Origin’s Team is Growing
We sat down with Origin’s new Operations Manager, Parm Cory-Jones, to talk about her experience, what attracted her to our community, and her aspirations for business collaboration alongside expanding Origin’s sustainability programme. Parm also runs a wellness company of her own, so we were eager to gain some insight into what she hopes to implement into our wellness programmes going forward.
Parm worked as the Centre Manager at Future Space for 6 years, overseeing the operational, commercial and digital marketing side of the business. Future Space was a construction site when she first joined the team, but together they built up the community. Parm managed the operations and onsite team, whilst supporting over 150 SME businesses to grow, ranging from life science, engineering and tech. She found the role exciting, it’s rare you get the chance to help build a business -quite literally- from the ground up, but after 6 years it was time for a change, and a new challenge…
What initially attracted you to Origin Workspace? What changes are you looking to implement within your role as Operations Manager?
What attracted me to Origin was firstly its location, being in the centre of town, and also its wellness opportunities for our members. I did a lot of research on the companies that are based here and how they are supported by Origin. It was really interesting in the interview to find out what Rob was looking for and what direction he wanted Origin to move in. I could really resonate with it in terms of what I’d done with Future Space. Therefore, I’m looking forward to supporting the Origin team in building the community of SME’s, looking at what opportunities we can bring in around business support and to build the operations here, to make the processes smoother and in general just to grow the way we’re developing at the moment.
I was drawn in by seeing how the wellness and fitness programme benefits our members. I am very passionate about mental health and building a lifestyle that represents balance between home life and work. From an operational point of view I would like to streamline some of our process and build on the customer experience from moving into the building and growing their business within Origin Workspace. I would also like to support the team in bringing in new activities to help our members grow their companies and see more collaborations locally in Bristol and nationally.
How would you like to see businesses within Origin collaborating? What would the benefits of this be?
Collaboration was an integral part of my time at Future Space, and because we were based at the University West of England, the collaboration between the university and our companies worked really well, and it was supporting the SME companies to grow. We looked at ways to support them through funding and grants as well.
It’s important to look to what we want to do in Bristol as a whole, retaining SME’s as they grow and bring jobs to the region is very important, baring in mind that we have two amazing universities in Bristol, with new talent graduating each year. Retaining talented companies to grow within Bristol, to employ staff within the region and therefore bring growth and value to the region is important. Part of coming to Origin was really to support Rob and the team here to take Origin to the next level, achieving that through bringing in more services for our companies. I strongly believe and have seen that collaborations between SMEs brings in more job opportunities to the region and also more investment and growth.
What are your thoughts on Origin’s wellness programme currently, and how do you see it expanding? Can you bring your personal interests into this?
Having attended our wellness sessions over the past 5 weeks, I’ve been looking at our wellness programme as well as looking at our gym activities. Ultimately what I’d like to do is bring them under one overall holistic umbrella so that they sit side by side, for members to build into their working week, as tools to support our companies whilst growing our membership.
I run a wellness company of my own, where I look at taking my customers from one point in their life, to where they want to be. I do a whole holistic review of their lifestyle, supporting moving forward, and that’s what I’d like to do with the wellness programmes that we have here, bringing them under one banner, more of an overall holistic programme as opposed to having classes here and there. Really giving customers the experience and the journey. Through this we are really building on the member experience, so from the time that they come in through our doors and become a member, they have this amazing journey all the way through to becoming a success and continually growing.
How will you seek to make Origin a more sustainable space? What can we do as individuals using the space to encourage and embed more eco-friendly practices?
I think what we need to start with is understanding our building and improving the efficiency of the building itself. Having been here 5 weeks now, I have a few ideas floating around that I’d like to implement, such as putting together a ‘Green Team’. I’m passionate about how buildings should be eco-friendly, they should be safe spaces inside and outside, so putting a Green Team together, comprising the Origin hosts and the members here, and coming up with Green initiatives together and implementing those.
Also supporting our members to achieve a B-Corp. As a start-up business, to be able to achieve this really opens up doors for a companies, with the view of being able to access more innovative grants to be able to achieve that.
Tell us your interests outside of work…
Outside of work I’m busy! I run my own wellness company I also love writing short stories and recipes on improving wellness, which I’ll be publishing via my new website. For fun I love walking, hiking and travelling, having lived abroad for a period of time.