It’s Alive! Buildings With Living Walls

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Sadly, now that Halloween is over for another year, this isn’t an exposé on haunted houses, but it is about the benefits of biophilia. By adding a living wall to your building or office, you are more likely to improve your employee retention rates. This article will look at some of the benefits of having an office moss wall, whilst looking at some of the most inspiring uses of nature on buildings from around the world. Could your building be the next Churchill Arms?

 

The Benefits of Living Walls, Moss Walls and Living Pictures

It is well known that having plants in an office has many benefits. For example they can increase motivation and productivity by up to 15%. This means that smart employers are sure to be investing money in greener office environments. Some employers, especially smaller start-ups, might worry about the amount of space required to make an office green – a legitimate concern – which is one of the reasons why an office moss wall, or a living picture is an attractive option.

Living walls make use of space that isn’t being used already; without taking up precious floor space, they still offer all the benefits of having plants in the office. Faux versions are also available, whilst not so environmentally friendly, they do have the benefit of being low maintenance and long lasting and will give the outdoors indoors look.

In the past offices were often minimalist and stark, featuring black, grey and chrome. This look suggests power and efficiency, but an austere interior does not allow for individuality and it does not encourage creativity either.

We recommend that offices steer away from this power-oppressive mindset, and instead employ more plants into their designs. This will bring an eco-friendly touch, and with a specialised office moss wall, you won’t be sacrificing the professional aesthetic of your office either.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate an office moss wall into your building. By looking at some of the world’s most famous living walls, you might find yourself feeling quite inspired.

 

Cidade Jardim Shopping Mall (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

The Cidade Jardim shopping centre is inspired by the world’s most luxurious streets, and it makes extensive use of plants both indoors and out, and each of its stores overlooks a modern garden.

Cidade Jardim is Portuguese for ‘Garden City’, which could not be more true for this shopping centre. Climbing plants festoon the walls and balconies, and the floor gardens between the shops have natural-styled chairs for shoppers to take rest in.

 

The Churchill Arms Pub (Kensington, London, UK)

The Cidade Jardim shows how lots of plants can be used in a retail setting, but the Churchill Arms shows the draw of a spectacular planting display extravaganza that cannot be missed. Every year, The Churchill Arms beats every other establishment in London with its Christmas cheer, which has a noteworthy effect on its sales, too.

Each Christmas, punters flock to book their meal at the infamously Christmassy Churchill Arms in Kensington. It truly is a sight to behold. Consider what kind of audience your business attracts, and whether you too could benefit from showing off your Christmas cheer. When it comes to commercial Christmas Trees, you’ll be wanting the best if you want to stand out.

 

Edgware Road Tube Station (Marylebone, London, UK)

London is becoming greener and greener each year. The Churchill Arms is one example of green Christmas cheer, but living walls can thrive all year round. The Edgware Road tube station in Marylebone, London, is one such example of an outdoor living wall that is not just eco-friendly, but artful too.

Holding an amazing 14,000 plants from 15 different species, Edgeware Road is a vibrant example of how you can attract attention to your business through living walls. These plants curl around one another in waves of colour and texture that really catch the eye.

 

Moss Walls

Moss walls are a fantastic option for businesses looking to make their offices greener. They are low-maintenance, space-friendly, and very decorative. Differing from other living walls, moss walls (made from preserved moss) do not require water or light and will neither grow nor decompose.

We stock moss in 16 different colours, and we’re able to create an entirely personal design for your office moss wall, such as your company logo.

Keep your building or office looking lively by introducing more plants. Your employees will surely benefit from it, and therefore so will your business.

If you have any questions about living walls or office moss walls, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. Likewise, if your creativity has been sparked by some of the amazing walls we’ve covered in this article, why not request your free quote on a moss wall today?


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How to Have the Perfect Christmas

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Christmas may well be the most wonderful, magical time of the year, but it’s not without stress. From buying presents for so many different people, having to wrap each one in beautiful paper (and desperately trying to find an online tutorial for wrapping), to the mad last-second dash to the supermarket the night before to pick up the forgotten cranberry sauce, a lot of time and effort goes into making that perfect Christmas.

With autumn drawing in and thoughts turning to the festive season (you may have noticed advent calendars are already making an appearance), here’s a handy guide to ensure you’re fully prepared and can enjoy the big day with the minimum amount of stress.

