Shirley Hensher, The Change Agent, is a personal coach that helps business owners and other working professionals to get a fresh perspective on their life in business. Having had a varied, challenging career that includes working in economic consultancy, financial services, and as a freelance project manager, Shirley draws on her past experiences to help all forms of corporate professionals (from entrepreneurs to employees) to reduce their stress levels and increase their motivation.
Through her coaching, The Change Agent also helps her clients to design career paths which better fit with their values, personality and aspirations.
In April 2018, Shirley relocated her business to a serviced office in Rombourne’s Kingston House centre in Swindon. Five months on from the move, she shares her experience of her new office space, as well as the biggest hurdles she faced when moving and her number one office etiquette tip…
Hi, Shirley! Why did you decide to base your office in Swindon?
I live in Wroughton in Swindon, and I wanted an wanted an office outside of my home which was easily accessible for both myself and my clients. Junction 16 (which is located close to Kingston House) is an ideal location as my clients and networking groups are located along the M4 corridor.
Why did you choose Rombourne as your serviced office provider?
It was important for me to be based somewhere I looked forward to going to each day, and that I had an office I could make my own. As well as the location, I chose Rombourne as I really liked the feel of the building. Not only is Kingston House bright and airy, but the team are very friendly and welcoming!
What type of office space did you require?
I needed desk space to work at, plus an area for coaching; somewhere that is roomy enough for comfy chairs, as well as a coffee table and a whiteboard too. I also wanted there to be enough space for my clients to walk around and work through ideas.
What were your main requirements when looking for a new office?
Putting budget to one side, my main requirements were an inspiring office space that my clients would enjoy coming to as much as I did. This would be somewhere that was clean and tidy, with a décor style that fitted my tastes and style of working.
It was important for me to have a room with a view, and for there to be meeting rooms available so I can offer workshops on the premises. I was also looking for privacy and quiet; desk share options don’t work when you want to have a coaching conversation!
Good car parking facilities was another essential. When visiting, I didn’t want my clients to get stressed trying to find a place to park or get caught in a one-way system.
How does Rombourne meet the needs of your business?
Kingston House is always looked after (which gives a great impression to clients), and Danielle is always looking for ways to make the building more comfortable and meet her clients’ needs; including myself.
Feedback from my clients and visitors has been really positive; I have really enjoyed going out to work again.
What is your favourite thing about your new office?
I don’t have to clean it…or the toilets, or kitchen! When I worked at home, I had clients coming to the house which put pressure on me to keep the place spick and span. Here I can relax, as I now have the separation of work and home life again which is important to me.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced when moving to your new office?
The biggest hurdle was getting over the financial commitment of paying for office space when I had a spare room at home that I could use. However, the upside is that it keeps me in work mode. As I don’t have the distractions of home, the extra productivity should pay off!
How has Rombourne helped your business grow and develop?
The team at Rombourne has been really supportive. Not only do we follow each other on social media, but they have supported me at local networking events and introduced me to new businesses.
As an example of how we help each other, I recently held a free workshop here that was hosted jointly by Rombourne. This gave me the chance to showcase what I do best (at no extra cost to me), and the workshop delegates got to experience the facilities and atmosphere that Rombourne offers.
Delegates enjoyed the workshop and were really impressed by the centre.
Would you recommend Rombourne to other businesses? Tell us why!
Definitely! I’d recommend them for the facilities they provide, and their friendly and flexible approach. The team is open to feedback and they care about how their clients are getting on in their office space. They’re very keen to help them do well and enjoy using their centres.
What office essential(s) do you take to work? Which ones can’t you live without?
A good supply of coffee, of course! I also need a whiteboard as I find thinking is much easier when I’m standing with a marker pen in hand (but that might just be down to the fumes!).
What advice would you give businesses when choosing a new office space?
Regardless of how much you have to spend, some of the main things to consider are:
- How you want to use the space – what do you want to do there and how do you want to work? Technically, I only need a 2-person office, but these tend to be too small for me as they didn’t allow room for comfy chairs and brainstorms.
- Can you get out of the office for a break or to make a call?
- If you’re likely to have visitors, what impression do you want the office building to give them? How will they be looked after when they arrive?
- What is the availability and cost of the meeting rooms?
- The location – are there places to go out and buy lunch or go for a head clearing walk nearby?
- Can you imagine going there every day?
- Is a permanent office necessary for your business? A virtual office and hot desking service may be a more suitable option.
- Is there growing room? How much will your business be able to grow before you need to move on? How well will the space adapt to this?
What would be your number one office etiquette tip?
As a serviced office client, it’s important to remember that everything you do and say in a shared space
can reflect on you and your business. For example, what impression will the other businesses have of you if you were to repeatedly leave the shared kitchen looking like London after the Blitz?
A serviced office is a business network of its own. So, make sure you are a welcome addition, and who knows how your business might develop?