THE ISSUE 4
The latest news from our national
business centre network
In this Issue
Our journey to Net Zero
Photograph your product like a pro
Meet the Pure Team: Michael Murray
Occupier Q&A: Our Head Office
Free meeting room offer
A flexible workplace
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the best business communities in the country!
Welcome to the latest edition of The Hub, the inhouse magazine for customers and guests
at Pure Offices across the UK.
If this is your first edition, or you’ve recently joined us then an extra warm welcome, but equally I am really pleased to
welcome back more of our customers that are returning to their offices on a more regular basis. It’s great to walk around
our centres and hear that buzz and to also see so many events taking place across the country, from summer parties to
networking and fundraisers.
It’s not often that one sets a target of achieving absolutely nothing, but that’s what’s driving the team here at Pure Offices
currently. Of course, I refer to our carbon footprint and the work that is going into making us a Net Zero business.
I am not sure whether any of you have already embarked on this journey, but we are excited about the
challenge in front of us and the steps we take to achieve this goal. You can read more about our plans in
this edition of the Hub.
Our new centres in Edinburgh and Warrington are filling up fast as we welcome new customers on a
weekly basis. We are also seeing lots of demand for our meeting rooms from local businesses to those
further afield looking for somewhere to meet their team or clients. If you are looking for somewhere
different to meet, then read on as we have an exciting free meeting room offer for you.
I close by offering my sincere thanks to Roger Thomas, a stalwart of the Pure Offices operation for
many years (having started with the business in 2009). For those of you that have met Roger
you will know that the retirement that awaits him is richly deserved. So on behalf of the team,
I wish him all the very best and send him our thanks for all of his hard work and dedication
over the years.
Managing Director – Pure Offices
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futurefor a Net Zero
At Pure Offices, we’re excited to announce that
we’ve appointed the experts at RPS to assist us
in becoming a Net Zero business.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings and
construction sectors are responsible for over a third of global final energy
consumption, and almost 40% of CO2 emissions.
We want to play our part in reducing this, which is why we’re in the process
of reviewing the eco-friendliness of our portfolio of 21 locations. We’ve
committed to the targets listed below so far, and will be adding more soon.
Our current sustainability targets:
Currently, over half our
centres have solar panels
on their roofs, saving (on
average) 300 tonnes of
carbon per year. We’re
looking to install solar at a
further 5 locations in 2022.
We use low energy (LED) lighting throughout
our buildings. Owing to their high lumen
output per watt, LEDs can transform around
70% of their energy into light, making them
REGO Guaranteed Showers & bike storage
REGO stands for ‘Renewable Energy One of the best ways for an individual to
Guarantees of Origin’. It means all the reduce their own carbon footprint is by
electricity supplied is from renewable replacing four wheels with two. That’s why all
sources. All our business centres are our locations have ample bike storage and
now REGO guaranteed shower facilities, to make cycling to work that
We’re currently working towards a
90% recycling target.
What is the UK’s CO2 emissions target?
The UK has one of the world’s most ambitious
climate change targets. Earlier this year, the
government committed to cutting emissions by 78%
by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.
The UK’s sixth Carbon Budget, which was outlined
in April 2021, incorporates the UK’s share of
international aviation and shipping emissions, with
the aim of bringing the UK more than three-quarters
of the way to net zero by 2050.
When it comes to reducing emissions, key benefits
• Improved air quality
• Slowed climate change
• Economic growth
We’ll keep you posted about our
sustainability goals and how
we’re getting on!
Michael Murray -
Centre Manager at Pure Offices
Leeds Thorpe Park
Every issue, we shine the spotlight on a member of our team
to give you an insight into our people and culture. We recently
caught up with Michael Murray, Centre Manager at Leeds
Thorpe Park. Here’s what we discovered…
Hi Michael! You haven’t always was a great experience. That took Michael’s Victorian
worked in the serviced office industry about a year then after that I started fireplace adds character
and you lived in London until fairly looking for a job. That’s when I was to his property.
recently. How did you find yourself at offered Maternity cover at Pure offices
Pure in Leeds? Turnberry Park.
I’m originally from West Yorkshire and It was quite out of the blue and not
trained as a chef for three years. I did like anything I’d done before but was
three years at Wakefield College and along the lines of what I wanted from
within that time I travelled around the a facilities point of view. I took the
country for work placements, including plunge and here I am three years later!
one at Claridge’s. I worked on some
large functions in London including Okay, we’re intrigued about your
ones for Charles and Di. renovation...what’s it like?!
