It’s a strange time for all amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re living through uncertain times and the message from government bodies changes on a daily basis. Thankfully though, the building and construction industry is seen as an essential service.
As homeowners spend more time at home, it is likely they are going to need professional tradespeople to help out on jobs they have been putting off for a while.
To ensure your own safety, and to ensure your client feels at ease, there are some precautions you can take on your upcoming jobs.*
Offer remote quotes.
As you can appreciate, homeowners are wary of who they let into their homes during this uncertain time.
If your client is willing and able, a video call may be enough to determine the extent of the work that needs to be done, which you can then provide a quote on.
This won’t be possible in all instances; however, it can offer peace of mind for those who don’t want multiple contractors visiting the homes to quote on-site.
As we have been made aware, the virus can live on surfaces for hours, if not days. As cash gets passed from hand to hand, it’s good practice to avoid cash transactions during this time.
When quoting, be clear that you would prefer to be paid electronically.
Greetings have changed.
As a society we have become accustomed to greeting people with a handshake. That’s no longer the case during this time, so a simple hello or wave is completely acceptable.
Before and after a job ask the client if it’s okay to wash your hands, for your safety and theirs.
Social distancing has become the norm, so remember to stay at least 1.5 metres away when interacting and going about your work.
If a client has a tendency to look over your shoulder while you work, politely ask them to maintain a safe distance, and assure them that they are welcome to inspect the work once you have finished up.
Be upfront and ask questions.
If you’re not feeling 100%, just reschedule any appointments and be upfront about it. Clients would be more at ease knowing you aren’t going to compromise their health and safety during this time.
It’s also good practice to ask all clients to extend the same courtesy should they be feeling unwell prior to your arrival.
You are well within your right to ask them the following questions:
- Have you recently returned from overseas travel?
- Have you been in contact with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19?
- Have you been unwell, are you in self-quarantine?
There are also things you should do to ensure you can continue offering your services and ensure your employees remain safe and healthy.
Contact your suppliers and subcontractors.
The supply chain, in some instances, has been affected and you may find it harder to source some necessary materials.
Before commencing new jobs, make sure you have enough tools and materials to fulfill your obligations.
It’s also important to contact any subcontractors that you may need to conduct work with to find out about their situation.
Avoid sharing tools.
It’s common among tradies to share tools. In fact, it’s second nature. That should be avoided where possible during this time.
Remember to clean tools with a disinfectant spray at the end of each day too, in case they have been picked up by other people during the course of the day.
Look after yourself and your employees.
The Australian Government has provided Health and Safety guidelines on COVID-19 to keep yourself, your employees and your families safe.
If you become ill or you’re concerned that you or your employees are unwell, the Government has a helpline available to advise the best course of action.
Be polite. Be patient.
In trying times such as these, it’s important to be polite and patient. Understand that some clients may need to cancel jobs due to uncertainty over their own employment conditions.
Explain that you can appreciate their circumstance and would be more than happy to complete the job once they are able to go ahead with it.
At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. And together we will get through it.
Visit Yellow’s Business Hub for more useful information on how to keep your business healthy during COVID-19.
*We endeavour to provide accurate material for Australian businesses consistent with Australian Government Health and Safety Guidelines. However, this material is for reference only and is not designed to be, nor should it be regarded as professional advice.