Blog February 8, 2022

Are Movers Essential Workers?

Posted in Moving 101
Amelia Mead

Originally from Chicago, currently everywhere, Amelia is a freelance writer working on bringing all the moving tips to you.

In the context of a raging COVID-19 pandemic that is already lasting much more than expected, people need to find ways to go about their lives. And those who have to relocate are left wondering: “are movers essential workers” and “can I hire them in the middle of a pandemic?” To find out what constitutes an essential industry, what safety measures moving companies took up to keep everyone safe, and more, keep on reading.

What Does It Mean to Be an Essential Worker or Service During COVID-19?

Before we answer the question of “are movers considered essential services” and explain how the moving industry plays a part in safe moving, let us explain what does it even mean to be an essential service or worker in a pandemic. A lot of countries, including the US, implemented lockdowns and new, strict regulations to limit contact among people, and with it, the spread of the virus. This also impacted how businesses were run and operated, and a lot of them were even forced to close for the time being.

However, in order for society to not collapse, some institutions and services still had to operate and thus were declared essential. As COVID-19 rules and regulations shifted with progressing or diminishing waves of infections, the notion of “essential workers” had more or less weight. Yet, it still tends to be relevant, as the pandemic has not been declared over.

What Services Are Deemed Essential During the Virus Outbreak?

When you think of businesses and industries that qualify as essential, some jobs stand out more than others. Among the service providers that come to mind first are the following:

  • Medical services,
  • Veterinary business,
  • Public services,
  • Food and agriculture business,
  • Transportation and logistics,
  • Police and first responders.
  • Educational facilities,
  • Mailing providers,
  • Home repair providers,
  • Car repair business.

The relocation industry doesn’t necessarily pop into your head the moment you consider which services are required for everyday functioning – that is, if you’re not in the middle of planning a move and need long-distance moving services. If you are, however, and wish to move without stress, the story may be different. Let us tell you a bit about when and why relocating during coronavirus is inevitable for many people. And if you want to find out more about what it legally and conceptually means to be an essential service, check out the video below.

Is Relocation Necessary in the Context of the Coronavirus Pandemic?

We can probably all agree that the Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot about how we live our lives. For many, these changes included switching their jobs, as well as spending more time alone and indoors. A lot of businesses stopped working, and some turned to remote work. All of these changes in everyday functioning made people consider changing their address, and many businesses moved offices.

Whether it was the inability to spend so much time with family members or roommates that pushed some to live on their own, or their reason to move was the wish to move for love or move in with their partner, relocation was happening all around. For some, it simply wasn’t a choice – in the economy that is falling apart, many lost their jobs and had to move to smaller apartments to afford rent. Either way, we all know of a few examples of people who moved from houses to new apartments or even moved back home in the middle of the coronavirus surge. In that sense, people moved not just because they wanted to but because they didn’t have other choices, making relocation an integral and unavoidable part of this situation.

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Are Movers Essential Workers and Is Moving Essential in the Pandemic?

Although relocation obviously can’t be avoided even in the “new normal,” the question remains: do you need state-to-state movers when considering things to do before moving interstate, or is relocating efficiently on your own possible without professionals? To shorten a long answer: yes, interstate moving companies and their employees are deemed essential in the context of the pandemic. And now, let us broaden your understanding of why that might be the case.

Why Are Movers Considered Essential?

Well, the thing is, while a fair portion of people manage to organize their move and execute it entirely on their own, an even bigger portion of folks doesn’t have the required necessities to go through a move without any professional help. A move is no easy task, and relocation mistakes are easily made when you opt for a DIY move. Not only do people not have the required knowledge and experience to move alone, but they lack material objects such as trucks, professional equipment, and packaging materials, as well as utilities such as a storage unit.

Companies that assist people when moving state to state fall into the category of essential transportation and logistics. As mentioned previously, people a lot of the time didn’t have a choice whether they’d move or not. With leases ending, the necessity to pay lower rent, or having a previously booked move, there are too many situations when it simply wasn’t an option for a relocation to another state to be postponed or avoided. That is where relocation companies come into play – not only to make the impossible possible but to make it efficient and even pleasant.

Are Movers Considered Essential on a Federal Level?

