Meet Our Operations Manager – Ann Trueman
From welcoming in new tenants to overseeing workspace remodeling Ann Trueman, operations manager at StepSpace, has many hats to wear.
Today she tells us why she never gets bored in a role where no two days are the same.
StepSpace has had a busy first few months, what have been your highlights so far?
I’ve been here from the day one so I have had the privilege of experiencing all of the ‘big firsts’ at StepSpace. Officially launching the brand at Digital DNA and then seeing our first member company WhiteSpace settling in were two of the initial highlights for me when we opened our doors at the start of the Summer. More recently welcoming the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, to the space; for the launch of another of our member companies, PA Consulting, as they announced plans for 400 new jobs in Belfast was also a major high point.
Some exciting companies have joined as members, what has attracted them?
The companies we work with are ambitious and join the space with plans to growth quickly. We grow with our members and can convert 10 or 20 desk offices to a 30 to 50 desk workspaces in the space of a weekend; whether its more room for 5 new staff or 50 we can make it happen in 48 hours. Add to this the collaborative core at the heart StepSpace that gives our members all the benefits of a co-working space, combined with the private office privacy requirements of a scaling business and you can see why we’ve had such success to date.
What is driving forward such impressive growth in the tech and finance sectors in Northern Ireland at the moment?
Northern Ireland has a vibrant start-up scene with great support systems in place to bring fledgling ventures forward to scale-up stage. The work that Invest NI is doing to attract inward investment in these sectors has encouraged significant investment and job creation, plus Northern Ireland is becoming world renowned for our talented young population and work ethic.
What does an average day in StepSpace look like?
It’s a very friendly place to work. Our tenants are encouraged to treat the space like home and our communal kitchen and living area has brilliant breakout booths for morning cereal, coffees, meetings and downtime. We have meeting rooms and phone booths for greater privacy as well so if you need private time you’ve got it, for as long as you need it.
What is your favourite thing about life in StepSpace?
Seeing our tenants enjoying the space and showing new people around for the first time – they are always impressed! A huge amount of planning went into the design and finishing of the space because it had to be right from day one. All the research and tinkering towards the end paid off and it’s great to see it being used every day.
StepSpace has a great combination of private office space with a communal core – do you think it inspires a collaborative spirit between member companies?
Absolutely. Every day our tenants are speaking to each other, learning from each other and advising each other. It’s great to see how companies provide support and encouragement when they are going through similar stages of growth. It’s early days but I’ve very confident that there will be significant referral business between members and that is something we are will be encouraging as we launch additional locations and gain more member companies.
What has interest in the space been like so far?
Fantastic, and hard to keep up with, but we’ve managed.
It has been a very busy three months since launch and the fact we’re having to bring forward plans for our 2019 expansion to Winter 2018 shows that we’re scaling as fast as our member companies. 2019 is looking like being another very exciting year for us and as for the rest of 2018, though I can’t say anything right now, there are some very interesting announcements due over coming over weeks.
Outside of StepSpace, what are your interests?
As if I don’t have enough going on I’m about to embark on learning to fly and presently I’m currently taking horse riding lessons. I also trying to find the time to join a wine club.
You are a big animal lover, are there any plans for an office dog?
I do love my animals. I’ve four cats, a dog and a lot of fish. There aren’t plans for an office dog at the moment, but who knows what lies ahead!
Has the role lived up to your expectations?
It has surpassed them so far! Every day brings new challenges, new opportunities and things are moving so fast that every week is more exciting than the last.
What are your plans for the future of StepSpace?
The main goal at the moment is to expand while retaining the quality of the space and the service we provide member companies. Centre House has been a roaring success so far but I think that is down to attention to detail so whatever the future holds we need to maintain high standards.
How can interested companies come and see the space?
Just contact me directly on 028 96 209209 or email AnnTrueman@stepspace.com
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