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Welcome to the Plants at Work (formerly efig ltd) website  - the association representing Interior Landscapers by promoting the use and benefits of Interior Plants.
 
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How members have found lockdown and what comes next

on Thursday, 11 June 2020. Posted in News

At the end of last week, Horticulture Week asked how our members had coped during lockdown. We used or COVID-19 WhatsApp group to ask for first hand information from members. We had a good response and because of interaction in this group and Friday Zoom meetings, we weren’t surprised by most of the answers.

There is definitely a sense of our members getting ready to get their businesses back up and running as normally as possible as soon as possible whilst sticking to regulations.
Horticulture Week published their account here. 

Green office

Here are members' comments:

Most of our Corporate offices have remained open during Lockdown although staff are not working in them they are still allowing access for services so the plants are still being maintained.

The biggest effect has been with our Hospitality clients such as Hotels and Restaurants where we are just really maintaining anything that is visible to the public.

To compensate for this we are excited to be launching In-tray Plants on 22nd June, an online house plant delivery service to your home or office in London, giving advice on plant care and which room to position plants in.
From Ian Drummond at Indoor Garden Design

Meanwhile all staff have been issued with face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. And are either driving their own vehicles / company vehicles / walking or cycling to work. We are reviewing the tube usage this week. Congestion charges in London have increased to £15 per day / 7 days a week. And parking is getting more difficult for the technicians as more people return and are driving to work.
Also Indoor Garden Design – Craig Edser, Office Manager

We have not had too much trouble. Large corporations where lighting and air con are off, we have encouraged them to keep the plants and maintenance for the benefits of air purification, humidity and preventing the building becoming stagnant.
Smaller firms closed doors entirely, with all reception floristry stopped due to reduced building usage.

All work we carry out are completed under strict guidelines including Risk Management – hand washing/cleansing, masks if applicable etc, and of course, no handshaking.
The new world is looking like 20 – 50% office staff working remotely and every other desk policy.

Due to issues around number of persons able to use a lift and one way footfall systems in offices – Out of Office Hours working will be more evident as it will take longer to service as opposed pre CV-19.
From Madeleine Evans, Tivoli Services

Sadly in Scotland there has been very little easing and the message is still for people to stay at home. We have invested in washable face masks with our logo on them and all the appropriate signage for our offices/nursery. So, those empty offices we got into at the start are still being accessed but no improvement to those numbers. We are getting more and more demands for face coverings in offices.

Our clients are 60% hospitality and all are still closed.
Fleurtations, East Lothian

Access is getting a lot better now but quite a few of my clients have put in one way systems around the offices. Some access issues to water where coffee points are restricted plus agreed access times to site.
The Interior Plantsman

Whilst some offices still remain completely closed or don’t allow access to contractors, we see more offices opening up gradually. The challenge is that many only give access on certain days with limited time slots.

Some customers are requesting visitors wear face mask and gloves, others require completed questionnaires to be sent ahead of visits, most ask people to use hand washing stations upon entry.

We currently have to prebook about 90% of our visits too.
Green Team Interiors, based in Hampshire

We have managed to get into about 70% of sites all along and now more are opening. We supplied our staff with homemade lined face masks as well as full PPE including personal digital thermometers so they can record daily temperatures.

Most offices still have very few staff in and usual stuff in place with sanitiser, one way systems etc. We also have to prebook most visits which takes hours every week.

I have to say most companies have been brilliant and if there is no security on site then a member of staff who lives near has met us to open up and wait until we have finished the maintenance. Most clients don’t want the plants to die so have been very helpful. One or two have said when staff all return, we have to do nights or weekends.
Botanica Nurseries, Slough

A lot of what we do now is about client perception we've bought rather fetching masks, temperature guns and of course the almost mandatory sanitiser. Clients 'tick the box' by asking us to tick the boxes about travel and symptoms. One client asks us to wear gloves they provide which we reluctantly do to keep the peace. Little has changed in respect of access or client requirements
Paul Easton, A C Rentaplant, County Antrim

Increasingly access is very slow. A lot of our customers seem happy to continue to work from home as they are well set up and it's nice being at home in nice weather! So many are not rushing back. We are operating with a skeleton staff as most of our field staff is still furloughed. Not sure if things will get more difficult as offices start to get busier as at the moment servicing an empty or near-empty office is safe and easy. I reckon we should be back at 95% by September but not before.
David Snell, Nature at Work Ltd basd in Wiltshire

Top 5 wellbeing tips

Note from Cambridge: similar to others, we have access to about 80% of our offices, most empty other than IT/security, no-one has asked us to wear face masks (yet) & only a few require appointments for maintenance. A couple say their staff will not return till January... I suspect this will evolve and change as the rules change
Ruscha Mars, The Good Plant Company

One Dutch supplier confirms that last Friday (5 June), they sent out the biggest consignment of plants since lockdown began. Sounds like a good sign.
Koberg bv, The Netherlands

We are seeing very similar results to the rest of the companies in that we are getting access to around 80% of clients by appointment and it’s the last 20% which we are struggling with.

Most technicians are wearing masks and we are using some medical grade and some home-made ones (dependant on the techs preferences), gloves and hand sanitizer and we are getting temperatures taken at some locations plus we are testing temperatures at our own offices where we are back in occupation.
Thomas Palfreyman, Urban Planters

Friday Zoom meetings

Lunchtime get togethers on Zoom, mainly social. Currently scheduled for every 6 weeks. If members would like to take part, please let This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.have your email details and she will send you access details.