What can installers do at home during COVID-19 lockdown?
As the UK continues to stay in a state of lockdown, we know many plumbing and heating engineers have more time on their hands as either work has slowed down or halted, as an impact of self-isolation and social distancing.
We realise how difficult it can be to spend the extra time at home when you are used to a busy work schedule. It can bring worrying thoughts about your livelihood and how to keep your loved ones safe and healthy during these times of uncertainty.
This begs the question of how you can ‘make the most’ of this time at hand. So, here is a list of some things you can do in the comfort of your own home, as we continue to battle through the pandemic.
Harness your digital footprint
More and more people are using social media, Google and online directories to find reputable plumbers to work on both domestic and commercial projects. Now is a great time to take control of your online presence and get ahead when it comes to your ‘digital footprint’.
According to EmbedSocial, one in three Facebook users are using the platform to find reviews and recommendations on local businesses, and over 1.6 billion people around the world are connected to a small business through Facebook. Alongside this, the phrase “plumber near me” is searched on Google over 40,500 times a month in the UK (Surfer).
Whether you’re a self-employed plumber or you work for a small business, ensuring you have a reputable digital presence can be hugely beneficial. Here are three simple ways you can get people to notice your business online:
- Register for a free Google My Business listing and encourage previous customers to leave a review
- Sign-up for a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter business profile to advertise your business
- Upload high-quality images of your work on each social media platform, your Google My Business listing and use the relevant hashtags like #plumbing, #heating, #installer, to promote your skills. Try to keep hashtags simple too, as they can help people in finding your posts when they are searching on social media
Remember though, think about everything you’re posting – if you’re not comfortable saying it at work, you shouldn’t say it online.
Keep up to speed with regulations
Whether you’re working on a domestic, commercial or healthcare building, every installer knows just how important it is to remain compliant with regulations from relevant industry bodies. Plumbing is so much more than installing a bathroom or fixing leaks – it requires keeping up to speed with the latest legislation, technologies and trends.
Now is a good time for plumbers to keep abreast of relevant legislations, regulations and advice from industry bodies such as WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme), APHC (Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors), CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering) and the Gas Safe Register. You can do this by following their social media profiles, signing up for newsletters and reading their blogs.
At RWC, we also endeavour to keep our social media profiles and website blog page up to date with information surrounding legislation, so it’s always good to keep an eye out!
Take a look at some of our blogs focusing on building and water regulations.
Spend time with your loved ones
While COVID-19 has brought about a level of uncertainty, it has also brought some unexpected opportunities. For instance, we’re given the chance to spend more time with our loved ones, whether it’s at home or virtually.
From playing board/online games to watching a film or baking, there are plenty of ways to spend quality time at home and use this time to make memories.
We also know that this time can bring on feelings of loneliness, so why not stay in touch with your friends and family virtually on video conferencing platforms and support each other mentally and emotionally.
Keep up to date on your paperwork and filing
Ensuring you’re compliant and keeping up to date with taxes, invoices and licenses, insurance and more can often feel like a full-time job in itself. While we’re all experiencing this slower pace of life, why not try and get up to date on your paperwork and filing?
It’s also a great way to get rid of out-of-date paperwork. You could even create a list of any potential certificates, contracts and licenses that are nearing their expiry date, so you can re-apply in good time.
Prepare for life after lockdown
While it may seem far away, there will be life after lockdown, and it’s important that installers are prepared. The APHC has already warned landlords, property owners and employers about a potential serious public health concern once the current COVID-19 trading restrictions are removed.
With restaurants, pubs, sports facilities, bed & breakfasts, hotels, hairdressers and many other buildings being closed for an extended period of time, there is risk of the potential spread of Legionnaires’ disease once these establishments reopen. Caused by Legionella bacteria, Legionnaires is a severe type of pneumonia that is caught by inhaling the bacteria from water droplets dispersed through taps and showers.
During lockdown, plumbing systems in these establishments aren’t being used, and stagnant water between 20°C – 45°C can quickly become the ideal breeding ground for Legionella.
Once the lockdown has been lifted and life slowly returns to normal, ensure you contact your customers to advise them of this issue, and make the appropriate recommendations. We’ll be sharing our advice on how to cleanse and flush the water system to ensure its Legionella free in one of our upcoming blogs. So, watch this space.
We’ll get through this, together
At RWC we are responding to the coronavirus pandemic to prioritise health and safety, while using our expertise and global resources to support essential water supply, infrastructure and healthcare services. You can read our response to COVID-19 here.
If you have any other questions in the meantime or need technical help or advice contact our team of experts at 01895 449233.
For the problem solvers, the urgent fixers, the everyday heroes and the truly up against it, we’re with you all the way.