Under The Spotlight with Vicki Preston

Vicki Preston is the Office Manager based in our Oxford office. Vicki joined the team in October 2019 due to our continued growth in this region. We are talking to Vicki to learn a little bit more about her role at Paul Basham Associates, and how this has changed over the last year in particular.

What does your job involve?

As an Office Manager I would normally be overseeing the smooth running of the office and ensuring the team is happy and comfortable at work, and of course COVID secure.  However, over the last year our focus has shifted mainly to home working, but the health and wellbeing of our staff remains a priority.  Regular check-ins and catch-ups via Teams are a welcome part of my daily routine.  Whilst we have all adjusted very well to home working, it can sometimes feel isolating so these chats are a vital part of my role.

I provide admin support for the Oxford, Bristol and Cambridge teams and assist with their ongoing projects and invoicing. Alongside this I am part of the team that monitors and sustains our ISO 9001 Quality Management System accreditation which involves regular checks and control of our processes and procedures to ensure we are all working efficiently and within the correct parameters.  Together with assisting on various marketing activities and financial support including invoicing and following up with clients for timely payment, my week is filled various ad hoc requests.  Being reactive and responsive is essential as an Office Manager!

Since lockdown I have been involved in providing feedback via reports, data and updates to enable the Directors and team to monitor and adjust to the changing landscape.  I’ve certainly become more proficient in Excel as a result of these tasks!

What do you enjoy most about the role?

I enjoy the variety of jobs I do and no day is the same.  There are always things that crop up and need sorting straight away that sometimes requires quick thinking and flexibility. 

Due to one of my weekly reports, I also really enjoy the opportunity to catch up with the senior team across all regions.  It is really nice to be part of a supportive team.  Over the last year we have all come together and achieved some good results during difficult times.  The sense of collaboration and working towards the same goal provides good motivation to work towards getting back to normal.

What are you looking forward to in the next year?

I’m definitely looking forward to returning to the office physically and “seeing” my immediate work colleagues.  Whilst working from home is convenient (apart from the homeschooling aspect) you can’t replace the office environment and the social interaction – the little things you pick up and overhear are really valuable especially when you are relatively new to a business. 

I’m also looking forward to the office biscuits tin being fully stocked again!

Companywide, it would be great to see the business resume its plans for growth and development and to be part of its success.  We have already seen growth in some of the regions so I’m excited to see this continue over the coming months.  

What do you do in your free time?

Like many others Netflix has become my new best friend and have watched a good portion of it during lockdown!  I enjoy a watching crime dramas or a good action movie.   I’m always on the look out for a new series to watch.

Pre-lockdown I spent most of my time either on the side of a football pitch or being the taxi to and from the training sessions for my two teenage sons.  I’m very much looking forward to getting back to the routine of Sunday football followed by a roast and glass of wine. 

Once we are able to, I hope to be able to explore the coast a little more – I love walking and being by the sea so fingers crossed I will be able to achieve both this summer.