We had the opportunity to sit down with Becky Simi, Managing Partner of Pacific Workplaces Peninsula region. Becky is more than just a managing partner, as she spearheads our online booking platform projects and serves as our company-wide sales training expert. Becky has been part of the shared workspace industry for 20 years – all of them as a “Pacmate.” Read on to learn about her management style and how she goes about empowering her team members.
How did you become a part of the shared workspace industry?
I started as a receptionist for a two-location serviced office space company called The Home Office. Scott Chambers, who is now the COO for Pac, was the owner/operator. I had no idea that the concept of serviced office space was even a business. It was captivating to me that I was able to help different types of companies and took pride in running a bit of their business. It was also fascinating that the vibe of the office could change with just one member personality leaving or staying. After eight months I moved to the second location as the manager. It was great all-around training and I got more involved with the business. Then Scott Chambers and I met Laurent Dhollande (current CEO of Pacific Workplaces) and the rest is history.
You’ve been with the company for some time. What keeps you coming to work every day?
All of the employees of Pacific Workplaces and CloudVO! Our executive team is always lively, brimming with ideas and opinions. We are all so different, but able to work really well as a crew. Laughter and a common vision binds us together. Our operations staff is beyond amazing. They are a remarkable assortment of characters of many talents and flavors. Being able to communicate and help each other each day truly keeps me going and keeps me engaged. I have also met an eclectic group of fabulous members and vendors. Their passion in what they do is truly exciting and fuels the vibrant energy of our communities.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Family time is a priority for me and being with them when I’m not working is really satisfying. During the summer we take our boat out to Lake Berryessa where we camp and just enjoy the outdoors. My son plays baseball, so we are always traveling to a tournament or practice a good part of the year. We’ve become close with many baseball families and I love the community aspect of it. We take care of each other by shuttling each other’s kids around and bonding over group meals. I also enjoy going to just about any sporting event as I love the competition and excitement it brings cheering on my favorite Bay Area teams. Go Warriors, San Francisco Giants and 49ers! I also love the theater and just became a member of SHN (Shorenstein Hays Nederlander) – a theater company based in San Francisco. It’s like being a season ticket holder for plays and musical productions.
My passion though is pool (my husband and I met in a pool hall). I play in a weekly, co-ed 8-Ball pool league, with the kick ass ladies of “All Rack, No Balls.” There is something so methodical and mesmerizing in figuring out how to solve the run out of the table. How do I play position with the cue ball to pocket the next ball? How do I play a defensive shot if I need to? If I had more time, this is what I would do more of.
How does your personality come through in your management style?
I have a pretty laid back personality and it does come out in my management style. After training in the basics, I really let people be who they are and try to guide them in a better style if they need assistance. I appreciate a staff member who isn’t afraid of asking questions if they need help, and I also appreciate action instead of being frozen in indecision. Once a decision and action is taken, I believe you learn from experience, whether it be good or bad! As a child, whenever I asked my father how to do something, he would take the time to describe his experience, and I would do things his way sometimes, but mostly it was my way. He would then follow up with … “or do what you want.” As a manager, I can guide, but often people will do what they want. As long as they are thinking, and if it’s reasonable, I see that different paths lead to a common goal. It’s all I can ask of the team.
Can you recall a memorable moment at work?
There are so many! One of the truly memorable was when my coworker, Kim Seipel, got herself into a dance off with one of our members. “Genie in a Bottle” from Christina Aguilera had just come on the radio and she was showing us a dance her mother was doing at her wedding. In walks one of the members, Matt, and without saying anything he starts doing a Michael Jackson impersonation – getting on his toes and singing “Hee, Hee, Oww!” and then doing a spin with his hand on his hip and pointing up. Just like Michael! On point, Kim followed up with Madonna and we were laughing hysterically at the spontaneous comedy.
How do you maintain a good work/life balance?
I do pretty well, though, having a smartphone is a blessing and a curse! I find I work a bit here and there in my free time, but not so that I’m staring at my phone constantly. Going to 6 AM boot camp with my husband 4-days per week provides great mental clarity and helps me manage my day-to-day tasks. What a stress reliever and a great way to start the day! I also focus on breathing techniques when stress wants to take over or if overactive thoughts are overwhelming me before bed. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling is so basic but so important in controlling mind and body.