Future Work

by Daan van Rossum

Welcome to Future Work, a podcast on the happier future of work.

Every two weeks, I sit down with a global expert to learn how we can stay ahead with practical tips and strategies for leading in the future of work.

Whether you're a People Manager, a People Operations expert, or a people-centric C-Suite executive, these interviews provide va ... 

 ...  Read more

Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • Why Remote Companies Are More Profitable (Liam Martin, CEO Time Doctor)

    Why Remote Companies Are More Profitable (Liam Martin, CEO Time Doctor)

    Today, it’s my great pleasure to host Liam Martin, the co-founder and CEO of Time Doctor, a time-tracking tool, and the founder of Running Remote, a conference about remote work launched in 2017. As Liam told me, everything he does focuses on one single mission: empowering the world’s transition toward remote work as quickly as possible, as he believes this will make humanity happier.  Today, we’ll discuss focusing on outputs, managing asynchronously, and why remote companies are more profitable. Here’s what I picked up from this fascinating conversation.  1. Time Tracking to Understand Effectiveness ‍While time tracking is controversial, Liam believes it must be done in the context of radical transparency. And that if you measure your inputs at work better, you can get more and better outputs. Microsoft research shows that 76% of people say they’re more productive working from home, but managers say they are not. This is why measuring work is important to Liam, as it makes this conversation objective. ‍ 2. Remote, Work-Life Balance, and Hybrid‍ A longitudinal study from Liam’s Timedoctor data shows that while remote employees’ output per week is higher, output per hour is lower. Remote workers stretch out their weeks more, melting work and life together. Liam says that remote workers need to learn to create more boundaries between life and work. And that therefore, there may actually be a great role for hybrid work, where you spend your synchronous working time in an office and your asynchronous work remotely.‍ 3. Asynchronous Management From twenty years of remote work experience and studying the best remote companies, Liam embraced a model called asynchronous management, where you lead people without synchronously interacting with them. In fact, project management platforms can do the lion share of what management used to be, And as long as you focus on the outputs someone creates, that should be totally possible. ‍ 4. Remote as the Norm ‍Liam remarks that 82% of new tech companies in San Francisco are remote or hybrid, compared to 16% pre-pandemic. If all new companies embrace this working model, this will eventually become the norm. So, if you as an existing company don’t embrace this model, you will not be able to compete as it decreases costs.  Future Work is a weekly newsletter and bi-weekly podcast to help people-centric leaders stay ahead in the future of work. Subscribe on FlexOS, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube for the latest Future Work episodes. Like reading more than listening? Find the article on our website: https://www.flexos.work/learn/remote-companies-are-more-profitable-liam-martin-ceo-time-doctor

  • Retaining Your Top Talent with Flexibility and Joy (featuring Debbie Lovich, Managing Director & Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group)

    Retaining Your Top Talent with Flexibility and Joy (featuring Debbie Lovich, Managing Director & Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group)

    This week, it's my great pleasure to host TED speaker and Boston Consulting Group Managing Director Debbie Lovich. Debbie has done a ton of research on making work work that has been published on Forbes, HBR, and BCG. Since top talent is up to 10x more productive, our discussion delved into what truly drives joy at work and its profound impact on employee retention and effectiveness. Here’s what I picked up from this fascinating conversation. 1. The Link Between Joy and Retention ‍Debbie's research revealed that employees who enjoy their work are far more likely to stay with their company. The retention rate more than doubles for those who find joy in their job compared to those who don't. 2. Work Types and Environments ‍It's fascinating to hear how different tasks affect our happiness. Focus work, administrative tasks, and interactive work uniquely shape our job satisfaction. Equally important is the environment – remote or in-office – and how it aligns with these tasks. 3. Role of Management ‍The role of management in all this cannot be overstressed. Managers are pivotal in fostering an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and fairly treated. Satisfaction with one's manager, access to necessary resources, equality in opportunities, and support from senior leaders are all crucial factors for employee happiness and retention. 4. Evolving Employee-Employer Relationship ‍Our conversation also highlighted the evolving relationship between employees and employers, necessitating a personalized approach to employee needs and preferences. It's about understanding that each employee's requirements and aspirations are as unique as the customers our companies cater to. 5. Future of Work and AI's Role ‍AI's potential to reshape jobs, by enhancing joy and reducing mundane tasks, is enormous. However, it's crucial to balance AI implementation with an eye on employee happiness alongside productivity. Don’t let AI remove the work you enjoy doing. 6. In conclusion, Debbie's Optimistic Vision for the Future of Work ‍Debbie shared an optimistic vision for the future of work. It's one where there’s less us vs. them and employers and employees collaborate to redefine the workplace, focusing on mutual benefits, productivity, and a shared sense of accomplishment and joy. Future Work is a weekly newsletter and bi-weekly podcast to help people-centric leaders stay ahead in the future of work. Subscribe on FlexOS, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube for the latest episodes. Like reading more than listening? Find the article on our website: www.flexos.work/learn/retaining-top-talent-debbie-lovich-boston-consulting-group-bcg