In my third year at college, we took I like period properties with character.
part in an industrial work experience Aside from my first flat every property
placement in the south of France. That’s I’ve bought has been Victorian or
when I switched from being a chef to Georgian. I like to strip the interiors
working front of house — I preferred the back to make them modern but retain
hours, for one! or add the original features back in.
As soon as I graduated I was offered For instance, my house in Yorkshire
a position with the Roux brothers in had Yorkshire stone fire surrounds
London. I worked with them for about which I ripped out and replaced
eight years and gradually progressed with two original matching Victorian
within my career with different fireplaces to put the original character
companies. I have always stuck to back into it.
contract catering because the hours are
so good, and weekends were free. Michael’s
I did this for 26 years and lived in lots of bathroom
different parts of London. renovation
Then, around four 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 bought a house and project
managed the renovation on it, which
It’s become a bit of a joke with my however there’s also a lot of variation. tongue now and it’s an aspect of the
friends that every time I’ve renovated You have to be reactive and responsive job that I really enjoy. There’s certainly
the kitchen and bathroom I’ve sold the to client’s needs and requests. nothing I don’t like about being at Pure.
property. I’ve just finished the bathroom My main priority is making sure my
so I’m holding off on doing the kitchen clients have that excellent customer What do you like to do outside of work?
at the moment! I love the house and it’s service experience every day. I have recently taken up walking to keep
nice to have a garden that I can potter My job involves communicating with fit and I enjoy the local walks in my area
around and switch off in. And I chat to people on so many different levels. on an evening and weekends, I am also a
my neighbours, which is something that Something that works for one client keen traveller and now Covid restrictions
never happened in London. I do still might not with another. You have to are lifting I am keen to start exploring
go back down to London to see friends weigh it up as you go. again.Turkey is my next stop, once the
but I spend a lot more time with my guidelines are lifted, but in the mean time I
family now. Are there any challenges in the role? am looking forward to visiting more of our
For me the initial challenge was selling costal resorts.
What do you enjoy most about your the offices; it can be quite a difficult job. I have recently been working at our site
role at Pure Offices? When I started and was doing viewings in Edinburgh Park, so I am keen to revisit
Every day is different. There are always with Carla, I thought I’m not going to Edinburgh again as a tourist to take in all
the set tasks that have to be completed, be able to do that.But it just falls off the sights and learn more of the history.
Events at Pure Offices
OK, so the weather over the summer may not have been everything we were hoping for, but it
didn’t dampen spirits around our UK network of centres. From BBQs and inflatable sumo suit
wrestling to bake sales and just grabbing a pizza with colleagues, we’ve absolutely made the
most of it. And it doesn’t stop there.
Roger and out
Our After over 12 years of being at Pure Offices, Roger Thomas,
September and our Regional Manager, based at Leamington is to hang up
October ‘What’s On’ his keys and retire at the end of the year. Roger started when
calendars are filling up Pure Offices was just 2 business centres and has watched
fast. Keep an eye out it grow over the years,
for posters around the playing a crucial part in the
centres or on our company’s journey. He will
move to part time hours from
website. September and then retire
at the end of the year, with a
very big party to follow.
Roger, a husband, father and Roger Thomas
grandfather will spend his
time, post Pure with his family
as well as running, cycling
and continuing to follow
his beloved Leicester City.
Thank you Rog, we will miss
you very much!
Handling PR effectively
Any company can receive negative PR at some stage in its business lifetime, even if it does
everything right. That doesn’t mean you should ignore it if it happens to your company and hope it
will go away. Here we share what you can do to counter the effects of negative PR to control bad
publicity and show your business in a more positive light.
Understanding negative PR Creating positive company messages
Another way to counter negative PR is to aim to generate
Negative PR or publicity can take different forms in business, positive messages about your business. This can come down
involving harmful published information, which can affect to aiming to produce as much positive content about your
anything from a company’s sales to its reputation. business as possible, which could help push down rankings of
bad PR on Google and social. You could write articles relating
Different types of negative PR about your business could to your business or industry, or you could put together press
include: releases about positive news at your company to help deflect
Bad press about your company in the news, online, in the focus from the negative articles.
newspapers, or on television Consider responding to negative comments, like on social or
review sites, by messaging customers. Customers might not
Poor reviews about your products or services on adviser expect this and will respect you and your business doing so
sites and online forums and trying to understand an issue better. Tread carefully when
doing this and think about what you should say to avoid making
Complaints and negative comments about your business things worse.
on social channels
You should aim to use any negative PR as an opportunity to
Countering such bad PR and publicity about your business make things better in your business. Whether this involves
involves aiming to reduce and neutralise that negative fixing problems in production, addressing customer service
information - and this starts with your initial response. issues, or improving your product or service offering, you can
create and strengthen the message that, even at the worst of
Choosing the right response times, your business is good and decent.
