Member News

Member Of The Week - Simon Batchelar

PLATF9RM is pleased to introduce Simon Batchelar, Digital Director at Pallant Digital, and part of Word Press experts, WP tasks.

Hi Simon! You run Pallant Digital, a web design and digital agency, and WP Tasks, a WordPress support company looking after Wordpress websites. WP Tasks is your newest venture, can you tell us about how this is developing?

Basically, we’re currently talking to individual’s who need help with their wordpress sites and websites, but we’re looking to talk to companies or agencies who are looking to grow their revenue. Because our service has unlimited updates, its easy for people to resell what we sell, so they can put a mark up on top, and their clients will never know we were their. We do all the work; they get all the credit.

It seems you’ve been very busy, how are you managing running both?

With a combination of apps and calendars. Trying to stick to what you’ve planned to do each day, and not get distracted by dogs and coffee. Stay on target.

As you’ve said yourself, big corporate digital agencies aren’t for you. What steared you toward this decision?

We grew to quite a big agency size in 2015, then we had to pivot the agency, which meant downsizing quite rapidly. It was quite hard, but we got we got back to what we love doing, rather than being seperated by running a big agency. It just wasn’t much fun. The way we do it now is how we love doing it, that’s why we started the business year ago. We got away from that when it was too big, now we’re having more fun, and we’re enjoying it more. Which is the main reason you run your own business, to have fun doing it.

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What drew you to PLATF9RM?

Being able to sit in a different place everyday. The worst bit about having a job that revolves around a computer, it means you have to have sit at a desk everyday. At least you can have a different desk everyday. Somedays I can be by the window, or other days go upstairs and focus.

What part of PLATF9RM are you most enjoying?

I enjoy being able to meet new people, and I think it’s cool to feel like being in a big company. In that, there’s lots of people here, Like you’ve snuck into someone else’s work place. But everyone’s doing lots of different things, so it’s interesting. Being a freelancer, it’s really appealing. It’s cool to share stuff with people, and talk to people, otherwise you’d be in your living room.

Is there anybody you’re interested in connecting with at PLATF9RM?

Basically just anybody that’s interested in building websites who wants to chat and moan about it, even if they’re not interested in specifically buying wordpress support. Because we’ve been building and fixing websites for 15 years, so we’ve done our fair share of the client cycle, “I’ve broken it, can you fix it”. It’s also fun to meet other web developers, and see how they’re doing it.

After a long week, how do you like to blow off steam?

I go paragliding. Or if the winds not right, more often than not, I ride my bike or go to the beach, depending how energetic i’m feeling.

We’re all guilty of shower singing from time-to-time, what’s your favourite shower anthem? Any reason why?

'Busy Earnin' by Jungle, got that huge sound of ‘lets do this’, embarrassingly high to do in public, but in the shower it’s always perfect.

Thanks Simon, we hope you continue to enjoy your time here at PLATF9RM!

Member of The Week - Anna Kane

Introducing Anna Kane, Occupational Psychologist, mindfulness coach and PHD student!

Hello Anna! You are someone with a fair few qualifications to their name, including a diploma in mindfulness studies. What fuelled your pursuit of knowledge in this area?

I’ve been running my own business for about ten years and I got to the point were I was having quite a lot of health problems. I ended up turning to mindfulness and it really helped me work out what was going on. I wanted to see if I could share it with the people that I work with, in terms of my clients that I coach and train. I kept on doing courses and then ended up doing a diploma, and it’s been one of the best things I ever did. So, it’s really changed the way I work, the work that I do and the people that I work with.

So, can you talk to us a little about your current work for Kingston University on self confidence?

As an occupational psychologist the majority of my work happens in the workplace so, when I was using mindfulness, I tended to get a lot of people coming to me who wanted to improve their self confidence. I wanted to see if mindfulness and self compassion could improve self confidence but in order to do that I needed to come up with some kind of tool to measure it, that’s when I decided to do a professional doctorate. I'm currently writing a paper that is going to be a model of self confidence which will then help me design a tool in which to measure it.


You talk a lot about compassion and acceptance in the workplace. Have you ever been in a work environment where the management approach has been devoid of compassion and all about perfectionism?

Well quite often managers will be very task focused, so they’ll talk about the work that needs doing, rather than the person that’s doing the work. That can end up being a problem, because people end up feeling undervalued, they’re not engaged in their work and they’ll end up leaving for another organisation that treats them better, or where they’ve got better relationships with the people that they work with. It’s not necessarily the organisations fault, sometimes it will just be the individual managers. So, it just really depends. Some organisations don’t necessarily do enough to support their managers by training them.

How long have you been in Brighton and what are the highlights of living here for you?

I’ve been here for about ten years and one of the highlights for me has got to be the sea. I love swimming and I love going down there whether I feel happy, or sad, or whether I wanna socialise or whether I wanna be by myself.

Where is your spot of choice at PLATF9RM?

Well, I don’t really have one, it depends what mood I’m in. I do use the quiet room quite a lot, because it’s got sea views, and it allows me to think if I’m doing some research or writing a client report but I’m like a cat, I’ll just go wherever suits me at the time!

Does having a space like PLATF9RM help you to maintain a good work/life balance?

