Associate Director of MEP
Fit out, UK
With more people than ever now working remotely, companies are investing in their technology infrastructure to offer employees an immersive virtual experience. Jon Salmon, Associate Director for AV/IT services, delivers cutting edge tech solutions to create the next generation of digitally smart workplaces. Since joining Mace Interiors in 2019, Jon has applied his technical know-how on a mix of high-end fit outs for some of the UK’s most forward thinking companies.
- How did you get into what you do?
I first ventured into the tech and AV sector in the early nineties, when I started out as a lighting and laser operator for events, night clubs and theatres. The tech industry was still regarded as a novelty field. One of my first jobs was working as part of the digital effects crew for Elton John’s 1992 UK tour which was an amazing experience.
My first project as a lead engineer was with the Royal Opera House, managing the digital infrastructure of their projects. From there I progressed into project management of audio-visual equipment and technology for interiors.
I joined Mace when I was offered the opportunity to head up AV/IT services for the interiors business and so far, it's been a fantastic journey.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
I work with a great team who are all experts in their field. No day is the same, one day I’ll be working on an exciting proposal and the next day I’ll be managing a complex cutting-edge tech installation. Audiovisual technology has a real impact on how offices operate today.
My role is all about creating a seamless digital experience and finding interactive solutions to support remote collaboration and bring everyone from different locations together as one team.
With the coronavirus pandemic changing the way people work, digital experiences are now more important than ever and it’s fascinating to play such a key role in reshaping and adapting workplaces.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
- Being part of winning a bid is always a proud achievement. Our success is testament to the great teamwork and diverse skillset. I was really proud when we won a high-end fit out job for a leading global professional services company, where we delivered state-of-the-art digital collaboration spaces.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
You need to have a passion for technology and understand how to integrate tech applications with the building design to a point where the tech almost becomes invisible.
Having an engineer’s mindset is also an advantage, especially when it comes to translating abstract technical design documents into a seamless digital user experience.
Have a curious mindset and never stop learning. The technology and digital space is evolving at great pace - today’s equipment might be out of date soon, so you always need to have one eye on the future to make sure that what you install today is still up to date in six months time. People are becoming more tech-savvy and the demand for ever-smarter tech solutions is constantly growing. We are seeing a trend moving into voice-operated devices, similar to the applications people now use at home.
- What has been your biggest challenge?
Today’s biggest challenge is the complexity and multitude of audiovisual systems and applications that we have to integrate into client IT networks.
I’m currently working on a large scale office fit out with over 60 digitally enabled smart meeting rooms, all of them with multiple video conference applications and touchscreens to control the building management systems. The meeting rooms are equipped with a passive infrared motion detector that detects physical presence and will notify the building system if a booked room is unoccupied. It means the room will be released back into the booking system and all digital functions will be switched off to save energy and reduce the environmental footprint.
I’ve been working in the digital space for over a decade now and with the latest technological advances we are now at the forefront to deliver digitally enabled smart buildings to create the best possible workplace experience. It’s a really exciting time for us and our clients.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love to cook modern British food and entertain friends and family. And with both my children past their teens, it's given me the opportunity to get back into golf now my active footballing days are behind me.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
I probably would have continued to work in events on the technology side. My father worked in events, so I was exposed from an early age.
“My role is all about creating a seamless digital experience and finding interactive solutions to support remote collaboration and bring everyone from different locations together as one team.”