Hiring a tradesperson to work on your property often raises questions about how to approach the working relationship. Should you engage in conversation or let them focus on their task? Should you offer refreshments or let them handle their own needs? To shed light on these etiquette matters, Toolstation spoke to both tradespeople and clients to get their opinions.
Chatting through the day
The survey delved into client preferences regarding interactions and hospitality with tradespeople. Almost half (45%) of client respondents indicated a neutral stance on having a chat with tradespeople, while a quarter (24%) welcomed friendly conversations with tradespeople. Generally positive worker-client rapport is favoured, a minority or homeowners expressed a preference for minimal conversation, with 17% of homeowners not wishing to talk much to tradespeople while their on a job.
The survey towards trade people indicated that tradespeople may be friendlier than the clients they are working for, with the majority (71%) of tradespeople not minding a chat with a client, and 22% like it. Only a very small amount (7%) of tradespeople did not like having a chat. Having a casual chat throughout the day is something both sides can mostly agree on, as most results for this are positive. But what kind of behaviour annoys both clients and tradespeople?
Asking clients: What are the most complained about things tradespeople do? The responses included:
- 33% voted for leaving a mess in their work area and not cleaning up
- 26% voted for showing up late to work.
- 23% voted for raising the price after one was already agreed.
Asking Tradespeople: What are the most complained about things clients do? The responses included:
- 46% voted for clients not paying on time
- 35% voted for clients attempting to reduce the agreed payment
- 33% voted for when client had not cleaned the work area before they arrival
- 25% voted for when clients asked for additional services which was not agreed ahead of time
- 21% voted for when clients lingered around and watched them work
Clearly breaking financial agreements and keeping an area tidy are things that annoy both clients and tradespeople, as the results reflect.
In the full study, we ask both sides more questions on the matter of etiquette, such as how tradespeople feel about pets near their workspace, and how clients feel about offering food and drink to their workers. Toolstation also shows which cities in the UK give tradespeople the best tips.
See the full piece here