a post office prior and put the money in a clean money bag.
Alternatively, with Local Heroes you can pay online, avoiding paying cash-in-hand altogether! Also, paying online unlocks the 12-month guarantee backed by British Gas.
Tip: Similar to those surfaces, if you have any pets it’s probably more beneficial to keep them away from the area for the day. Not only do some tradespeople not always like animals around them, but animals have a habit of bringing germs in – especially if other people have stroked them!