When it comes to hired strangers entering a person’s home, do we react differently based on the visitor’s occupation or purpose? Are we more comfortable with delivery drivers because the interactions are brief compared to those of service or repair workers who may spend hours fixing a leaky pipe? To answer these questions and more, we surveyed almost 1,000 people to gain some insights into how residents prepare for, react to, greet, and interact with scheduled (and unscheduled) delivery, service, and repair people visiting their home.
Between regular deliveries and hired help, it’s inevitable that you will likely need to answer the door to a stranger. Continue reading to discover how people respond to these visits.
Common home visitors
Holistic maintenance of a home involves having a network of trusted professionals to help along the way, including delivery drivers, movers, and utility services. Those workers sometimes need access to the inside of your home to make necessary installations or repairs. Survey participants were more likely to invite many different types of delivery or service workers inside if they were home to supervise.
Those surveyed were much more likely to let a trusted neighbor inside when they weren’t home rather than a cleaning service or delivery worker. Even further, 47 percent of all respondents (38 percent of men and 53 percent of women) would have their fears mollified upon seeing a female worker or driver knocking at the door.
Overall, people are not fearful of workers
In general, very few people reported feeling completely unsafe around delivery and repair visitors; only 2 percent and 1 percent, respectfully. In fact, most people felt either extremely safe around service workers who entered their homes, with 86 percent of respondents feeling moderately to extremely safe when both delivery and service workers were visiting.
Over time, it has become easier to trust the companies that we hire to help deliver food or goods and complete maintenance as they adapt to changes in consumer concerns.
Despite these advancements, deep-rooted anxiety lives within many people who have been accustomed to the insecurity of being home alone, especially among women who’ve been scared into a phobia of being home alone. Unfortunately, these concerns manifest themselves on anyone who may be perceived as a threat inside the home, whether those concerns are rational or not: 51 percent of women reported feeling fearful of being home alone with a service or repair person, likely stemming from decades-old teachings linked to the idea of “stranger danger.” In this context, many adults today absorbed this messaging while growing up and now have a lingering fear of unknown people in their safe spaces.
Hiring a vetted and community-trusted company to complete repairs or ordering food from a company with strict employee standards can help you rest easier knowing you are being proactive when considering who has your home address. For food deliveries, most respondents will turn on exterior lights (67 percent), meet the delivery driver outside (46 percent), or even monitor deliveries with an exterior camera (24 percent). The latter recommendation has been bolstered by the emergence of smart doorbell technology, which allows homeowners to embrace innovations in home security.
On the other hand, repair or service workers evoked a nearly equal response among participants who prefer to keep their eyes on the worker by staying in the same room (51 percent) and residents who have a hands-off approach and choose to stay in another room while there are workers in their home (53 percent).
Once again, men and women responded differently to visiting help. Women were more intentional as to when workers were invited via appointment: Women were 29 percent more likely to set specific times or windows for service work to be done.
Protect your fortress with Porch
Our homes are our sanctuaries and where we feel safe. Ensure your security by always hiring licensed and insured contractors who can be held accountable for their work. Additionally, when considering a company or group to hire, be sure to look into the company’s background and reviews before signing any contracts.
To be completely sure that you are exploring and investigating to the best of your abilities with Porch’s comprehensive comparison system, which allows you to cross-check workers with confirmed licenses and certified background checks for any task you need assistance with. At Porch, we hold the safety of our users in the highest regard. Our mission to link our network of dedicated home repair experts with their communities continues strong to this day.
Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, we had 973 people complete our survey. Of those, 506 were women and 415 men. There were 52 people who did not identify as either male or female. The ages of our respondents ranged from 18 to 81 with a median age of 37 and a standard deviation of 12.2. To protect the quality of our data, our survey had an attention check; respondents who didn’t answer accurately were disqualified from the survey, and their answers were not included.
All data are self-reported and are not statistically weighted. Self-reported data can be under or over reported. The list of different workers and deliveries was predetermined, but respondents were given the option to write in additional answers.
Fair use statement
Inviting professionals to help finish a big job shouldn’t come with added stress. Porch will always confirm only the top companies and workers into our network, so share this data far and wide to help others make smart choices on hiring outside help. Please be sure to cite us by name when mentioning our findings and share for noncommercial purposes only.