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Employee Spotlight

Meet Lesley Kelly, Centre Manager at Pure Offices ‘The Bonds’  in Edinburgh

Lesley Kelly manages Pure Offices in the Leith area of Edinburgh.  We caught up with Lesley to learn more about her role and what makes her tick.


Employee Spotlight

Hi Lesley! What were you doing before running The Bonds in Leith?

I worked in a solicitors office for about 18 years then at a couple of taxi companies for around 14 years. My role at the first taxi company was much more customer service focused than the legal one; I was looking after a lot of their big clients.

I managed one of the satellite offices for the second taxi firm I worked for so when the job at Pure Offices came up I thought, ‘I can do that’ – with no real idea about what I was going to be doing! Once I’d read the description and spoken to Denise for my first phone interview I knew I really wanted the position.

That was just over five years ago and I have to say it’s been the best decision ever.

A centre manager’s role is super varied – is that one of your favourite things about it? 

Yes, I would say so.  I came in today and I knew we had to deal with a leak in one of the ladies toilets, then I had a viewing before travelling to Glasgow to see the Hillington Park office. This was a day that all went to plan – other days you can make a plan for the day and it just goes completely awry!

Our customers are also what makes the job so great. I know every centre manager probably says the same, but mine are the best!

The most amazing bunch of people work here, and it’s so diverse in terms of what they do. We have telecoms surveying, letting agents, a chiropractor, sports masseuse, care companies, design agencies, charities… you get a different perspective on every bit of life.

I love seeing the companies grow within the centre.  We’ve got one team who’ve been in Bonnington Bond for quite a few years and started in a small 2 person office.  Last year saw them move into the penthouse office in Sugar Bond.  It’s amazing watching occupiers go from strength to strength

Do you learn a lot about how different businesses work?

Yes, I’d probably do really well in a pub quiz right now! You pick up lots from everyone and start to understand how people tick. It’s the people part of it that I’d probably say I love the most because I’m very much a people person.

How busy is Bonnington Bond at the moment?

We’ve been really busy since the pandemic. It goes without saying that there’s a lot of hybrid working here. I find that Mondays and Fridays are quiet in the centre and the rest of the week tends to be quite busy.

I’m seeing more and more people desperate to get back to work in the office. Even though they don’t want to be here for a full week, they’re craving the social aspect of being in an office and chatting to people again.

We’re seeing a change in people’s idea of what a working week should look like.

There’s a noticeable uplift in everyone’s spirit because they know that they don’t have to be stuck in the office five days a week. We’ve got returning customers as well; people who gave up their offices when Covid hit but have come back because they need space and are tired of working at home.

What events do you run at the centre?

We try to run events on a monthly basis. This month one of our virtual clients who runs a HR company is going to be talking about equality in the workplace. Everyone can enjoy some coffee and cakes, and they can do a bit of networking afterwards. This type of event is really useful for our occupiers.

Then we do the bevvy. Myself and my assistant Hazel take turns organising the events; you always know I’ve organised it when there’s drink involved!

Events are a great way to get to know your clients. Everybody spends a lot of time in their office so it’s important to make the workplace experience as enjoyable as possible. It’s a shared space so you want everyone to get on with their neighbours.

We’ve managed to create a really nice atmosphere in the building.

How do you ‘sell’ your centre to prospective new customers? 

I talk to them about the social aspect and the people you meet within the building, as well as everything we can do for them.

I find out about their company and tell them positive stories about similar occupiers to get them excited about their business. Running a startup can be quite scary, so just having that all-inclusive monthly cost that we offer can make it much less so.

Have any of your customers collaborated with each other?

We’ve got a couple of graphic designers who have done work for other startups, whether it’s helping them with their website or producing content for social media. The chiropractor has a lot of clients within the building – everyone is walking around the building a little bit taller, including me! It’s great.

Work-life balance is so important: what do you like to do outside of work?

So my latest thing – which was a surprise to most people – is camping. I went last year for the first time and loved it, but I’m usually more of a high heels and lipstick person which is why everyone who knows me is surprised when I tell them.

I’m hoping to arrange another camping trip this year. I’m a fair weather camper though so I’ll have to wait for summer!

For more information on any of our Pure Offices centres, get in touch with our friendly team, who will be happy to help.