Peter Cox was recruited to Macro, Mace's facilities management business, in 2005 to work on the transformation and relocation of the offices of a large county council with Mace's public estates team. After that was completed he worked on a mixture of projects before permanently moving to the public estates team in 2012.
- How did your career lead you to Mace?
I wouldn’t say I chose to do what I’m doing - it just sort of happened. I got a job for an engineering company, but when I turned up on the first day I was asked to use my technical drawing skills to help plan small departmental moves.
At the time I was using manual techniques and ink pens. I was lucky to be one of the first people to get a computer in the office and was sent on several courses to learn computer-aided design (CAD). It was a bit of a shock to everyone else who still just had piles of paper.
I showed a flair for organising and refurbishing workspaces and went on to plan small interdepartmental fit outs and coordinate large office moves at a number of blue chip companies.
I was turning cellular offices into open plan accommodation – a new trend at the time. Companies were starting to introduce new technologies for remote working and hot-desking, so that they could have shared workspaces and make more efficient use of space.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
When I joined Macro in 2005 I was asked to manage the relocation of people in a big programme that Mace was already involved in. I then moved into Mace’s public sector consultancy team, working on rationalising office spaces.
I’ve worked with a variety of clients, including reorganising the Home Office’s London headquarters and coordinating the migration of 3,000 Hampshire County Council employees into its new headquarters Queen Elizabeth II Court. I'm now working on a similar project but this time at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, which has undergone a major redesign.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
I really like the challenge of delivering projects in a live environment. We’re usually helping clients move their employees and critical operations during a phased programme while their office space is constructed or refurbished around them.
I’m often on the fence between construction and client teams. The clients want reorganisations delivered on time, but they don’t want business to be affected. Quite often, I end up being the face of the Mace project team as I’m there on the ground.
- What is your favourite piece of work at Mace?
After we delivered one project for a county council, I was asked to go back to work on other workplace programmes for them. I developed a tool that enabled them to interrogate how they used space across their offices in real time. It could tell them how much space all their toilets take up, or what space their HR team use across the county. I was very pleased to hear they’re still using it years later.
- What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
Technology is influencing everything. It’s the driver for changing the way we work. For example, remote working has helped us use office space more efficiently. Going forward, however, some organisations are now finding technology is causing problems with team cohesion as team members are now disparate. Some want to keep teams together to encourage collaboration.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
As a child, I was a very keen long distance runner and represented the local borough.