You don’t realize how closely you work together with your team every day until you suddenly have to do your jobs staying six feet apart.
COVID-19 has changed the way most of us, including the landscaping industry, do our jobs every day.
Here at Level Green Landscaping, we’re fortunate to be out on the job. There’s something steady and reassuring about mowing grass and maintaining properties for safety and security in this tumultuous time.
It’s been a logistical challenge to alter our workflow and procedures to maintain safe social distancing.
Here’s how we’re keeping our team members, our customers, and our community safe, both in our operations out in the field and at our main office.
Social Distancing Challenges in Operations
Landscaping operations often means multiple crew members riding together in trucks, workers switching from crew to crew, account managers taking customers out to lunch.
Not anymore, at least for a while.
Here’s how things work now:
Staying Safe on the Road
- We’re limiting the number of people riding in work trucks together. Employees who have transportation drive their own vehicles directly to job sites, rather than riding in trucks together. Level Green pays their mileage.
- Workers aren’t switching from crew to crew. Groups of workers remain the same each day, so they’re not coming into contact with different people day to day.
- Plastic sheeting now separates the front of our truck cabs from the back.
Keeping Safe in the Yard
- Our regular safety meetings still happen, but in smaller groups, so crew members can stand six feet apart while listening to important safety information.
- All operations managers don’t report to our yard at the beginning and end of the work day like they usually do. One manager per branch reports, limiting the number of people gathering in the yard at one time.
Social Distancing at the Office
- We typically have seven to 10 employees working on site in our administrative office, but we now limit that to two at a time, on a rotating schedule, while the others work from home.
- We’re not accepting any in-person job applications or deliveries.
- If a crew member needs a uniform, our staff leave it outside for pick up.
- We’re emailing invoices when possible, and encouraging our clients to move to digital invoices, to limit paper items customers have to touch.
- Everybody wears a company-provided protective face mask. No matter what.
- Operations managers do all their scheduling remotely, instead of lingering on job sites. Once they’ve checked in on site, they work on their laptops in their vehicles or from home.
- All meetings are digital and remote. We use GotoMeeting video conferencing, designed for business, which we believe has tighter security than some other platforms.
- If employees are sick, they stay home.
- Everybody stays at least six feet away from clients.
Keeping Everybody Safe
All of these measures are to keep not only our employees safe, but our customers and our community, too, says Level Green co-founder and managing member Doug Delano.
Account managers and business development managers were apprehensive at first about how to do their jobs while maintaining social distancing, he says, which typically involve lots of customer contact.
But virtual meetings, and, when necessary, on-site visits using PPE and social distancing are working, he says.
Doing business this way is more expensive, Delano says, from purchasing extra personal protection equipment to paying mileage for workers to report directly to job sites instead of riding together in company trucks.
“It’s important to keep our people safe, but also to keep our customers safe,” he says.
Cue the Technology
Level Green has been ahead of the curve in implementing technology that’s now coming in handy as employees work remotely using virtual platforms and specialized software, says Michael Mayberry, chief technical officer at Level Green.
“This pandemic is pushing society to really utilize our digital resources,” Mayberry says. While some landscaping companies struggle to adapt, Level Green was already tech savvy, he says — an advantage moving forward.
Flexibility is Key
We know that when our employees are working from home, they’re juggling a lot of responsibilities.
Some have children at home. Some have had to become at-home teachers.
That often means working different hours to accommodate all the challenges. That’s fine with us here at Level Green. Family comes first.
“It’s all more complicated now,” Delano says, “but we’re getting used to the new normal.”
Staying Safe: A Top Priority at Level Green
The many new safety measures we’ve added are designed to keep not just our employees safe, but our customers and our community, too.
If our crews are sick, they can’t serve our customers.
And we all want to do our part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online for a virtual meeting.
We’d love to hear from you.