World FM Day 2018: Enabling Positive Experiences

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It’s #WorldFMDay – Hurrah! We’re joining in the celebrations and recognition of Facilities Management (FM) people and projects that enable positive experiences. Some of our biggest clients are FM companies and BIFM members, so we know a thing or two about helping get things right for you and your clients.

In today’s world our cities are so built up and our environments often claustrophobic and bland so it’s more important than ever that we work together to create welcoming, feel-good spaces to enable businesses (and people) to thrive.

What could be more suitable than floristry and green planting to bring positive changes to the built environment?   Planteria Group has 40 years of experience working with FM companies providing planting and floristry services to suit your budget.  Even if you’re already working with another planting provider, we’re confident we can go above and beyond to meet your requirements.  If you’re considering us, why not request a no-obligation free quote?

 

5 Positive Benefits of Planting for the Built Environment:

1) Soften the interior and/or exterior of your business, providing psychological benefits such as positive effects on reducing stress and promoting health and well-being. As humans we have an innate desire to be connected to nature, also known as biophilia, and it seems we have lost much of this ability to be in the natural world as our cities and work environments have become absorbed by the concrete jungle. By adding a variety of plants and flowers for businesses we suddenly bring back a part of the nature that we crave.

2) Increase productivity, creativity and happiness. It is proven that a vibrant, welcoming environment has positive effects on the speed at which we work and improves mood. Studies show that employees who are exposed to plants within the workplace, actively engage with their surroundings, are more productive and have a more positive outlook at work.

3) Make spaces more welcoming and inviting for employees, visitors and clients. Having a space that is pleasant to be in and beckons to visitors has a positive effect on businesses and improves perception of their image. Plants and flowers bring life to a space and boosts eco-credentials too.

4) Improve air quality and reduce allergens by cleansing the air. As shown in NASA’s Clean Air Study, plants provide a natural way of removing toxins from the air and also reduces the presence of aggravating allergens. NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.

5) Reduce sickness and absence at work. Combining all of the points above results in reduced illness and time away from work, increasing the overall effectiveness of businesses and staff wellbeing. One of the most common illnesses in today’s workplace is Sick Building Syndrome which is often linked to poor air quality and indoor air circulation which can easily be combated with a variety of planting solutions.

A recent Norwegian research study tested what happened when plants were placed into and then removed from offices. When plants were present headaches, coughs, sore throats, fatigue and dry skin all reduced. Several similar studies around the world have found similar results:

  • Absenteeism reduced by 30%+
  • Minor illnesses reduced by up to 30%
  • Dry skin reduced by up to 20%
  • Coughing reduced by up 37% due to improved air quality

Interested in how we can offer similar improvements for you?

Have a look at some of our Creative Planting Innovations & our Nationwide Orchid Delivery Service.

Contact Us Today or Request a Free Online Quote.

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Women in Facilities Management – Planteria’s Plant Technicians

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International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. So how is our industry doing in terms of inclusion of women? Planteria has been in operation for over 40 years, and our first female technician joined the workforce in 2013. Women now make up 33% of the technician workforce. I caught up with three of our plant technicians Catie Scott, Carol Nelson and Laura Kearsey to hear their views and insights on working in the Facilities Management and Horticultural industry, to find out what changes they have seen over the past few years and what they think about their role.

Carol has been working in the horticultural industry since 1992 and has been a technician for almost 20 years. What she most enjoys about her job is the freedom and the travel “ I love the freedom and responsibility, it’s my job to keep the customer happy and get the best out of the plant displays. I feel supported and encouraged by Planteria, it makes me want to do my best. I feel a valued member of the team and I’m proud to work with a company with such honesty and integrity “ says Carol. “My training has been gained on the job and through experience”. Carol has worked for several planting companies and in her experience has found more women in this industry than men. She has found that men have tended to do more of the large-scale jobs for example shopping centres, ladder work, fixtures and trees. But, she has been instrumental in changing this, involving more women in doing the outside work including fixture beds and training on tree loppers etc.

Laura Kearsey started working as a technician 15 years ago in a garden centre and training was on the job shadowing watching and wanting to know more. In her opinion, she has found that men and women have been always treated equally working in this field. She has faced no barriers to her role from being female the only comment is that the uniform manufacturer should make a female uniform cut.

Laura says “I think women are expected to do a more hands-on role now, so the future can only get better for us all. What I like most about my job is that happy feeling I get at the end of each day, knowing I’ve made a difference to the environment for hundreds of office workers, even though most probably don’t realise how important plants are to them. Each day is different, meeting new people and visiting different sites, variety is the key”.

Catie Scott joined Planteria six months ago. She started her career in horticulture three years ago at a large independent garden centre. Catie has a BA degree in Fine Art and Sculpture and went on to complete a professional floristry course in New York, her passion for plants and flowers has grown since then. Catie says “I have experienced some clients commenting on the fact that I am a woman as they are so used to seeing men doing this job. I don’t think I have faced any barriers in this role because of my gender, I am a confident person and feel strongly about gender equality not just in this job but in life general, so I tend to carry myself with strength. I have had occasional varying comments, and looks which I have struck off, it’s not an issue which I take seriously enough to worry about. I think times are changing and equality between men and women is becoming more and more important, so I can only see things improving in regard to that. What I like most about my job is a sense of empowerment and responsibility. I love being in charge of my own sites and dealing with clients directly. The level of knowledge I have about plants is a huge plus for me in terms of that sense of responsibility, as I am confident to speak with people about what I am doing for their sites and why. I also love to be out and about, every day is different and that definitely keep things interesting for me”.