Close up of an arm in a white woollen jumper putting a gold bauble onto a christmas tree

Gift Buying

When it comes to present buying, it really is never too early to start. Some people are organised enough that they buy the bulk of their Christmas’s gifts in the January sales for the following Christmas, while others leave it to the very last minute, trying to grab what they can from the rapidly emptying shelves in late December. Ideally, you should start looking for inspiration around the middle of September and begin with drawing up a list of everyone you need to buy for, not forgetting the office Secret Santa.

If you’re a working professional and don’t have the time to go shopping during the week, get online and start browsing some of your favourite online retailers in your lunch break. They will often have recommendations for gifts that may spark some ideas.

If you have children, take them shopping with you at the weekend and take note of where their little eyes wander. Chances are they will drop not-so-subtle hints as you walk past toys and gadgets that take their fancy. Make a note on your phone of all these moments to help compile that Christmas list. Or you could even ask them to send you links online to what they want; kids are so tech savvy these days they might even do a better job of navigating those online shops than you.

One top tip for present gathering is to make a list of what you’ve bought for who as you’re going along – not only does it make things easier come wrapping time, but if you hang onto the list, you know you won’t be at risk of buying someone the same thing again next Christmas.

 

Card Writing

Despite email and instant messaging, many people still want to write, send and receive physical Christmas cards. It’s a lovely tradition that may be one of the only times you contact that distant cousin or that old University friend of yours.

If sending cards is for you, the first thing you need to do is check those all-important postal dates.

For international post, the dates vary widely, from dates as early as September all the way to mid-December, depending on the destination. Check the Royal Mail website for a comprehensive list of all countries and prioritise your international letters first. It helps to draw up a list of everyone you’re sending cards to, to avoid missing anyone.

Alternatively, it can be a nice idea to save the money you would have spent on cards and instead donate it to a charity of your choice. A first-class stamp is around 67p, if you were to send out 50 cards, you would end up spending £33.50! Which doesn’t even include the cost of the Christmas cards themselves. Consider a festive email card for people like your work colleagues; they’re just as merry, and you’ll be able to do some real good with the money you save.

A strong with red pegs holding red and white christmas cards

Getting Away

Sometimes getting away from the day-to-day planning for Christmas can be a great way to unwind and enjoy some of the festive cheer. If you’ve got the cash to spare and some holiday time to take, German Christmas markets can be a lovely way to get into the Christmas spirit – Nuremberg is famed for its Christmas market, but Berlin and Dresden are also excellent choices.

Copenhagen is another great Christmas destination if you want a winter wonderland, or you could really push the boat out and take a trip to New York to see the incredible show they put on around this time of the year. A mini break is a great chance to escape the office and get some shopping done.

If you are planning a getaway then you need to book well in advance or the fares will skyrocket and availability will go down, so get searching in September or early October to avoid disappointment.

 

Stress-free Cooking

We all put so much pressure on ourselves to make the big Christmas dinner a showstopper. Let’s face it, by the time you’ve panic-bought all that food (and it’s always too much) and slaved away in the kitchen (when you should be having fun), you’re probably in no fit state to enjoy it. Christmas should be about spending time with your family, not getting hot and flustered making bread sauce and your own Yorkshire puddings.

If you’re too busy with work, cut a few corners and take some of the stress out – order online for home delivery, and remember that frozen roast potatoes and cranberry sauce from a jar are just as good. Nobody should be expected to produce a home-made black forest gateau at the drop of a hat. Treat yourself to an upmarket supermarket dessert. The kids aren’t going to notice the food’s not home-made, and if any guests pass comment, then you know not to invite them next year.

Christmas should be a time to relax with family and maybe drink a little more than you should. Take some of the worry out by getting organised early, then you can enjoy the big day and leave the stress to Father Christmas.

Roasted turkey on Christmas Dinner styles dining table in front of christmas tree

Decorations

If your decorations have seen better days, it might be time to invest in some new ones. The major DIY stores will start to display their Christmas stock a good couple of months before the big day, and when it comes to decoration buying, it can be best to do it in person rather than rely on the internet. Sometimes the decorations which look nice online can look cheap and tacky once they arrive.

