Postal workers and delivery drivers reveal top tips on how UK can help speed up mail crisis during pandemic

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Postal workers are facing a mammoth lockdown challenge after new research has revealed 95% admit it’s busier than it normally would be, and nine in 10 also said that the work is harder than usual.

With so many delivery teams losing team members to sickness, delays are now being experienced across the country. In fact, Royal Mail just released a list of 28 cities where post might be late due to a high demand in mail and not enough workers to complete the job.

The pressure is mounting on delivery workers across the country, prompting security retailers safe.co.uk to support postal employees, by asking them exactly how residents can make their jobs as easy as possible during the current adversity.

When asked what their current biggest pet peeve is, 35% of postal workers said they loath it when people request a redelivery and aren’t home. This was followed by:

  • The person not being home (25%)
  • A lack of garden care such as loose paving’s and general health risks (15%)
  • A post-box in bad condition (11%)
  • People not respecting social distancing rules (10%)
  • Violent animals or dogs biting at the letterbox (7%)
  • No access point to the post-box (3%)

On solving these dilemmas, 50% of the delivery workers said it would help if people ensured that somebody is home for the redelivery, as well as:

  • Making sure property numbers are clearly displayed (18%)
  • Addresses are clearly written on parcels (15%)
  • Let the post worker move away from the door before they open it (10%)
  • Properly wrap the parcel (8%)
  • Ensure the post-box is in good condition (5%)    

An anonymous Royal Mail worker added: “We’re certainly up against it at the minute and there are some elements of the job that could be made easier. I’d say the main thing people can do to help is making sure they’re home. You’d be amazed at how many people aren’t in even though we’re locked down.

“I’d also encourage people to keep on top of maintaining their gardens and post-boxes, we have so many falls due to damaged walkways and often trap our fingers in rusty old post-boxes too.”

The survey also delved into working conditions during the pandemic, and almost two-thirds (65%) of delivery workers admitted they don’t feel safe working through the current situation.

When asked what people could do to make them feel safer over the coming months, 49% agreed that it would be useful if people put a sign on the door that notifies them if the resident is in self-isolation. Other suggestions included:

  • If you’re interacting with a postal worker, wear a facemask (28%)
  • Make sure any surfaces such as gate latches are cleaned on a daily basis (13%)
  • Ensure post-boxes are wiped and cleaned daily (10%)

An anonymous DPD driver also said “Multiple delivery drivers can touch a person’s letter-box or garden gate every day, so it’s a good idea for the home-owner to clean them as much as possible for both ours and their own safety. We now take pictures of the parcel at the door and sometimes are close to the recipient which isn’t safe. Standing back and wearing a facemask when answering the door is very important and I’d encourage everyone to get into the habit of doing so.”

Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk, commented: “There are postal delays all over the country, some places are suffering more than others and important letters, such as the COVID vaccination invitations are being delayed. Although it’s frustrating for recipients, we have to remember that delivery drivers and postal workers are caught in the middle, and it’s up to us to support and help them through the current challenges.

“We hope our survey shines a light on how people can make the working day for the post workers as efficient as possible, whilst also keeping them all safe.”