With the covid19 virus still disrupting everyone’s lives around the world moving companies are facing up to new issues that need to be tackled in our industry. Viruses are invisible and easily passed and this has been seen in the quick spread across the world of covid19. This invisible threat is a huge problem for moving companies as it is such a personal service they offer. Entering people’s homes, handling their personal belongings and moving crews working together and sitting in vans together all provide a massive headache for the industry.
Three terms are on the news, in newspapers and on tv broadcasts constantly right now and these three phrases are the things that moving companies need to tackle right now. They are: Social Distancing – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – and Working from home. Moving companies need to decide how they can implement these in certain degrees and what are essential and what are not.
For anyone living in an area that has been affected with covid19 will know, social distancing is now everywhere. Most places are implementing a two-meter rule where two meters distance must be kept between people. We have seen this in supermarkets and anywhere you might need to queue up. It is a very odd feeling having to stand on space stickers placed on the floor in a queue at a store or having to step off of the sidewalk when walking in the street when you pass someone coming the other way. However strange these new social distancing trends are it leaves the moving industry with many social distancing headaches.
How can a moving team travel to a move in a van together while social distancing? How can your packing team work in a customer’s house without getting too close to each other or to the customer? How can your office staff social distance in the office? These are all things that have caused headaches and initiative in overcoming these challenges. Moving companies will need to make it clear to customers that they are not allowed to be in the house when the moving team are there. Customers might be advised to have as much of their belongings as possible already packed and ready to be picked up and transported or for windows in the house to be opened for greater ventilation during packing. Maybe the moving team will all arrive at the move site separately and go about their work as far apart as possible. With guidelines on social distances changing with different businesses and in different countries it certainly is a massive headache to overcome. The important thing that every moving company needs to remember is to protect their staff and their customers.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The biggest protection, aside from staying home and isolating, is the use of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. With so many different PPE it is important for moving companies to decide what they need and what they do not, in order for them to adequately protect their staff and customers. Gloves and masks are surely essential and must haves. Unfortunately, these essential PPE items are extremely hard to get hold of right now. Masks and protective gloves are being diverted to healthcare providers and extremely difficult to get. However, infection rates are falling and production of PPE seem to be increasing and as the moving industry is an essential service I believe that PPE will be easier to obtain within our industry. The use of PPE is going to become common place for the foreseeable future so are must haves for any business that wishes to continue business in this new world we live in.
Working from home
Working from home has become the new norm for many of us for many, many weeks now. As countries, in some places, have passed the peak of the virus and infection rates are dropping it is very tempting for businesses, in areas where they are allowed to open, to ask their employees to return to work. In the moving industry there is no way for packing teams, drivers, and warehouse workers to work from home, but office, admin and sales staff can do their job from home. With lockdowns lifting and freedoms returning moving companies are facing the question of whether to ask these office workers to return or not. I think that there is no clear answer and each company needs to weigh up factors such as whether or not social distancing can be implemented in the office and whether it is worth the risk to their staff.
As countries are moving out of lockdowns and starting to resume work it is important to maintain social distancing, use PPE where possible and allow members of staff who can, work from home. Protecting our staff, our customers and keeping our business running is the new aim for everyone.
Written by: Matthew O’Hagan