It’s always nice to have the office decked out at the beginning of December, so decide who on your team will be responsible for stringing up the tinsel. A sparkling tree with some baubles or some festive bunting certainly wouldn’t go amiss, either.

If you’ve got kids, decoration buying is all part of the build-up and fun. It can also be a good excuse to distract them with a little creative crafting, and home-made decorations almost always end up being the most treasured. You can take advantage of all the wonderful ideas and tutorials online to discover something that your children would love to make themselves. You could try getting them to craft tree ornaments from polymer clay, or use old jam jars, glitter and some glycerine to make their very own Christmas snow globes.

Finally, there’s the big one. It’s an age-old dilemma – real or artificial? Each family and each office has their own ‘tree traditions’. Artificial Christmas trees are of a much higher quality than they were even a handful of years ago, so if you can find a nice one, it can be reused for years to come.

For others, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the smell of fresh pine. The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (yes, that’s a thing) say you can buy your tree from the 1st December onwards and still have it looking lush and healthy throughout the festive season. However, don’t forget to keep it watered every day, to make sure the tree will dazzle beneath those fairy lights for many weeks to come.

Close up of Christmas Tree with silver decorations

At Planteria, we can take the stress out of your Christmas this year by doing all of your Christmas tree arrangements for you. Our complete commercial Christmas tree services have something suitable for any space, from smaller trees for offices, right through to show-stopping centrepieces perfect for hotels, bars and large reception areas. We have a wide range of colours to choose from, real or artificial, undecorated, with lights only or fully decorated if you like. Additional extras include presents under the tree and artificial garlands and wreaths, created in our standard tree colour choices. When the festivities are over, you can even arrange to have us collect your tree after Christmas; it’s all included in our fantastic service.

Get in touch with Planteria today to find out how we can meet your needs this Christmas.


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Bee Aware

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Bees have been getting quite a lot of ‘air-time’ of late, but for all the wrong reasons. They are in danger.

 

Bee populations are declining

Since 2010, there has been a 45% decline in the number of commercial honey bees. Pesticides play a large part, but agricultural techniques have changed too over the decades, with an emphasis on increasing productivity which has meant a loss of the bees’ natural habitat as wildflowers have disappeared from our countryside. It has been estimated that we have lost 97% of our flower-rich grassland since the 1930s.

Just why is this so important?
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It’s estimated that one third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination, mainly by bees. These crops include, vegetables, rapeseed and sunflowers as well as cocoa beans, tea and coffee. Crops used to feed livestock also rely on that same pollination.

It’s not just food crops that the bees play a huge part in, cotton crops rely on bee pollination too. The annual global cotton crop is estimated to be worth $170bn.

 

So what can we do about it?

On an individual level you can include bee friendly planting into your own garden, balcony or window boxes. In the UK alone, domestic gardens cover over one million acres.

  • Think about adding bee boxes for them to nest.
  • Bees love flowering plants which are rich in pollen and nectar.
  • Lavender is an easy to care for option that bees love.
  • Avoid using pesticides, especially ‘bug killing’ sprays.

Wildflowers are important for bees, so why not allow a space in your garden to let things run a little wild, and encourage bees and other insects for flourish?

At Planteria we use flowering bedding plants for our client’s outside spaces, and we are fans of including lavender for its attractive colour and fragrance as well as its bee-friendly factor. We also grow sedum for green roofs, the bee’s just can’t resist it, so it makes a perfect green roof for city locations which are so often lacking in natural bee habitats.

Go to http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/why-bees-need-help/ for more information and to find out what else you can do.


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4 Tips to Boost Morale

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Four Simple & Inexpensive Ways to Improve Morale in Your Workplace:

by Chloe Pooley @ Liquidline

Making a good impression on behalf of your company doesn’t just revolve around your attitude towards staff and clients, but more so on how you present your business. Presenting your office well is one of the most forgotten about issues when managing a company and it’s rather easy to slip up, ending up with an office with mess here there and everywhere. Everything right down to how your office looks can affect the morale given off in the workplace which can even start to have an impact on your clients. There is nothing like a good first impression, so here are four simple ways you can implement today in which you can help to improve morale throughout the workplace for both employees and clients.