When you receive negative PR, how you respond is essential Protecting your business
to countering it. Firstly, you should respond quickly to help stop There’s a lot to think about when countering negative PR in
any negative publicity from getting worse. Negative PR about business, from how you respond, to the messages you create
your company can spread fast, such as through word of mouth about your company. But with the right expertise, advice and
or as more journalists cover a story and create more bad press. support you can ensure your business is seen in the best
However, if you respond quickly and put together and
distribute a statement, for instance, you can control how the FSB members have access to FSB PR/Crisis management
story develops. To help with this, you may wish to consider a included in the cost of their membership. They can provide
PR crisis plan. you with the advice and support you need to effectively handle
negative PR, so you can focus on what you do best – running
When you respond, it’s also important to keep calm and not and developing your business.
overreact. A sudden, unprepared reaction might result in you
saying or doing something that only gives the press more mileage To find out more about FSB and how to
to keep running with negative news stories about your business. join, please visit fsb.org.uk/join-us
It might also cause you to take your eye off other important daily
business matters, which still need to be dealt with.
It’s also essential that you’re honest and decisive in your response.
If your company is at fault for some negative PR, such as a defect
with one of your products, it’s wise to face up to the situation,
apologise, and explain what you’re doing to put things right.
Crisis management is a test of leadership – it is vital the most
senior person in the organisation is seen to be the voice of the
business during a crisis, so either the CEO or MD. It would be
ill-advised to delegate this role to a less senior employee or to
an external PR representative.
By Christian Skelton For any product-led business, your products are the
Ascender.co.uk backbone of your business. Whether you sell direct
or through retailers, you never get a second chance
to make a ﬁrst impression. Studies show that 67%
of consumers consider image quality “crucial” when
making a purchasing decision. First-class product
photography has never been so important, nor the
beneﬁts of getting it right so generous.
You see, we live in a high-resolution age So how can you improve your product
of smartphones, photo ﬁlters and social photography? What’s the best way to
media inﬂuencers. photograph products for your business?
We are bombarded by exceptional First of all, your setup doesn’t need
photography and photorealistic to be world-class, but you will need
3D renders to such a degree that to ensure that factors are considered.
customers expect excellence. Your photos should be well lit, in focus,
and an accurate representation of the
If your photography doesn’t cut the product. And whilst we would always
mustard, consumers will distrust your suggest hiring experts, we have put
brand and look elsewhere. Mediocre together the following points to help
photography is no longer good enough. steer you in the right direction.
Equipment, equipment, equipment
Start by reviewing your equipment. A
professional DSLR camera with studio
lighting will always produce the best
results, but your smartphone or digital
camera can be used as a substitute.
Use a ﬂat, even surface to photograph
your product, and always use a tripod
to ensure minimal movement whilst your
camera’s shutter is open.
Pick your backgrounds have access to studio lighting, you ensures the colours in your products
can try natural light from a window on are consistent between shots, your
Photograph your product on a plain a sunny day, or even better, consider highlights and mid-tones are correct,
background. White is usually a hiring the equipment from a specialist and your whites aren’t overexposed.
requirement for online channels such (there’s plenty online). But do beware of over-editing. It can be
as Amazon, so if you plan to use colour easy to go too far and end up with an
backgrounds, make sure you check Size matters image that doesn’t look like an accurate
their photography requirements ﬁrst. representation of the product.
If you use coloured backgrounds, Think about the size and context of
remember that your product should be your product. Consider adding props ‘Appy Days
the focus of your photography, not the to give a sense of scale, especially
background. Use background colours when photographing larger products. We’re fans of Adobe Photoshop &
that compliment your products rather Coincidentally, larger products can Lightroom for image editing, but great
than drawing attention from them. be tricky to photograph as there is a low or no-cost apps exist. Aﬃnity
greater chance that things can get a Photo, Procreate & Pixelmator Pro are
A little to the left… little blurry around the edges. For this, all great image editing tools. Combine
you’ll want to use a wider depth of ﬁeld, them with Skillshare online training, and
It can be diﬃcult to demonstrate all allowing a larger area of your image to you’ll be shooting products like a pro!
the beneﬁts of a product from a single be in focus. Take your time and check
photo. Your customers will usually as you go to get the best possible NHEAENDDA?
want to see diﬀerent angles and results. If you’re feeling conﬁdent, props
features to represent what they are can add personality, which will help you or a free 30-minute critique of
buying. Most product photography is to stand out amongst competitors. your existing photography, we
shot straight on facing the product. would love to speak with you.
