Changed working rituals due to Corona virus pandemic

Polygon has been highlighted in digital magazine, Risk and Business, a large platform in the Netherlands. The feature focused on various businesses and how they have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, exploring the kinds of changes they have had to make. One of Polygon Netherlands’ technicians, Meike Zuidland, was interviewed by the magazine.

Polygon is a property damage restoration company working with fire and water damage, so employees are used to dealing with stressful situations.       

“Fire and water damage do of course also occur during a pandemic and customers must have help available in order for the damage to be repaired. The health and safety of the customer and our employees is our main priority”, says Meike Zuidland, technician at Polygon Netherlands in Groningen.

Meike’s work situation has changed significantly since the coronavirus outbreak. Some days can be quite lonely, since they can only work alone. If more than one technician is required for a job, they must work in separate rooms and if they need to work together, they always use face masks and gloves.

“As a precaution, we always disinfect our tablets in front of the customer before signing off. But not everyone wants to touch a digital screen, and in this case we’ll note this in our report. Vouchers for hired material are delivered to the office via the letterbox and the project manager processes these. Some jobs that had been ongoing before have had to be postponed. A natural consequence of this is that everything takes a little bit more time, but it is of course necessary”, says Meike.

This adjustment in behaviour also applies to when being out on location. The technicians no longer shake hands and always converse at a appropriate distance. During the execution of the cleaning work, residents now leave the house or go to another room. In normal circumstances, people stay with them, have a chat or a cup of coffee. Before going out to the customer they always check if everyone who lives in the house in question is healthy, or has the flu, a cold or a fever.

"In the case that they do, we won’t visit the property. But it’s difficult to leave people with a burst pipe or fire or water damage in misery. We always want to be by our customers side and help them out in difficult situations”, says Meike.

Meike appreciates the attention and care for staff, from the head office in Alphen aan de Rijn. A daily newsletter is sent out and contains a special email address where all employees can put forward their questions and comments about corona. Even though there have been a lot of changes, Meike is very happy that she has a vital profession and does not have to work from home.

“I mainly get my energy from the people I visit. The people are extra happy and grateful that we will come and carry out our work. Of course within a 2 meter distance from each other”, says Meike.