 

Offer Fresh Coffee Straight From Your Office

Everyone loves real coffee. There’s nothing better than waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee, so don’t make your employees even more stressed in a queue for Costa, bring the coffee right to your office, bean to cup, with a commercial coffee machine. As well as treating your employees, clients can also benefit from this, because who doesn’t love an impromptu cup of fresh coffee throughout the day? This is definitely one of the most simple, yet most important features that you can add to your office, and you’ll be surprised at the rewards it brings.

 

Bring the Outdoors Indoors

There is something truly pleasant and pleasing about a fresh bunch of flowers for offices. If your employees are working long hours, various fresh plants displays or flowers arrangements dotted throughout the office can definitely help boost morale and productivity. Just having an injection of colour and the fresh enticing smell of fresh flowers is sure to brighten moods; as well as transforming a clinical office into something much more welcoming and potentially inspiring. Flowers will also help promote an appealing image for your company and brand, so there are benefits to be had internally and externally when considering corporate horticulture.  . Make it even easier for yourself by having flowers delivered fresh every week and plants maintained and service.

 

Keep Clutter to a Minimum

Messy employees? It’s easy to let standards slip when many people spend almost as much awake time in the office as they do at home. But not only does an untidy office impact the positivity of your staff, it will also look unsightly to clients coming into the office. Encourage your employees to cleanse and purge! A clutter-free area is proven to be good for you and tidying can even be therapeutic which can work as a morale booster in itself.

 

Welcome Ideas From Your Staff

Make yourself welcome to suggestions about how you can improve the morale across the workplace from your staff and even clients. After all, if you don’t actually know what is lowering the morale in the first place, then how will you fix it? But don’t just ask, start to implement these ideas!

What will you be doing to boost the moral in your workplace?

This blog post has been contributed by Liquidline, our suppliers for delicious coffee.


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Celebrating National Parks Week

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There are many things associated with the UK: tea that solves a multitude of ills, rain that never ceases and queuing that is a national sport in itself. Yet this sceptered isle is also renowned for its green spaces and as such boasts an astonishing fifteen National Parks across the nation.

This month, a week-long calendar of events is taking place to celebrate our National Parks and encourage us to get out and explore them.

From Sunday 22nd to Sunday 29th July a range of activities that the whole family can get involved in will be taking place up and down the country and here  at Planteria Group we take a look at what’s going on and why you should get involved.

 

A Walk on the Wildside

Amongst the many studies that support the theory of the benefits that nature has on our mental health as well as our physical well-being, there is increasing focus on how interaction with animals influences this too.

With that in mind, the wildlife-friendly events organised as part of this week-long festival provide the perfect opportunity to get involved.

If you’re local to Exmoor, why not join the Evening Deer Search for a two-hour walk over three miles looking for the Red Deer at the Exmoor National Park on Tuesday 24th July starting at 7pm? Naturally shy beasts, it might be worth taking binoculars to ensure you catch a glimpse, but no dogs please!

A herd of red deer in a field, there is a tree in the background and a stag is looking up towards the camera

Earlier on in the same day, the Yorkshire Dales National Park hosts a Secret Squirrel event in which a specialist guide will show you how to look for the squirrels and other wildlife that make the peaceful woods their home. Being a gentle afternoon stroll covering just a mile and a half, this is an ideal event for young and old alike.

 

Treasure Hunters

A fantastic family event takes place on the Thursday of National Parks Week on the Cleveland Way National Trail, part of the North York Moors National Park. Taking around two hours to complete and costing five pounds per family, this fun Geocaching activity involves using a GPS unit provided as part of the event to locate clues that have been hidden in boxes. What’s more, as long as your dogs are on a short lead, they are welcome to help sniff out the clues!

The little ones can take charge with the Young Explorers Smugglers’ Treasure Hunt – with one nearly every day of the event – and use their smugglers’ map to search for hidden treasure, meeting at the Danby centre.

Two young girls cuddling and looking happy infront of rock wall and fallen leaves in a national park

 

Getting Active

If you fancy something more physical, the Run ‘n’ Park event at Balloch on Saturday 28th July might just be for you; with a 2k and a 5k course marked out taking in the stunning, iconic views of Loch Lomond and with no official recording of times, you can take this event at your own pace and enjoy the great outdoors.

