Remote control

Departments - Editor’s Insight

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August 31, 2020

As the country shut down in mid-March due to COVID-19, many companies were left scrambling and trying to figure out how to get work done outside of the office. Today, I’ve heard from a number of landscape contractors who are considering going remote or semi-remote permanently because the change has gone much better than they thought.

Landscape business owners are somewhat accustomed to having employees work remotely since crews are away from the office on jobsites all day. So, it’s not surprising that you are more open to remotely working than other industries.

Brian Horn, editor, Lawn & Landscape

I wonder how this change will affect the industry. We’ve heard from a number of landscapers who say homeowners with stable jobs requested spring clean-ups since they were spending more time at home noticing their yard could use some work.

While that could mean a big boost for the residential segment, as the workers remain at home, that means office space is vacant. Retail centers have already been beaten up with the rise of online shopping. Could that, coupled with an increased vacancy in office buildings, be a huge hit to commercial landscaping?

Maybe those buildings would eventually be torn down and the structures are replaced with lots of turf and trees, providing an abundance of greenspace for people to enjoy.

“Could that, coupled with an increased vacancy in office buildings, be a huge hit to commercial landscaping?"

OK, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

I’m skeptical that when we return to “normal,” business owners will be as open to permanent remote working. There will always be that need for face time and connecting with employees. Plus, Bob leaving himself on mute was funny the first 10 times it happened, but not so much the 11th.

Maybe the answer is a hybrid model that incorporates some flexibility – sometimes working from home, sometimes in the office. I’m interested to hear from you on what your plans are with remote working. How have you enjoyed the setup the past few months? What have you liked and what has driven you crazy?

Send me an email at the address above and I’ll share some responses in a future issue. – Brian Horn