If you are trying to hire a legitimate relocation company, you’ll need to stay on top of rules and regulations in the states between which you are relocating. That is to say that no, relocation services haven’t been declared as essential workers on a federal level. This means that every state has its own laws, which you must take into consideration. For example, some states, such as Massachusetts, explicitly classified the relocation and storage industry as necessary, while some others simply didn’t.

Additionally, the companies choose their own modes of action during these turbulent times, meaning that even in one state, you must inquire with each specific company about how they are approaching the situation. So, although the companies and states have the opportunity to consider the relocation industry as essential, they may not do so for whatever reason. It’s up to you to find out more and plan your move properly.

Movers loading a truck
Because of specific state regulations, research whether the states you are relocating between deem this sector to be essential

How Does Professional Assistance Turn Relocation Safer?

You may think that relocating without professional assistance might decrease your chances of catching COVID-19. However, if done correctly, you can move safely with professional help and without problems all at the same time. The thing is, even if you decide to do everything “on your own,” you still won’t be able to avoid people entirely.

You’ll probably have to rent a truck, obtain packaging materials in a shop, wait in line to obtain a storage unit, and expose yourself to people who’ll help you load the truck. So, you’ll practically be in more social situations than in the case of just hiring a professional team for relocation and packing services. What is even more important is that these teams are already used to working in the conditions brought about by the pandemic and have standards they need to follow.

What Extra Safety Precautions Do Moving Companies Take to Halt the Spread of the Virus?

Most moving businesses decided to put measures in place to make sure their employees stay safe while they work. This way, they are ensuring that the business will run smoothly and that no workers of theirs, or customers for that matter, will get sick. Here are some of the most common preventative measures customers should expect a company to follow. Make sure to call the company you are hiring prior to the move and ask if they do the following:

  • Companies that can provide virtual estimates to customers rather than in-person ones,
  • Each mover on a team should have their body temperature measured before the move,
  • All workers should be wearing protective clothing (including washable gloves),
  • The customers and workers should be social distancing during the move as much as possible,
  • The trucks in use should be disinfected often and thoroughly.

What Can You Do to Make Sure No One Gets Sick While You Move?

If you decide to hire a relocation and storage company, you should make sure that both you, your family, and the workers are safe while the process is underway. So, we recommend that you ensure that the following prevention measures are put into place:

  • All parties involved are practicing social distance – Although we all miss human contact, it’s best to have social distance, especially when you are working with strangers for the first time. So, don’t think the workers will get offended if you don’t extend your hand as a sign of respect. You’ll be keeping them safer, and yourself as well, just by nodding your head or using another form of body language that doesn’t require physical contact.
  • Mandatory wear of masks and gloves – No one is a fan of having a mask cover their face, but masks save lives – it’s a scientifically proven fact. So, make sure yours and everyone else’s mask is on (and over their nose) during the entire day. Gloves should be present on people’s hands as well. That is the best way to ensure that no one will get sick in case someone unknowingly got sick and is present.
  • Hand disinfection is readily available – You should always have 70% alcohol sanitizers on you. You should also disinfect all the surfaces in your home or be ready to provide it to one of the workers who might want to touch their face without gloves. So, while companies should supply their workers with the necessary equipment, have some with you just in case.
  • Everybody is feeling well and healthy – Although asymptomatic coronavirus cases do exist and can be detected only with a test, one thing is certain – if someone is feeling anything out of the ordinary when it comes to their health, they should refrain from interaction with other people for some time. That includes you and everyone else as well.
  • Isolate after contact with a positive person – In case you were in contact with someone who was positive, call up the company to book a different moving date. It’s much safer to move the relocation date by a few days or a week, even if it’s not the most convenient thing in the world.
A truck moving interstate
Keep the truck wheels rolling by putting in a safety system of your own when relocating to a new home

Even In These Troubling Times, You Can Count on Movers

Now that you know that you can freely call up and hire professionals to help you move to a new home, we are sure that you are feeling a lot calmer about the relocation. Because, even when the going gets tough, true professionals will find ways to adapt and overcome the tribulations. The pandemic is frightening and overwhelming, but with the right preventative measures, we are sure you’ll move safely and efficiently in the blink of an eye.

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