The kids can get involved at the New Forest National Park on each day of the festival on the Holiday Adventure Days. With activities throughout the whole day that they can enjoy, you can guarantee they’ll have a good night’s sleep after all that fun.

 

Getting Crafty

If you’re more of a hands-on type of person, there are plenty of great events for you to take advantage of. From dry-stone walling, letter-carving and archery to machine embroidery, there’s plenty of opportunity to learn a new skill in beautiful outdoor settings. Take a look at  the diary of events to find an activity near you.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for an official week of events to enjoy our National Parks – nor are you only restricted to visiting a National Park to reap the benefits of spending time outdoors amongst nature.

Dr Andrea Mechelli of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at Kings College London, acknowledges that whilst it has long been understood that there is a positive link between contact with nature and health – in particular mental health – the lack of ability to gather qualitative data has led to little compelling evidence to support this.

With this in mind, he collaborated with the developers of an app called Urban Mind which tracked users’ movements through mobile devices and randomly asked them questions about their feelings and their immediate environment.

hands holidng ipad showing graphs

The findings were quite staggering, including not only demonstrating this positive link between the outdoors and health but also providing surprising but measurable results in terms of the length of time these positive effects lasted. He found, for example, that a single exposure to nature such as a walk or even time spent in a garden can have beneficial effects lasting up to seven hours.

Woman happily posing for camera holding fallen autumn leaves in what looks like a national park

Additional studies have shown how incorporating a green outdoor space in other settings, such as hospitals and care homes, has had a positive influence on successful outcomes for patients in relation to aiding their ultimate recovery in the case of the former and their improved well-being whilst being cared for in both circumstances.

So, the recent trend for providing an outdoor space in unexpected locations such as offices has been shown to be more than just improving the aesthetics; it can actually have a beneficial emotional impact on employees that can last a whole working day in addition to creating a pleasant environment to take a break and enjoy the visual stimulation, access to vitamin D and peace quiet from the humdrum of an office.

a group of people around meeting table looking happy, there are 3 women and two men, the women and one of the men are looking at the second man who has his side to the camera

Additionally, these spaces provide an easy talking point that enables colleagues to engage with each other naturally thus improving relationships, whilst also providing handy sustenance and shelter for local wildlife.

The good news is that you don’t have to find the room to recreate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in order to do this; any amount of space can accommodate an element of nature, from a small collection of pots planted up with flowers, a green ‘living wall’ to a roof garden hosting low-maintenance plants such as lavenders and other scented butterfly attracting plants.

Here at Planteria Group, we specialise in Corporate Floristry to help organisations to provide green spaces for the benefit both of their employees and their customers so to see how we could help you bring nature closer to home – or rather the workplace – get in touch with us.


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Core Values Demonstrated with a Smile

Smart New Uniforms Bring a Smile

At Planteria Group we are proud of our core values and our big smiles which drive our approach to providing you with reliable quality service and the most stunning planting & floristry services you’ll find in the UK. We believe that with great values comes great service.

As a family-run business for the past 40 years we hold our values close to our hearts, and believe that this is one (very important) thing that makes us stand above other companies out there. Our values embody our personality and our dedication to service whilst shaping every aspect of our business to ensure we always give our best.

 

Outlined below are our principle values:

– Integrity

– Dedicated to Care

– Always Smart

– Committed to Excellence

– Relentless to Improve

 

Integrity – Our business was founded on integrity from day one and we continue to do what is right, acting responsibly and always following through on our commitments. We are honest and hard-working and will always work to achieve the high standards you have come to expect.

Dedicated to Care – we are in the business of nurturing and nothing feels better than the sense of achievement that comes with a job well done. There’s nothing we can’t handle and we thrive on attention to detail from the initial consultation through to the design process, planting and after-care maintenance. Nurturing plants, flowers and clients since 1977 – that’s something we are quite proud to announce!

Always Smart – Image isn’t everything but it is a big part of good business and it goes a long way in promoting loyalty & professionalism. Whether you visit us at our head office or if you use our services and view the results you will find us smart, tidy, professional and efficient.

Committed to Excellence – Anything less is not an option. We won’t settle for second-best and nor should you. We believe a job is only worth doing if it is done properly and professionally. All of our staff receive rigorous training and everyone at Planteria Group is an expert in their own field giving you the best possible experience.

