Safe in the home?

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell wonders if things have just got more complicated.

The lifting of social distancing restrictions from next week (July 19) completely changes the dynamic of how we handle the pandemic – in England at least.

Up until now, we have been subjected to the rules laid down by government. However, from Monday, all social distancing officially ends, with individuals and companies encouraged to take a common-sense approach to helping to minimise the virus transmission.

Personally, I think confusion is very likely. Imagine heading out to your high street and finding that while one shop insists you follow very strict distancing guidelines while wearing masks and using hand sanitiser, another will offer a business-as-usual approach with few restrictions.

It may cause confrontation. It may affect brand loyalty. It may encourage more people out, while encouraging others to stay at home. Difficult to tell.

I think where it will make the most difference is in people’s homes. Technically, I suppose where tradespeople are invited into the home, then the homeowner will have the final say on what rules need to be followed. However, will homeowners choose a company based on its strict Covid-safe policy rather than devise their own?

Homeowners already expect businesses entering their homes to have the relevant qualifications and training to allow them to work in private residences. Maybe a robust Covid-safe policy should be part of that?

So, instead of there being any awkward exchanges on the doorstep – fist bump or elbow prod? – the customer will know exactly where they stand when improvements are carried out.

Rather than being another hurdle for companies to overcome, this could actually be a positive selling point, and one that could help win business from homes that are either vulnerable, or simply confused by how they should be welcoming strangers into their home.

Your thoughts are always welcome.