News 13 December 2019

60 Seconds with…Office Manager Fiona

60 seconds to get to know our Office Manager, Fiona!

Fiona Hawthorne, Office Manager, Fabric

So, as Office Manager at Fabric IT, what do you do?

My role as Office Manager is primarily to ensure the smooth running of the office on a day-to-day basis. My duties include developing, reviewing and improving administrative systems, policies and procedures, front of house duties, and also working alongside service desk, accounting and marketing as well as the management team.

Sounds incredibly boring, right? This isn’t the case. There’s so much more to the role of an Office Manager.

Tell us about your previous experiences and career.

In my previous life, I reluctantly joined our family business at the age of 17, thinking ‘it’ll do for now’. We designed, supplied and fitted kitchens to the general public. As with any family-run business, my job was a little bit of everything; from general office duties to greeting potential customers to making sure the showroom is presentable. Being very much a people’s person, I naturally gravitated towards customer service, so my primary role became managing installations from the point of sale to the end-product. I must have loved it as this is where I stayed for 18 years!

Fiona - office manager

How long you have been here and how the role has developed?

I’ve been here for just over 18 months now. When I saw the Receptionist post advertised I remember thinking to myself, that’ll do me. Sounds relatively stress-free, the hours fit around the school run. I don’t know a lot about IT, but I can learn. So I went for it and got the job – hurrah.
Within three months, I was honoured to be offered the role of Office Manager. Since then, my job description has tripled at least. I couldn’t even tell you what’s on it – as the answer is again ‘little bit of everything’ – apart from commissioning servers and remoting on to laptops!

If you could switch your job with anyone at Fabric, who would it be and any?

Interesting question. Coming from an industry where I know everything there is to know, and entering one, I know very little about has been daunting. Working in an open-plan office, you can’t help but overhear work-related conversations. Some of them I get – others may as well be in a different language.
In answer to the question; I think I’d like to switch my job with our Sales Director, Carl. Sure, I’d need to work on my knowledge, but I’d love to get out and see customers and wow them with what we can offer. Maybe I’d even do a better job than him?!

What is your best Fabric memory?

This one is easy. We’re a friendly group of people. There’s always something to look forward to. Our events are nothing but fun and a great way of celebrating how well we work together.
My best Fabric memory would have to be our night away in Dublin last year. Being the organiser, I was slightly apprehensive; one of my main concerns would be everyone getting on. As it turns out, there was no need to worry – if anything we came back even stronger and closer as a team.
I’ll certainly treasure the memory forever, and I’m fairly sure others will too. I’m already worried about making next year’s just as successful.

Read more… my other blog on how to improve workplace wellbeing with employee benefits.

What makes you smile at work?

Other than Friday?! I’m a happy person anyway, but I think what makes me smile the most is everyone here; my friends. It doesn’t matter how busy I am; I will always welcome a visitor to my desk. Whether they’ve come over to ask a work-related question or just for a quick lunchtime chat – I like to think they are greeted with a smile from me.
What do you enjoy doing outside at work?
Outside work, I’m a mum of three children ages 11, 13 and 14, which keeps me busy enough. My escape is the gym, and of course, being the social butterfly that I am, the odd night out with friends or work.

Fiona Hawthorne, Office Manager, Fabric

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