  • The 5Ps of a Winning Employee Value Proposition (with Josh Levine, Great Mondays)

    The 5Ps of a Winning Employee Value Proposition (with Josh Levine, Great Mondays)

    Are you struggling to attract, engage, and retain the best talent? The answer may be in Purpose. In this episode of Future Work, I have the pleasure of speaking with author, consultant, and educator Josh Levine. Josh is a graphic designer turned brand strategist, and in the past years has been on a mission to help organizations design a culture advantage. His book, Great Mondays: How To Design A Company Culture Employees Love, was listed as one of BookAuthority’s best culture books of all time. Josh and I speak about The Importance of Purpose, the 6 elements of Designing and Managing winning Cultures, and how great cultures allow you to shape an Employee Value Proposition that lets you attract, engage, and retain the best talent. Here are the lessons to apply today: 1. The Importance of Purpose: Purpose, why you’re in business beyond making money, is even more important now as we don’t see each other as often. Purpose connects us as people and gives us meaning, which is a main motivator for humans. 2. Designing and Managing Culture: In Josh’ book, Great Mondays, he lays out a framework for designing and managing culture. It starts with Purpose (your North Star), Values (what you need to do to move the business forward), Behaviors (help employees make better decisions), Recognition and Rewards (linked to values-driven behavior), Rituals (to strengthen relationships), Cues (reminders.) Following this framework means you can finally manage, measure,, and optimize your culture. 3. Purpose means Business: A purpose statement isn’t just up in the clouds. Josh’s Credit Karma case study shows that aligning on a clear purpose can influence your product and drive business results. Credit Karma wanted their people to be their best financial selves, which meant that a financial dashboard will help their customer, but also provide great business opportunities. 4. Culture and Employee Value Proposition: The best cultures tie directly to Employee Engagement and Employee Value Proposition (EVP.) A great way to attract, engage, and retain employees is with the 5Ps: Package, Potential, People, Purpose, and Pedigree. Future Work is a weekly newsletter and bi-weekly podcast to help people-centric leaders stay ahead in the future of work. Subscribe on FlexOS, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube for the latest Future Work episodes. Like reading more than listening? Find the article on our website: www.flexos.work/learn/the-5ps-of-a-winning-employee-value-proposition-josh-levine

  • Meeting Doomsday: How Asana Won Back 3,000 Hours (with Rebecca Hinds, the Head of The Work Innovation Lab by Asana)

    Meeting Doomsday: How Asana Won Back 3,000 Hours (with Rebecca Hinds, the Head of The Work Innovation Lab by Asana)

