Meet Agile’s new Office Manager, Ian Parris

We’ve had quite a busy month as we welcome even more new people to our growing team.

One of the newest members of the team is Office Manager, Ian Parris, who is not only a joy to be around but is seriously good at making sure the administrative aspects of the business run without a hitch.

To get to know Ian a little better, we thought we’d ask him a few questions and introduce him to our wider community.

Ian, before we chat about your current role, can you provide a summary of your career to date?

Sure. I’ve worked as either an office manager or general manager for around 20 years or so now, mostly in service or industry-based environments where there’s a significant amount of high-level administration required.

Previous to joining Agile Technical Solutions, I had worked as an Office Manager for a Solar PV Company, and before that as a General Manager for a busy building insulation company.

I’ve always worked closely with the business owners to do whatever I can to lessen unnecessary administration and streamline back-office services.

What prompted you to make the move to Agile Technical Solutions?

Along with other people, I was unexpectedly made redundant and was actively looking for a suitable role – one where I could stay and see out my retirement.

When I applied for the role at Agile, I had several other interviews lined-up for similar office management positions, but there was something that really appealed about Agile, and that was the opportunity to make the role my own.

Can you explain a typical day as Office Manager at Agile?

Well, it’s a very varied role. Ultimately, though, my main role is to provide structured administrative support to the technical and client management teams so that they can focus on tending to client needs.

A big part of my role is also making sure that every job or project is invoiced correctly – that we do not over or undercharge clients. This involves remaining close to everyone in the technical team, tracking orders and liaising with our software and hardware suppliers to make sure communications are strong.

Another important aspect of my role is coordinating routine IT housekeeping appointments and scheduling IT Disaster Recovery testing, which are two significant things that the IT team is relieved of organising.

On the lighter side, I also organise our team social get-togethers, and have already got this year’s Christmas party planning underway.

What do you most like about being an Office Manager?

I am very loyal as an employee and take a great deal of pride in the work that I do. I like the fact that I am relied on as somebody who can find a solution to a communication or administration challenge.

Do you have any specific qualifications?

Over the years, I’ve gained quite a few qualifications in various software. I also have an NVQ Level 3 in Management, am a trained Fire Warden and will soon become a qualified Emergency First Aider.

What do you bring to the role at Agile?

Personally, I would say that I am tenacious. When I am given a task to do, I will absolutely see it through – even if that means staying late to complete it!

I am also a great listener and communicator. I effectively make the office run smoothly.

What do you enjoy most about working at Agile?

Without question, it the people and the fact that I love my job. There’s a lot for me to ‘get my teeth into’ so to speak as the office is a very busy one. Everyone is really supportive of one another, too. It’s a great working environment.

What do you outside of work? What are your hobbies?

In 2019, I decided the time was right for me to get fitter and healthier, and so I decided to change my lifestyle, which is when I discovered my love for running. Initially, I started running 5k as a beginner, which was tough at first but also very rewarding. Fast forward to today and I am now a Run Leader for Running Colchester, who meet every Tuesday and Thursday evenings. At the weekends, I also participate in the Colchester Park Run. I’ve lost a lot of weight, but more than that, I feel healthier and happier.

In April 2023, I even completed the London Marathon. It was every bit as hard as I thought it would be, but I managed to complete it in under 5 hours.