Relentless to Improve – We are constantly challenging our designers and pushing boundaries above and beyond industry standards, driving innovation, design and execution of our services. We continue to explore and innovate using new concepts and technologies bringing you the best possible results.

Whether you’re a new client or an existing client (or perhaps a future client) we are confident that you will love our services and the benefits they bring to your business.

If you’d like further information about what we can do for your business or workspace, please contact us or request a FREE QUOTE online.

Planteria Group provides stunning planting & floristry for businesses & offices since 1977. Not only attractive to the eyes but other health benefits of greening your space include cleaner air, increased productivity & creativity as well as reducing stress & sickness creating an overall happier place to be. Interior & Exterior planting & flower designs available.


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In Safe Hands Across The UK

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Proud to be a national provider of corporate planting and floristry services

We often tell our clients that we are a National Provider and we do so with some pride, but why does that matter, who does it matter to and what does it really mean?

We are currently 65 staff strong including a team of 31 technicians and florists covering 1700 client sites for both planting and floristry services. We cover the whole of the UK which currently means Dundee to Exeter, though we’ll happily go further.

Our technicians are directly employed by us, they are not contractors. We see this as important to providing the very best service and accountability to our clients. Our team receive full in-house training working to the Planteria standard.

We have long lasting relationships with our technicians who are part of the Planteria family. Many of our technicians hold long service awards with Planteria, for more than five years continuous employment, and the majority have impressive knowledge of, and experience in the horticulture industry. One has even published a book on the subject.

Our technicians are the face of Planteria Group and we know that they, in turn, build lasting relationships with our clients who sing their praises, some have also won industry recognised awards for their work. Furthermore, our team are incentivised on a customer feedback score. We use a tried and tested scoring system, the Net Promoter Score -read more about it here NPS and customer service.

Many of our clients have multiple sites. For them, having one provider for plants and plant maintenance is a sensible move. The benefits include having one point of contact and having one invoice if required. We provide them with a client web portal to view visits to all sites in one place. They also get consistent maintenance and consistent plant designs and styles, if that is something that is important to them. We take the time to understand our clients, who conversely could have a completely different requirement for corporate planting and floristry at each location and need a bespoke approach. Consolidation of contracts eases admin, simplifies life and creates cost savings.

To mention just a few examples, we are currently serving 57 locations for a well-known brewery, 12 locations for a luxury hotel chain, 66 client locations for a leading Facilities Management Company and 25 buildings for a property management company with our services for plants and flowers.

What can we do for you? – Please get in touch with us for a free quotation or when you are next putting your contract out to tender.

Contact us today.


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The Business Case for Celebration

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We’ve all been through a lot this year, Brexit, financial instability on the markets, turbulent politics at home and outside the UK. In true British style when the going gets tough the tough find everything they can to celebrate and be positive about.

If this seems a trivial thing, or superfluous to business requirements, it might be time to take a fresh approach and see what benefits can be brought to you by finding opportunities to celebrate.

You only have to look back a short way in history to be inspired by the famous ‘Blitz spirit’ Londoner’s displayed in the second world war, to see that this attitude is a winning formula. When the chips were down and the City was being destroyed around them, Londoner’s pulled together, they soldiered on and they found time to gather together to sing and celebrate small things. We can’t compare our current situation to the adversity of war-time London, but we can take a lesson from their attitude.

You’ve heard the expression ‘work hard and play hard’ this is a key part of building passionate, productive and resilient teams. If you’ve set targets and worked hard to achieve them, taking the time to celebrate is imperative. Recognising and celebrating when you reach your goals, or even smaller goals on the path to the final destination makes the effort worthwhile and reinforces the satisfaction of achievement. Take time out to applaud the efforts of all concerned with a meal, a reward or recognition event.

Here are some really good reasons why you should celebrate your successes:

A happy workplace brings better results for companies and individuals and is cited as a main reason for staff retention.

Celebrating with your team increases bonding and builds teams that work better together.

Celebrating success reminds the team of why you set the goal in the first place and spurs your team on to greater achievements.

Ironically sometimes even celebrating failure can be a key to success. Read how Spotify celebrated an unsuccessful experiment, and how not sweeping the results under the rug, but discussing it openly, created a win.