Whilst this suits most subjects, there Keep it clean
will be occasions where you have to [email protected]
get a little more experimental. 45° Take your time to prepare your products
or 90° increments are a good rule of for photography. Use pristine production
thumb to show all sides of a product. samples and spend time making sure
you’ve cleaned any ﬁngerprints, air
Low res... bubbles, and pesky specs of dust. This
will pay dividends when it comes to
If you’re using a smartphone, you should time-consuming image editing.
note a couple of things. Make sure you’re
using the largest ﬁle size, and the highest Post apocalyptic
resolution setting your phone allows to
give you the best image possible to start And don’t forget about image editing;
with. Also, the digital zoom isn’t great an essential process for even the best
for quality, if you need a close-up shot, photographer. Whether it’s colour
move closer to your product. correcting, levelling, or more complex
Photoshop work, image editing is what
Lights, camera, action
Arguably the most important
consideration for great product
photography is good lighting. Lighting
can make or break a shoot. And whilst
you want to create highlights and
shadows to add depth to your product,
making them too harsh can mask
product labels and features. If you don’t
Q&OAccupierPaul Knappett: Our Head Office
Our Head Office is a “finance office outsourcing” business with a HQ at Pure Offices in Warwick.
This month we caught up with Paul Knappett, the company’s Founder and MD, to chat about
his business’ journey to date and how and it’s been helping SMEs and startups navigate the
Hi Paul! What inspired you to start Our Head Office? Instead of employing a receptionist, accounts processor,
Paul: I’m a qualified accountant by trade and worked for management accountant and finance director, you can
a number of SMEs after I left the large accountancy firm I outsource everything you need to us at a much lower cost.
qualified with. I eventually became the finance director of a
contract catering company which we sold in May 2018. We also work with SMEs and small startups who are looking
to raise capital, including crowdfunding, that allow them to
I didn’t really fancy working for anyone else again, and one take the next steps on their business journey. We have a
thing I think I’m quite good at is managing the head office mixed bag really.
environment for SMEs.
Tell us more about the startups you’re working with...
So, rather than doing it for one company and going to work Paul: With Covid hitting and everyone shopping online, our
for another SME, I thought I’d set up a vehicle that could cater new startup clients are ecommerce businesses. We’ve set
to a number of SMEs looking to outsource their head office up the accounting function for their website, linking online
operations. We moved into our offices in Warwick in March payments directly to their accounts function to streamline
2019 and it’s been going steadily ever since. There’s three of the process. We run reports so our clients can see how
us now and it’s working really well. they’re doing each month.
“The ease of moving in was the biggest selling point for us.” We’ve also been assisting clients with the recent Covid
support loan schemes. Mainly liaising with banks on their
Why did you choose Pure Offices in Warwick as your HQ? behalf and completing forms. But the biggest bit of work we’ve
Paul: I was already based in Pure Offices with the contract done over the last year for the majority of our clients has been
catering company; we were on the same floor as we are now cash flow forecasting.
but in a slightly bigger office. Originally, we occupied a barn
conversion in the middle of Barford but our landlord decided When the sales tap switched off and the revenue stopped
to convert it into residential. coming in, they had to focus on their run rate and what they
could do to reduce their cash outflow. Covid has encouraged
We met with Kate, Warwick’s office manager, and told her we all businesses to think differently about how they do things.
were looking for something short-term. The plan was to stay
for a couple of months until we found something more “fixed”. Finally, what have you been doing to stay sane
That was around six years ago! during the pandemic?
Paul: Two things: running the business and Peloton. We
We’ve been here for a number of years in one form or another. bought our Peloton bike at the beginning of lockdown and
The ease of moving in was the biggest selling point for us – it I’ve become a bit obsessed with it.
was a case of “plug in and go”.
We had a lot of fun using it while the gyms were shut and
What does your business specialise in? were doing remote classes with a couple of our mates who
Paul: I’d always say we specialise in head office outsourcing have bikes.
rather than bookkeeping because I think we offer much more
than your average local bookkeeper.
We manage the phones for our clients on a daily basis, as
well as all the processing on their accounts such as raising
sales invoices and processing bank payments. I also sit on the
board for a couple of our client’s businesses in an FD role.
businesses to think
how they do things.”
