Every month, we shine the spotlight on a member of our team to give you an insight into our people and culture.
Last time we sat down to chat with Port Solent’s Centre Manager, Julie Webber, and this month we caught up with Michael Murray who manages our Turnberry Park centre in Leeds.
Hi Michael! You haven’t always worked in the serviced office industry and you lived in London until fairly recently. How did you find yourself at Pure in Leeds?
I’m originally from West Yorkshire and trained as a chef for three years. I did two years at Wakefield College and within that time I travelled around the country for work placements, including one at Claridges.
I also worked on functions for Charles and Di when I was working for the Roux brothers. In my third year we took part in an industrial work experience placement in the south of France. That’s when I switched from being a chef to working front of house — I preferred the hours, for one!
As soon as I graduated I was offered a position with the Roux brothers in London. I worked with them for about eight years and gradually progressed within my career with different companies. I have always stuck to contract catering because the hours are so good, and weekends were free.
I did this for 26 years and lived in lots of different parts of London.
Then, a few years back, I found myself in a bit of a “groundhog day” situation. I wanted to change career and do something different, but it wasn’t really possible to change career with the commitments I had in London.
I’d been working closely with a facilities team for seven years and really enjoyed the work they did; looking after clients, managing aspects of the building — that kind of thing. So, I decided it was time to move back up to Yorkshire and spend some more time with my family.
I moved back two years ago, bought a house and project managed the renovation on it, which was a great experience. That took about a year then after that I started looking for a job. That’s when I was offered Maternity cover at Pure offices Turnberry Park.
It was quite out of the blue and not like anything I’d done before but was along the lines of what I wanted from a facilities point of view. I took the plunge and here I am a year later!
What do you enjoy most about your role at Pure Offices?
Every day is different. There’s always the set tasks that have to be completed, however there’s also a lot of variation. I have to be reactive and responsive to clients needs and requests.
My main priority is making sure my clients have that excellent experience every day.
My job involves communicating with people on so many different levels. Something that works for one client might not with another. You have to weigh it up as you go.
Are there any challenges in the role?
For me the initial challenge was selling the offices; it can be quite a difficult job. When I started and was doing viewings with Carla, I thought I’m not going to be able to do that.
But it just falls off the tongue now and it’s an aspect of the job that I really enjoy. There’s certainly nothing I don’t like about being at Pure.
Okay, we’re intrigued about your renovation…what’s it like?!
I like period properties with character. Aside from my first flat every property I’ve bought has been Victorian or Georgian. I like to strip the interiors back to make them modern but retain or add the original features back in.
For instance, my house in Yorkshire had Yorkshire stone fire surrounds which I ripped out and replaced with two original matching Victorian fireplaces to put the original character back into it.
Michael’s Victorian fireplace adds character to his property.
It’s become a bit of a joke with my friends that every time I’ve renovated the kitchen and bathroom I’ve sold the property. I’ve just finished the bathroom so I’m holding off on doing the kitchen at the moment!
Michael’s bathroom renovations: before, during and after.
I love the house and it’s nice to have a garden that I can potter around and switch off in. And I chat to my neighbours, which is something that never happened in London. I’m looking forward to spring and getting the garden started again.
I do still go back down to London to see friends but I spend a lot more time with my family now.
Do you have any Pure Offices plans in the pipeline?
I’ve just been offered a permanent position with Pure, so the role is quite fluid at the moment.
I’ll be doing two days here at Turnberry Park, three days at Thorpe Park. I’ll also be helping Denise Higgins with anything else as the business requires it.
Oh, and more networking to get the Pure Offices brand out there. It’s so crucial for growing businesses and really does work!