    Rebecca Hinds is a Stanford PhD who heads The Work Innovation Lab by Asana. Her research and insights have appeared in publications including Harvard Business Review, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, etc. In this interview, Rebecca shares: 1. Neuroscience and AI: People have always been afraid of technology and innovation, and neuroscience shows us that people avoid what they fear, and AI is triggering our fear of the unknown, of being replaced. 2. Three Gaps for Organizational Adoption of AI: there are three big gaps between how executives and individual Contributors view the technology: Optimism Gap: Executives see the promise and potential of AI more than Individual Contributors do. Transparency Gap: Executives think they are more transparent in using AI than they are according to individual contributors. Resource Gap: 25% of executives say they provide AI training, but only 11% of ICs agree. Leaders must close these three gaps to gain the benefits of AI in organizations. 3. AI: From Individual Productivity to Team Results: People currently use AI for admin tasks, content production, and data analysis. While beneficial, this creates a risk of focusing too heavily on individual productivity versus team productivity. Doing so can lead to “collaboration overload." This will ultimately result in higher job satisfaction and retention rates due to the increased interest in the work assigned. 4. Solving the Meeting Overload Problems: Rebecca co-wrote the famous HBR article Meeting Overload Is a Fixable Problem. This article highlights the Meeting Doomsday case study, which let people delete all repeating meetings before adding them back, saving participants up to 2.5 work weeks per year. Cutting meeting time is important. 5. Tech Stacks: Less is More: Rebecca’s team recently released a new study about tech stacks in partnership with Amazon Web Services, using too many platforms is counterproductive especially because of switching costs. To solve this issue, the subtraction mindset is key: do less, not more. 6. The Innovation Score: Rebecca's Work Innovation Lab has developed a new AI-powered model for predicting a company's ability to innovate. Called The Innovation Score, it captures four key predictors of innovation: cohesion, velocity, resilience, and capacity. 7. And finally, a call to action from Rebecca: work needs to change, so be bold! Grab a couple of people and test better ways of working. Future Work is a weekly newsletter and bi-weekly podcast to help people-centric leaders stay ahead in the future of work. Subscribe on FlexOS, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube for the latest Future Work episodes. Like reading more than listening? Find the article on our website: www.flexos.work/learn/meeting-doomsday-how-asana-won-back-3000-hours

  • The AI-Driven 10-Hour Workweek (with author Alexandra Samuel (WSJ, HBR, Book: Remote Inc.)

    The AI-Driven 10-Hour Workweek (with author Alexandra Samuel (WSJ, HBR, Book: Remote Inc.)

    Are you tired of working five days per week? Welcome to this week’s episode of Future Work. Today I am honored to welcome Alexandra Samuel, a speaker, data journalist, and the co-author of Remote Inc.: How to Thrive at Work...Wherever You Are – one of our favorite remote work books. Alex holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and her writing on work and productivity appears frequently in the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Here are the key lessons to stay ahead in the future of work: A New Way to Friday: Fridays have become ambiguous – is it still a workday? Alexandra highlights three solutions: going back to the office, creating a 3-day weekend, or, as she advocates for, an in-between where the office closes and no meetings are scheduled so you can better balance work and life. The Challenges of a 4-day Workweek: As Alex says, we’re conflating activity with output and output with value. The hours you spend at your desk do not determine the value you contribute to your organization. So, does it matter how many days you work? Impact of AI on Work: Alex shares the huge impact AI already has and will have, including the displacement of white-collar jobs. She shares we may have to rethink what constitutes a full-time job. The pace of AI is accelerating so fast. Adaptability and continuous learning are essential for us to participate in an AI-driven future of work. Managers and AI: Leaders should cultivate that sense of adaptability in their teams. Alexandra says she’s gobsmacked that companies and managers don’t allow their teams to use AI. It’s use it or be replaced, she says. For this, three obstacles have to be removed: - Companies need to allow AI to be used at work. - You need to have time to experiment. - You have to become one with the fact that AI is hard to learn as it develops so quickly. Becoming a Business of One: As managers, enable your team to deliver that one brilliant hour of work that trumps 25 mediocre ones. This means giving them time for renewal and coaching them to get the most out of it. Alex’s Final Thought: We’re on the verge of a beautiful transformation in the nature of work. We’re in a moment where we can rethink how much of our lives is spent at work. And how much of our work is spent on tedious stuff. Because the AIs don’t care about tedious, they really don’t mind. Future Work is a weekly newsletter and bi-weekly podcast to help people-centric leaders stay ahead in the future of work. Subscribe on FlexOS, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube for the latest Future Work episodes. Like reading more than listening? Find the article on our website: www.flexos.work/learn/ai-driven-10-hour-work-week-best-selling-author-alexandra-samuel-wsj-hbr-book-remote-inc