Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Paige Catton
Features Writer
7:40 AM 19th August 2019

10 In 10: Jamie Durham, Founder Of Leeds-based IT Firm Systemwork

Jamie Durham
Jamie Durham
Jamie Durham, founder of Leeds-based IT firm Systemwork is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as The Yorkshire Times gives him just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.

What does a typical working day for you involve?

I’ve recently changed my routine for a fitness push, so my days now start at 5:45am to do a high intensity interval training workout on the hill next to my house. Then I drink loads of coffee and head into the office.

I always take a look at any outstanding jobs, and then check where we are up to on the sales pipeline and address any queries.

My Trello board dictates the remainder of my day. It nearly always includes some form of self-development and some income-generating tasks, aside from what I would consider general work. I have also recently moved into a marketing and business development role, so I am progressing through our planned strategy for the year.

Before I leave for home, I always plan for the following day. Then once I’m back, I walk the dog for my 10,000 steps and sometimes go to the gym, before cooking some dinner and relaxing.

What makes your company special?

We make data security our main priority – as any IT provider should – and after this our entire ethos surrounds clients’ productivity and their ROI.
We focus on delivering lightning-fast support services, to ensure that our customers’ problems and queries are being resolved as quickly as possible.
Put simply, we are trying to change the stereotypes surrounding the industry and I hope our clients agree that we are delivering on this.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?

Be nice and treat people with kindness – it costs nothing. This includes suppliers, who I believe should be treated with equal respect to customers.
I am a typical Yorkshire man that doesn’t mince words, so if something is wrong, I say what it is. However, I never do this to staff in front of others, unless a mistake is made as a team and needs addressing. I believe there is zero need to lose control, raise your voice or belittle people.

Do you dress up or down for work?

It is strictly smart-casual at Systemwork – would you trust a techie in a suit? I sometimes dress up for client meetings, but this can backfire because so many companies are now trying to introduce ‘relaxed’ cultures.
But my grandad was big on first impressions, so I don’t think I will change this any time soon.

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Have zero fear over the next 10 years! And, don’t worry about what career you are going to have. In other words, take risks – and big ones – while you have little in the way of commitments.

That and buy some Bitcoin.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?

I love Issho at the Victoria Gate in Leeds. It is always just busy enough to have a nice atmosphere, but not so much that you feel like cattle.
The views over the old market building are lovely too – there is some gorgeous architecture in the city and I think it is sometimes easy to overlook.

How do you prefer to travel for business?

I love trains! I have always had a strange fascination with them, and I think it is because I didn’t go on one until I was around 13-years-old.

What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?

I love the coast at Whitby, Sandsend and Runswick Bay. The sea has a very calming effect on me, and the dog loves it.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?

My mum and dad’s house. I would definitely recommend her Sunday dinners – I swear you will not have tasted a better Yorkshire pudding!

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?

Absolutely everything – it is God’s own country after all! If I had to pick one thing though, I would say the people. They are the nicest and most trustworthy I have come across on my travels.