Paul Knappett –
Founder and MD of
Our Head Office
THE Whether you’re an occupier, regular visitor or you simply
PURE find yourself at one of our business centres for a meeting,
a little local knowledge goes a long way when it comes to
finding somewhere good to eat. That’s why we’ve put our
centre managers to work to create the Pure Eating guide.
From Turkish in Oxford and Tapas in Portsmouth to seafood
in Edinburgh – our team’s top picks provide the ideal list
of venues for those all-important lunches and dinners with
clients and teammates. Here’s a small sample of some of the
E AT I N G
GUIDE Edinburgh - Philly’s
Cheadle - Piccolino’s
www.piccolinorestaurants.com Enjoy a wide range of delicious food and
Piccolino’s is a contemporary drinks at Philly’s Edinburgh. The restaurant
Italian restaurant with a great bar supports local producers and offers a range
and summer terrace. Only 15 of premium beer, wine, spirits & cocktails, as
minutes away from the city centre. well as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. A
5 minute walk from the centre.
Gloucester - Greek on the Docks Leeds (Morley) - Baan Thai
Greek on the Docks is an Baan Thai is an award-winning Thai
exceptional Greek Restaurant with restaurant in Morley town centre, run
a relaxing atmosphere. Only a 5 by a local family. Also features an
minute drive from the city centre. outdoor seating area for the summer.
Oxford - The Mole Farnborough - Everest Tandoori
The Mole Inn is a country pub The Everest is a top class
serving restaurant food, just 10 Nepalese restaurant, which is
mins from our Oxford centre. very famous in Farnborough for
the quality of its food.
For ideas on where to go for lunch or dinner, visit www.pureoffices.co.uk/
media/the-best-places-to-eat-out-across-the-uk and click on the nearest
centre to see where our team recommend for you to try.
Occupier Pixel’s office has the
News wow factor
NHS Charities Together We have seen customers decorating
their offices or adding their logo to their
Warwick occupier, NHS Charities Together is thrilled to share the news that their wall but Pixel have taken personalisation
CEO, Ellie Orton, was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for to another level. They commissioned a
services to the NHS during Covid-19. local graffiti artist to create a graffiti wall
It’s a thoroughly deserved honour for an amazing leader. Under Ellie’s leadership, for their office. We think it looks fantastic!
NHS Charities Together raised £100m in the first six weeks of its Covid-19 appeal and
created a UK-wide grants programme from scratch, distributing £20m in urgent funding
within weeks and £30m within six months.
Ellie said: “This really has been a case of team work on a national scale. For me, this
award is also for the public because it was their astonishing response to our appeal,
their desire to be there for the NHS, which helped us raise such a huge amount of
money.” Huge congratulations, Ellie!
Watch Ellie speak about the OBE and more here: bit.ly/3wjkAPI
Free meeting room offer
Fancy a change of scene?
Whether you just want to change the
backdrop for a day or need to meet
colleagues or customers somewhere
convenient, Pure Offices clients can
now secure a free 1-day meeting room
voucher at our Edinburgh Park or
Warrington business centres.
Edinburgh Park and Warrington are our
newest UK business centres and are
filling up fast, so here’s your chance to
get in whilst you can, and absolutely
free of charge. As the latest additions
to our UK network of business centres,
both of these locations offer fantastic
office and meeting room facilities,
meaning you can not only meet
somewhere different, but do so in style and comfort.
This offer is exclusive to Pure Offices clients and is subject to availability. Each client
can book one meeting room for one day at one location and all meetings must be
booked and completed by 1st December 2021.
To book your meeting contact Warrington [email protected] or Edinburgh
Park [email protected], and quote ‘The Hub Offer’ when booking your room.
To book your space, please contact the local centre or visit
1 Edinburgh Park 13 [email protected]
2 Edinburgh Leith 14 [email protected] 12
3 Leeds Morley 15 [email protected]
4 Leeds Thorpe Park 16 [email protected]
5 [email protected] 17 [email protected]
6 Warrington 3
[email protected] 54
7 Nottingham 18 Portishead
[email protected] [email protected] 7
8 Oldbury 19 Weston-Super-Mare 8
[email protected] [email protected] 10 9
9 Warwick 20 Farnborough 12 11 13 14 15
[email protected] [email protected]
10 [email protected] 21 [email protected] 18 16 17
11 [email protected]
12 Gloucester 21
Serviced Offices Virtual Offices Meeting Rooms
Smart office space Flexible contracts Hire rooms by the hour
Ultra fast broadband Business address Ultra-fast wifi
24/7 Access & on site team Catering available
Telephone number Discounts to Pure customers