A great chance is coming your way, Christmas is fast-approaching, so why not plan an up-beat end to the year? Decorate your office, with Christmas Trees, wreaths and garlands. Push the boat out and plan a Christmas Party, Secret Santa draw, or festive drinks? Show your appreciation to your team for their efforts over the year, and use it as a perfect opportunity for some team-building.

With the lines between work and life blurring and the fact that we are often spending more time with our colleagues than our family members it’s important to create a more relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. To quote Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson “A business has to be involving it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts”.

‘Tis the season for goodwill to all men. So let it work for you and give you an excellent reason to end on a high note. Celebrate your collective successes, and spring-board your team into a positive and prosperous New Year.

Trees and decorations – let’s take care of that part for you!


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Press Release: Planteria Group Acquires Jungleworld

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Planteria Group Acquires Jungleworld

In a move that makes them one of the largest privately-owned plant services companies in the UK.

Planteria Group, nationwide corporate planting and floristry experts, and provider to the FM industry,has acquired competitor Jungleworld, a specialist in the hospitality floristry sector. Both companies have a wealth of experience and a strong client base, which will combine to greatly benefit both customers and companies.

Family run Planteria Group established in 1977, made the strategic decision to buy Jungleworld. Planteria’s Managing Director Matt Anderson said, “The acquisition complements Planteria Group’s current operations, increasing our staff by 20% at our head office near Stansted with easy transport links across the UK. The move allows for an increased offering geographically for our floristry services, strengthens our buying power and sees us increasing our presence in the hospitality market sector. The coming together of the two companies has been seamless, we purchased our head office in 1996, with ambitious stretch goals in mind and had ample space for the expansion of our business.”

Both companies will run under their existing names for the current time.


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GOSH Fundraising Donation

gosh fundraising donation

Fundraising through charity events at our office is one of the ways that we work together to support those in need. Most recently, we supported Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children with a bake sale, raffle and table tennis tournament.

Following our fundraising event and after counting all of the donations, we were incredibly honoured to see the grand total of £700 on an offical cheque to GOSH. Matt Anderson, Managing Director of Planteria Group presented the cheque in person at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Our donation helps seriously ill children and their familes when they need it most. Donations can help contribute to the building and refurbishment of the hospital, support ground-breaking research and development of new treatments, fund the most up-to-date equipment and also provide support and accommodation to children and families in need. We are proud to support Great Ormond Street Hospital and the excellent and meaningful work they do.

Each quarter our employees help select a meaningful charity to support and we work together to plan events and make donations that make a difference. This quarter we will be supporting Meningitis Now, a charity that is close to the hearts of our employees.


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NPS & The Importance of Customer Service

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‘Our customers are at the heart of all we do. We enjoy the feel good factor and sense of achievement in a job well done and we like to think there is no circumstance that we cannot handle.’

‘Nurturing is natural to us: plants, flowers, clients. It’s all in the attention to detail. This is why people who choose Planteria, stay with Planteria.’

This is reflected not only in our core values but also in the care we offer to all of our clients no matter how large or small, new or old. We always strive to go above and beyond what is expected and we’re so committed to excellence that we select a number of clients each week and ask directly for feedback.

At Planteria, we measure our performance using a simple, non-biased survey to measure customer satisfaction and also understand whether our clients like us enough to recommend us to others. This is pretty powerful stuff.

Our customer satisfaction is measured with something called Net Promoter Score®, or NPS® for short.

NPS measures customer experience and also reveals how likely our clients are to suggest our services to others. This proven metric provides the core measurement for customer experience and the surveys are not only straightforward, they are also easy to understand and complete without taking too much time from our clients.

The most important question asked is: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company’s product and services to a friend or colleague?”

In other words, the question asks what is the likelihood of promotion? As such, the question not only gives an indication of customer satisfaction with the brand, but also the level of customer loyalty.

Respondents answer by choosing a number from 0-10, with 10 being the most likely to recommend.nps benchmark formula

Depending on the score our customers give, they are then classified as promoters (score 9-10), passives (score 7-8) and detractors (score 0-6).

The scores from all customers are then aggregated into one single number, which is our overall Net Promoter Score. Here’s the formula for calculating the NPS score:

NPS = (% of Promoters) – (% of Detractors)

NPS score can range from -100—if all customers are Detractors—to 100—if all customers are Promoters.

