Operating a landscape business during a pandemic

May 5, 2020

The Coronavirus Virus changes the way we operate our business

The Coronavirus threat has reminded us just how quickly things can change in our lives. At the beginning of March 2020, our company was preparing for a busy spring season and a significant year of growth and expansion of our company. By the end of that same month, we found ourselves operating in a very different environment. The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do business and forced us to take extraordinary measures to protect our employees, clients, and community while we continue to perform our essential duties. Our team has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to change and maintain a positive attitude throughout these challenging times.

Measures taken to protect employees and clients

By mid-March Puryear Farms formed a crisis management leadership team to deal with the emerging threat. In these biweekly meetings, the team evaluates the changing conditions and develops new policies and procedures to stay ahead of the situation. We implemented protocols regarding when an employee must stay home or self-quarantine. Big changes were made to our morning briefing, which used to include sixty people in our main training room. Now we meet outside, dispersed into smaller groups so that people remained six feet apart and minimize the threat of crossing paths. Additionally, we have staggered the start times of our crews so that we minimize the number of people gathered at any time. We shut down the ice machine and packed away the crew water coolers. Additionally, we provided employees with personal one gallon coolers and hand sanitizer. For the first time, we purchased hand sanitizer in five gallon buckets! We provided face coverings as well as training regarding proper social distancing. Our staff increased the frequency of cleaning our facilities from once every two weeks to twice per week and we began disinfecting company vehicles and equipment on a daily basis. Ultimately, the safety of our employees and our clients is the most important concern in any decision we make.

Brighter days ahead

The term “Brighter days ahead” is very applicable to our industry. As landscape professionals, we are very fortunate to work outside in the fresh air. There is strong evidence that U.V. light and warm humid conditions are a natural disinfectant against the virus. Every spring, our employees must acclimate themselves to the intense heat and humidity here in the South. This year, we eagerly look forward to those brighter, and warmer, days of summer. We are all thankful for the opportunity to work outdoors. Eventually we will put all of this behind us. However, we have also learned a lot from this experience here at Puryear Farms and we will keep some of the changes we have made.