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How our green fingered landscaping helps our customers work smarter

How our green fingered landscaping helps our customers work smarter
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How our green fingered landscaping helps our customers work smarter
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

The right working environment is essential to help companies work productively, with the outside environment being just as important as the office, workshop or studio where you spend most of your business day.  Maintaining attractive landscaping at our eight CapitalSpace business centres in Kent, Surrey, Essex and Bucks is something of a Forth Bridge project, so we caught up with Sue Billings, centre manager at Churchill Square Kings Hill, to find out how it’s managed.  

Why is landscaping important?

Soft landscaping with trees, shrubs, plants and grass can have a really positive effect on many levels.  For those working in a busy environment just looking out and seeing green areas can promote relaxation and a feeling of wellbeing whilst the planting also helps preserve nature, provides aesthetic enjoyment and is a shared resource for meeting people or recreational pursuits.

We find customers love taking a few minutes away from their busy desks to sit on the benches amongst the trees in a tranquil setting before facing their next work challenge.  In the summer we find the picnic benches are busy with people socialising over their lunch time.

How do you prioritise which parts of landscaping to tackle next?

Our landscaping contractor has a schedule of works according to the season, for example regular grass cutting throughout the summer replaced by pruning and mulching later in the year.  We do regular walk rounds with the contractor to see how everything is growing and identify things we want to improve or change.  For example, this year we found several shrubs in a particular area were not growing well compared to others so we had a soil improvement regime in that location.  We keep a photographic record of all the areas needing attention and the groundsman has this along with the report of things to do so we can compare how it looks at the next walk around.

What can be the most challenging procedure when it comes to landscaping?

Dealing with a lack of rainfall and the very hot summers over the last few years has meant new trees and shrubs have needed more attention than normal.  Whilst grass is relatively hardy, some of the new trees we planted a few years ago struggled in the near-drought conditions.  We also consider the impact of maintenance work on the birds and other animals, such as squirrels, and do not want to disturb them during the nesting season.

How do you choose your contractors?

As with any contractor who works for our company, we are rigorous in checking a potential supplier has the skills, knowledge and experience at the right price for a service.  Our tender process includes taking up references and, where possible, going to see a supplier’s work, which is particularly easy when it comes to checking the quality of landscape contractors.

How do you minimise the disruption to clients?

Inevitably some aspects of landscape maintenance can be noisy if you are using machinery, for example ride-on mowers. Our contractors try to schedule intrusive works early in the mornings or if possible over a weekend.  Where works do need to take place during a week day, the aim is to do it quickly and efficiently so the disruption is kept to a minimum.

Working in an attractive setting also helps create a great first impression for our customers with their clients, suppliers and partners – yet another way that CapitalSpace invests in our customers’ business success.

To find out how Capital Space business premises could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667