So why do we care about this so much? According to npsbenchmarks.com, the key benefits of NPS are:

· NPS scores can be used as a predictor of future customer actions

· Higher response rate due to the simplicity of the survey

· Ease of use – NPS practitioners can conduct the survey via various channels – phone, SMS, or Web.

· Quick follow-up – NPS practitioners can quickly share the customer feedback with frontline employees or managers, who can follow up with detractors and address their concerns. LEGO®, for example, address low NPS feedback in as little as 24 minutes.

At Planteria Group, our current NPS Score is 65 and we are proud to be in the top percentage of companies with strong customer loyalty. (Update: as of September 2017 our latest NPS score was an impressive 91).

For comparison, below is a snapshot of NPS scores from other companies you may be familiar with. Planteria Group rank exceptionally well by comparison. (Below data correct at time of publishing.)nps benchmarksAnd for comparison by industry, it’s nice to see that we are well above the various averages shown below:nps benchmarks(Above data correct at time of publishing July 2017)

Although our NPS scores are incredibly valuable, perhaps the most valuable aspect of the NPS surveys is the written feedback we receive from our clients. It’s hugely beneficial and rewarding to see the positive feedback and if ever there is a problem or a comment that strikes us as needing attention we can quickly respond.

Planteria Group are committed to excellence. Anything less is not an option. We believe a job is only worth doing if it’s done properly. We employ rigorous training and procedures to ensure everyone at Planteria is an expert in their field. This culture of excellence ensures our clients are consistently satisfied.

In addition to our commitment to excellence, we are also relentless to improve. We love to challenge the status quo and constantly push the boundaries of industry standards. We explore and innovate to discover new concepts, and diligently fight the resistance to change. This forward-looking, enthusiastic approach keeps us ahead of the game.

Image credits: all visual charts shown come from npsbenchmarks.com


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Planteria’s Superhero

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We have a fantastic team of technicians at Planteria, who deliver and maintain plants and flowers for our clients. But there is a special role that one man has… Tom Evans our ‘superhero’ dons his cape whenever there is a cry for help.

Tom has his own regular clients, who he visits for routine maintenance of their plants and flowers but, should there ever be an issue requiring a non-routine solution, it’s Tom who is sent to save the day!

Thankfully, Tom only needs to be a part-time superhero, but there are occasions when a plant fails, or an installation needs rescuing. We talked to Tom to find out more about his role and how fulfilling it is helping us to keep our clients happy.

 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself?

A: I have now been with Planteria for over 10 years. It’s been a rewarding experience from day one. The old greenhouses at Chigwell were great for me (having been brought up in a flower shop as a child) but the new greenhouses at Henham are truly fantastic.

 

Q: As a fully trained and experienced florist and plant technician you’re capable of dealing with anything the job throws at you, what do you enjoy about the role?

A: Working with nature every day for me is fulfilling and I do enjoy solving problems for our clients. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the client, understand their issues and put things right. As the trouble-shooter I get to meet so many more customers than I did before I took on the role. I like to resolve issues fast.

 

Q: You travel around London all the time, do you have any memorable moments?

A: I certainly see some interesting people driving around London every day. The most memorable were David Cameron jogging one morning in Mayfair, and being introduced to Yoko Ono (of The Beatles fame) at the Jet Centre as she was about to fly out of London.

 

Q: With customer service a key focus for Planteria, we aim to provide solutions to all queries as soon as practically possible. How does this affect you, and your day?

A: It’s been interesting to see how technology has helped improve everything for me in this regard. Communication at Planteria through the use of smart phones and the Protean system has been a game changer, we can deal with issues quickly and make our clients happy.

 

Q: What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in your role at Planteria?

A: Early one morning I was busy tending plants in an empty office room. Behind me I could hear an employee enter and strike up a conversation.

Client: Hi! How are you this morning?

Me: Great thanks. How was your weekend?

Client: I had a brilliant weekend thanks. We had a barbecue….blah blah

After a brief outline of their weekend and a few encouraging comments from me about the weather the conversation began making less and less sense. I turned around only to realise the client was on the phone to someone else! We were both in stitches after they hung up.


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