By Katie Le Chevalier

With thanks to Carol Nelson, Laura Kersey and Catie Scott.

Sustainability – what is it and why is it important?

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Sustainability is much more than a buzzword. While the use of the word has certainly increased in frequency, the concept itself is hardly new. An ecosystem, a lifestyle, or a community that is sustainable is one which supports itself and its surroundings.
Sustainability itself can be defined by three core elements:
• Environmental Protection
• Social Development
• Economic Development

Environmental Protection

Environmental protection entails examining how our use of the environment affects it, and how we can ensure that negative effects are minimised and behaviours that positively impact the environment are emphasised.

 

Social Development

Ensuring that human beings have access to basic resources, that their health is being protected, and that they enjoy a good quality of life within a sustainable environment is crucial.

 

Economic Development

Sustainability without economic development simply cannot succeed. In order to convince individuals, communities, and organisations to invest their resources in sustainability, there must be incentives above and beyond the long-term advantages.

 

Why is it so Important?

Sustainability is important for a very simple reason: we cannot maintain our quality of life or the Earth’s ecosystems unless we embrace it.

 

Sustainability in the Home

There are many different ways to support sustainability at home.

Recycle

Recycling should be something we’re all doing as a matter of course now. Recycling eases pressure on the world’s resources and the environment.

Growing Food

Giving up a portion of your garden to plant vegetables has become increasingly popular in recent years. Container gardens, which can be moved and easily swapped out, are another great choice.

Conserving Water

Choosing plants native to your area that have evolved to thrive under the naturally present conditions is one choice. You can also consider installing rain barrels, depending on your local regulations, or planting a “rain garden”—planting water-loving foliage in areas where water tends to gather, to allow it to be absorbed into the soil rather than running off into storm drains.

Use of Fertilizers, Pesticides, and Herbicides

The chemicals you use on your lawn matter, and not just to your grass. Using safer, organic alternatives can help you keep your landscaping looking lovely without polluting or endangering the ecosystem. Lawn and garden care chemicals can have lasting effects on plants, animals, and insects in your area, and can also have a negative impact on the water supply.

There are so many ways to embrace sustainability, we hope this blog has given you some ideas to get you started.

Operation Maximisation

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Operation – Maximisation!

A Facilities Manager may understand the phrase ‘squeezing a quart into a pint pot’ better than anyone else.

With office space, especially in City Centre locations at an all-time high, the careful planning and use of space is high on the agenda. In some areas of London rent per square foot is averaging £96.00.* Decisions about moving are not taken lightly and in times of growth, fitting more staff into your building can be like doing a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle, painstaking and complicated!

Modern-day Facilities Managers should perhaps be called ‘Workplace Managers’ as they now hold a much more holistic role, working closely with other senior colleagues to deliver a service to stakeholders that meet business objectives. It is no longer just about providing a safe, clean, fit-for-purpose environment where everything works well; it is now about providing competitive advantage, creating a strong brand image, employee engagement and retention. It is about corporate responsibility, green infrastructure, well-being and optimal productivity.

It has long been recognised that corporate planting is a key feature for the modern workplace. Whether that means roof terrace space, ‘Green Infrastructure’ to break up the concrete jungle of an inner-city location, or planting solutions for interiors to bring tranquillity and beauty inside. Corporate planting is no longer just a ‘nice to have’, it has become essential. Plants in the work place are proven to decrease stress levels, increase productivity, improve the aesthetic value of the environment, negate ‘sick building syndrome’ improving sickness absence rates, and improve air quality.

What is the answer then? How do you include plants into your office plan when there is no spare floor space?

Creative and innovative plant solutions are available. It’s time to think outside the proverbial box. Living walls bring a room to life and look stunning inside or out. Whole walls can be planted in striking colours and patterns, echoing your design theme or corporate logo.

On a smaller scale, plants become art inside the office. Don’t hang static two dimensional pictures, instead hang living pictures, elegant frames full of lush green planting. Living pictures can be used anywhere to add the wow factor and transform a boring office wall.

If you’re a Facilities Manager, I expect you know the location of every fire extinguisher in your building. Do your staff know where these are too? How about a planted fire-extinguisher stand as the perfect multi-tasking furniture. It’s completely functional and it also makes an attractive office feature. One would argue that it makes the office safer as everyone will take note of the location of your firefighting equipment!

We are all striving to be paper free, keeping the office uncluttered, but there will always be a need for storage in the office. Stationery supplies, documents and personal belongings must have a home. Sometimes cabinets can provide structure to an open plan office, sectioning off areas so teams can work in defined spaces. Cabinets can multi-task too. Cabinet top planting can be used effectively to soften clinical open plan offices, bringing lush colour and life in to an otherwise bland space with the added benefit that it stops the clutter of left-over snow-drifts of paper from the printer and abandoned coffee cups.

Looking for something completely different? Upside-down planters give a totally different perspective. Hanging from the ceiling, they take up no extra space but they do add a fun, fresh, modern look to your décor. Working well over desk space, or to accent your communal areas, perhaps over the breakfast bar or dining tables.

Now is the time to explore the myriad of possibilities and be open-minded about trying out some exciting new solutions in planting to improve your building. There’s so much choice it’s just a case of finding what works best for you.

Information source http://www.uncsbrp.org/officespace.htm – London’s Economic Plan.

 

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