Moving House and COVID-19
08/10/20 | Uncategorized
Finding a new home and opening a new exciting chapter in your life is an invigorating experience, one you should cherish as it may not occur too often in your lifetime. It is a time for change, a time for saying goodbye and a time to step forward towards a new beginning full of new memories to be made, whilst carrying over the old ones. Granted, uprooting has its challenges and you will endure some stress. There is a lot of change, isn’t there? In fact, moving house has never been a straight forward process has it?… and then COVID-19 breaks out!
The current outbreak of COVID -19 has halted some companies in their tracks. It has put expansions and investments on hold. The coronavirus has gripped us with fear and played havoc with our emotions and mental well being. We have lost jobs, lost out on festivals, gatherings with friends, sporting events and many more. But above all, the heaviest loss we have suffered is the loss of our loved ones.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also caused significant disruption to the property market. Thankfully, with some social distancing measures being relaxed, there are signs of recovery. We are now experiencing a surge of interest from people seeking to buy and sell their properties resulting in a significant rise in enquiries.
2020, what a year eh? But now is a time to regroup and regain some strength and positivity. We are extremely grateful that we have been extremely busy post lockdown. Even in the midst of the lockdown, we answered our call of duty, by providing essential moving services for our health care clients. It is heartwarming to be relied upon in times like these and we are proud of our contribution.
If there was one positive to take from the lockdown it would be that it gave us time. It gave us time to plan, strategise, and implement new procedures and practices. It gave us time to bring our staff back to an environment they felt safe to work in again. Collectively, we sat down and planned extensively on how we could provide the exact same 5-star service to our customers. We also spoke to other removal companies throughout the U.K and Europe. We came to the conclusion that many heads are better than one when chartering a course into the unknown.
In truth, we did suffer some disruption to our enquiries post lockdown however, we had been prepared for it. We each kept a close eye on COVID-19 developments whilst it was looming large in the media. After some weeks of tentative signs of recovery we are thankful we are out the other side. Enquiries to our offices have soared and we are genuinely grateful to our new and repeat customers for trusting us in these unprecedented times.
Our new procedures
Aaltonen International Moving & Storage is a 42-year-old name synonymous with removals and storage in Ireland. As a family-run company, it is imperative to hold onto the reputation we have garnered since our humble beginnings in 1978. For this reason, we did not cut any corners when returning to work under the new guidelines.
COVID Response Training and Induction
Aaltonen sought the help of an external professional in the early period of the pandemic to induct each member of staff in COVID-19 training. Thank you to Jan Harte and associates for sharing your expertise and time to develop a solid plan. Thank you also for answering a lot of questions in what was a very uncertain time post lockdown.
PPE Work Gear
When we decided to return to moving houses and offices again we knew we had to protect our staff and our clients. Over many discussions with other moving companies, we debated which PPE gear would be suitable for our staff. Moving house requires a lot of contact with many surface areas, likewise with an office. So, heavy-duty gloves, masks, face shields, disinfectants and sanitise stations were the basics that we all agreed on
Temperature Checks and Health Declarations
Each morning, every staff member is temperature checked with a non-contact infrared thermometer. Each temperature is recorded and monitored to ensure that a crew or office staff member is not showing any signs of fever before beginning work. Any symptoms such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath etc are to be reported once arriving at the depot. Weekly health declarations are filled out by each staff members every Monday morning. This is to ensure they have not knowingly been in contact with anyone who may have Coronavirus.
Risk Assessments are conducted frequently. This is an ongoing process and as the government is continually changing the guidelines. We are adapting and conforming regularly. Risk assessments cover all bases such as Identifying the hazards, evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions. It is vital our staff are aware of the risks when dealing with an infectious disease such as COVID-19.
With COVID-19 came we had to make some slight changes to our Terms and Conditions. These changes are now in place to protect us and our clients until such time as COVID-19 is no longer an issue. Before each move, we send a COVID-19 questionnaire to each client to fill prior to entering the property. Should there be any reason the client believes there is a risk of transmission, we will delay the move immediately.
The Clients Role
Additionally, prior to each move, we will ask our clients to wipe down all surface areas, door handles and bannisters. Ideally, we ask if only one person per household be present on the day to instruct the crew members about the placement of items. Of course, we understand this is not possible under exceptional circumstances.