Yes, without a doubt. So, I’ve worked from home a couple of time before, where I’ve had my office at home. One time I even had it in my bedroom, which was horrendous. And both times, my mental health just nose dived. So, I’ve promised myself that I’ll always have a co-location space to work in. Because it’s just so important!

I remember showing you around PLATF9RM, what were the things which caught your eye upon first entering the space?

The floor. Love that floor. The floor and the moss wall, it’s quite unique. What else? The variety of people working here, old to young, people suited, to people in chilled out trendy clothes. Just go with the flow. Loads of people here that do lots of different stuff. That for me is interesting as well, not just having one type of industry that works here. So, having people that I can connect with, that are relevant to what I do.

What are your favourites, what are your locals?

I’ve got three or four locals, I love Velvet Jacks, over in Hove. I drink in the Marlborough quite a lot. I'm just near to The Foundry, so, that literally is my local. And I’ve been known to have a few late nights in The Office.. Not this office!

Where is the most amazing place you have visited in your life?

Gosh, I would say Ankor Wot, in Cambodia. That is the most amazing place in the world. They’ve re-discovered these ruins, it’s basically miles, and miles, and miles where the forest grew over, it’s like ancient temples. It’s really really amazing.

Thank you Anna!

If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.

Member of The Week - Tony Rogers

Introducing Tony Rogers, Director at Deja People, keen writer and history enthusiast!

Hello Tony! You run Deja People along with your partner Julia - an organisation which helps to resolve people related business problems. What were your motivations in creating the company?

I had worked for a succession of big organisations including The Department of Health, AXA, and GSK. I wanted to redress my work life balance, working part-time and offering my expertise in HR whilst also writing my novel.

It’s also great to collaborate with my wife Julia who is an experienced business psychologist. Deja People is a collaboration with others too; Harry, an experienced learning and development professional, Barbara, a change management expert and Emily, an employment lawyer.

What are the most fulfilling and the most mundane aspects of your job?

The most fulfilling aspects are solving people problems; getting people working together again when all seemed intractable. Also supporting people to make evidence based decisions and not just pursuing the latest fads. Evidence based practice means bringing together information from scientific studies, internal data, stakeholder views and our own professional experience.

The most mundane aspect is the usual - getting paid and paying others. Also frustrating not to have IT support when you’re running your own business!

If you were forced to make a career change (money and practicalities aside) what job would you go for?

I think the answer here is that I’ve just done that. And if this fails I will become a professional quizzer.


According to your Deja People bio you enjoy Renaissance history. What fascinates you about this particular period?

I would say to be honest I’m interested in all history and different cultures. Renaissance is a particular favourite at the moment because of my novel. But what’s not to like about great paintings and sculpture, the birth of modern music and the birth of literature?

You also enjoy writing - What sort of things do you write? And are there any particular authors who inspire your writing?

My novel is set in 16th century Italy and France. One of it’s main characters is Torquato Tasso who is now lesser known but until the 19th century was as well-known as Shakespeare. Think of the book as a revamped Canterbury Tales - Hilary Mantel meets David Mitchell (cloud Atlas) meets Ali Smith.

Describe your ideal three course meal, money no object.

This is very difficult. Living by the sea, seafood is a must. You can get fantastic seafood platters in the Regency Fish Bar. I’d have to go for a seafood platter, like the platters you get in France. If I were forced to eat anything after that it would be steak and chips and creme brulee.

What is the greatest advantage of having your base here at PLATF9RM?

It’s meeting lots of interesting people with energy and drive. And it gets me out of the house and gives my dog, Pepita, the opportunity to meet lots of interesting dogs. It’s great to have your dog with you at work.

How does PLATF9RM compare to your previous office space?

I worked at Custom Pharma Services - it’s a manufacturing environment so there were no windows. I was in a shared office which was 10 foot squared with no windows.

Tell me something about yourself that is perhaps surprising or unexpected.

An interesting fact is that I went to the same school in Geneva as fellow PLATF9RM member Alex Prezanti but we were 20 years apart.

Thank you Tony!

If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.

PLATF9RM Is Named Runner Up IPSE Co-Working Space Of The Year!

We are beyond proud to announce that we were voted runner up Co-Working Space Of The Year at the IPSE Awards!

IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals & the Self-Employed) are the brains behind National Freelancers Day and support the 4.8million people that make up the UK’s freelance and self-employed economy. They, more than anyone, know the ins and outs of going alone in business and we’re honoured to have come second out of the awesome final four: Impact Hub in Birmingham, Clockwise in Glasgow and of course the 2018 winners Avenue HQ in Liverpool!. Congratulations guys!

We’ve been on an incredible journey since opening a little over 18 months ago. We’ve grown from zero to over 600 members across two sites and we have a lot up our sleeves for the coming year. There has been blood, sweat and plenty of tears but every single drop has been worth it!

Most importantly, we’ve achieved this through the belief of our members: we know we talk (a lot) about the PLATF9RM community but it is genuinely at the heart of everything we’re trying to achieve. Every single day we come in and see you guys creating, achieving, disrupting. It’s an inspiration and we cannot wait to find out what you will do next. Here’s to the next 18 months, and far beyond that...