Pam Fosbenner started out as a tenant, but took over running the center when the manager at the time retired. According to Pam, “I really like the environment and all that an office business centers provides for it’s clients.” I recently had an opportunity to interview Pam, now area manager of two of our Silicon Valley office space locations including our San Jose office space. Pam shared with me some of her insight that she has gained over her 13-year career managing shared office space and what she envisions for the future.
How do you see your role as an area manager?
“Like everyone on staff in a business center, my role is centered on our clients. Our clients range from people just starting their businesses like an attorney starting their practice, to employees of large firms who are opening a new satellite office for their company. While their businesses are different, they have similar needs from me. Often times I act as an unofficial business coach, from helping our clients to choose the right services for their business to sharing the knowledge on business operations that I have gained through my career. I find it personally rewarding that my job is about more than keeping the office running, though that is an important part of it, but is also about being available to our clients as a resource in whatever way I can.
Working so closely with our clients, sometimes you form a real relationship. An example is VAT, Inc. who has been a client of ours since 1997. VAT, Inc. has been a client at the 50 Airport Parkway Center, in our Sunnyvale office space and now are tenants at our San Jose office center. Working with VAT over the last 13 years, I feel like I have been part of their business.”
What do you enjoy most about working in the new San Jose office space?
“San Jose is our newest office space, so it is exciting to be in a location that has the latest technology as well as a very sleek feel to it. Most rewarding is that, while it is a new location, it already has the community vibe that you see in our other centers. In fact, the San Jose office has been really busy with tenant mixers and socializing in our business lounge. One of the things that I think really distinguishes a shared office and a traditional office is the community and the networking that goes on between businesses – when it happens, you know you are doing things right.
I have to admit that I also really like the San Jose office space location because it is an enjoyable place to end my day. We are located right near San Pedro Square which has many wonderful restaurants and a great farmers market, plus, I’m a couple minute walk away from taking in a Sharks game or catching a concert without worrying about parking!”
What do you see as being the future of the workplace and office business centers?
“The OBC centers will continue to change and evolve to fit the changing needs of businesses, really, it is what we are modeled to do. Looking over my career so far, the business services needed by companies 10 years ago that were thought to be standard have completely evolved. With the rapid pace of technology, the rate at which this is changing is only speeding up.
Every day we are coming up with new ways of doing things to help and assist the growing needs of our clients. Flexibility has become a catch phrase, but it is also at the heart of what companies need to stay competitive as well as cut unnecessary overhead. So short contracts, being able to shift stream quickly or expand operations on a dime are key to having an edge over your competitor.
The virtual office is one really great example. Companies are shifting to a workforce that is de-centralized and housed in or even from home via virtual office services. In addition there is also a shift to outsource more and more of their operations to independent consultants who typically are mobile and/or work from home. With this change, business centers like ours become not just an alternative, but really core to what the workforce will increasingly look like.”
Currently serves as a Marketing Manager with a focus in online marketing and market strategy. Prior to joining Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces), Nick consulted with small businesses to assist in a business development and public relations role.