Our latest Member of the Week is Sarah Bagg, who is an integral part of TOR Systems Ltd, as well as a keen runner in the Brighton & Hove area and creative spirit, who you may have met at Artist's Open House! A big advoctae for remote working she feels right at home in PLATF9RM, so who wouldn't be more perfect to interview!
Firstly enlighten us as to what you do for TOR Systems Ltd?TOR Systems develops ticketing software for galleries, museums, theme parks etc, basically any type of visitor attraction. It’s a small company so my role covers many different areas but in short I manage our current client accounts, sales, as well as marketing.
Previous to this role I spent about 20 years in the Visitor Attractions and Hospitality industry, managing a bar when I was just 23, then Head of Operations at Vinopolis (which was a wine attraction and events business in London), as well as managing the Stadium Tours and Museum at Chelsea Football Club. So I’ve had a pretty varied career so far!
What are the key things you enjoy about living and working in Brighton?I love the freedom and autonomy I have within my job. It allows me scope to try out ideas and actually see those ideas have a positive impact on the business, which is so much harder to influence in a larger company.
Because our customers are all over the UK, I get to see lots of the country that I probably wouldn’t venture to otherwise. I love travelling and meeting new people, and this job offers loads of variety, which is one thing I really need to keep me interested in any type of role.
One of the reasons why I moved back to Brighton last year, is that I felt I needed a big Brighton hug! What I mean by that is that I needed to feel part of a community, which is one of the reasons why I love being a member of PLATF9RM. As well as co working, I have joined a running club and I’m part of the artist open house community, all of which has helped me settle back into life here!
I like the fact that Brighton can’t ever be described as beige, and is accepting of anyone. I was always the black sheep of the family, so I like the fact that Brighton allows you to be who you want to be without the pressure of necessarily conforming to what everyone else is doing.
I wanted to ask you about your interest in life coaching - did you embark on a life coaching course? Have you considered becoming a coach?Yes, I have recently started a diploma in life coaching, something that has interested me for a long time. I was first coached when I was about 24 and again the year before last and I honestly can’t tell you how helpful both times have been to my career and life.
I don’t know where the course will take me, at the moment I’m just enjoying learning something new and want to see how it naturally develops, I guess lets just watch this space!
So you’re a keen runner, can you recommend any main clubs/events that aspiring runners can take part of in Brighton?Yes I love the benefits of running, the physical side of things are pretty obvious, but for me it’s more than just that. A run totally sorts my head out when I’m busy with work, or if I have anything that’s troubling me.
There are lots of running clubs in the area, but when I moved back to Brighton I was looking for a club that wasn’t a serious athletics club and I heard about Hove Hornets. It’s a family run running club, which has been great for me, in terms of meeting new people, having others to run with and introducing me to areas of Brighton and the surrounding area that I didn’t know before.
Through the running club, I have been introduced to Park Run. When I can, I take part in Hove Park Run, which is such an amazing concept and Brighton is lucky enough to have 4!! (Hove Park, Hove Prom, Preston Park and Bevendean.)
For anyone thinking about starting running, Park run is a great opportunity, which is for any ability, so no one cares about how fast/slow you are. If you are thinking about starting running and don’t mind an early morning, why not give RUN 5.30 a go, which I did this week. It was great to see Brighton whilst everyone (well almost everyone) was sleeping!
Who is the person that most inspires you in your life?On a personal level, it’s definitely my mum, she’s totally incredible. A force of nature, almost 77 and always on the go. When I managed teams in previous roles I would joke that I would have 10 of my Mum in my team if I could as she has such an amazing work ethic and is so diligent in everything she does.
There are so many people that inspire me, I don’t think I could name a just a few specifics here, but I think it’s important for me to be just as inspired by ‘real people’, not just those in the media!
What is the greatest adventure you’ve been on so far?I definitely would say when I went travelling on my own when I was 21. Obviously it’s a totally different ball game travelling now, but when I went no-one had mobiles, and thankfully there was no social media! (wow I sound like I’m about 50 - thankfully I’m not!) Although the destination doesn’t necessarily seem that adventurous now, the fact I had booked a ticket to Australia, with a stopover in Bangkok, with no other fixed plan I was truly on my own... When I arrived in Bangkok I went to domestic departures bought an internal ticket to Koh Samui and then the adventure began!
20 years later it’s one of the best decisions I ever made, travelling solo was ace!
Having read your article on flexible working it seems like coworking is working well for you. Do you think more and more businesses will be inclined to offer a more flexible approach to working because of the benefits it can have for employees?Definitely, so much progress is being made. Just this week it was debated in Parliament.
I think it has real benefits for employees and employers, but I think it’s important if you’re offered the option to work from home to consider how it might impact on your mental health and ensure you make changes to support this.
Are you attending any of our events this summer?I would have liked to attend the event on WordPress at Tower Point, but I had to be in London for meetings, so it would be great if some of these events were scheduled again at Hove.
I’m sure I’ll be at the Social, but i’m not so sure my volley skills are up to much!
If you were to imagine your ideal coworking set up, money no object (out-there ideas welcome) what would it include?Considering PLATF9RM is such a young company, I think it’s doing a great job.
I think community is really important to me, so as much as the way it looks and feels is important to me, I think the people are at the heart of a good co working space, just as it is in a good company. But if I could add anything to enhance it would probably be to build on the social side, as it’s so much easier to get to know members when you’re not in work mode!
So how about old school things like a pinball machine, pool table, table tennis, juke box, regular pub style quizzes, local sussex wine tastings, cocktail masterclasses etc etc.
If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.