Protection: Protecting employees’ tech, wellbeing and workplace, and our planet.

When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.

As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Andrew Corkill, vice president, global marketing & eCommerce, Targus, a leader in laptop cases and mobile computing accessories.

Andrew leads Targus’ global sales, marketing, and eCommerce initiatives, where he collaborates with stakeholders around the world to create and implement a unified, consultative experience for the company’s partners, resellers, and end-users, globally.

As the champion of the Targus Global Brand Equity initiative, he leads the Targus global team in establishing higher standards, renewing its commitment to innovation, creating value for our partners, and driving the evolution of the Targus brand.

Previously, Andrew served as director of marketing for Human Touch, the leading provider of massage chairs and wellness products, and director of product management at telescope and camera company, Meade Instruments Corporation.

He holds his bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today.

As I was growing up in Nebraska, we took a summer vacation every year to the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes in Colorado to Rocky Mountain National Park and sometimes in Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park. Each year while camping, hiking, canoeing, exploring geysers and hot springs, I found a tremendous sense of freedom and exploration. That same sense of freedom and exploration I carry with me to work every day at Targus. The strength of the Targus brand and the innovation in our products is conducive to this same sense of freedom. I really enjoy exploring everything we do with wonder and excitement. That time spent growing up exploring new and unique environments has kept me in the pursuit of what’s new and different and never seen before in the world of computer accessories.

Let’s zoom out. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?

I think that the norm towards a flexible, remote, or hybrid work environment will continue, as the past couple of years have shown us that we can work productively and collaboratively from anywhere. For example, according to Targus’ 2022 Global Workplace Study, 85% of organizations state they have completed or are undergoing a digital transformation to support mobile workers.

I also don’t anticipate we will see a shift in work hours, where fulltime will be the norm with part-time employment, too. But flexibility will be the key driver in what employees expect from the workplace.

What I hope will change and continue to improve is our work-life balance as a society. Despite flexible working arrangements, I don’t think we are there yet. Of course, no one size fits all. Businesses will need to discover what works best for them and their employees.

Another change I anticipate is that office usage and set-ups will continue to evolve, such as an increased prevalence of hoteling and hot-desking, and more open workspaces as flexible, hybrid work will continue.

Business travel will be a lot faster, as well, based on modes of transportation and new advancements. So someone could fly around the world in an hour or two and get back home in a matter of a couple of days, versus a weeklong, or more, international work trip, for example.

Lastly, I think we will be more focused on sustainability and prioritizing how we can protect our vital natural resources, which will impact business’s environmental practices, such as recycling, energy use, and more electric-powered transportation methods, etc. In fact, our 2022 Global Workplace Study revealed that 75% of organizations believe their sustainability efforts impact their employee retention and talent acquisition, while 70% of all respondents report sustainability as a top priority for businesses.

What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?

Offer employees greater flexibility regarding where, when, and how they work, and encourage this type of flexible working arrangement. Employees will continue to expect that from their employers. Our study found that while before the pandemic, less than half of organizations reported the positive impact of flexible working on talent retention and recruitment, more than 70% do today.

What do you predict will be the biggest gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect as we move forward? And what strategies would you offer about how to reconcile those gaps?

Flexibility will be the biggest gap. This will vary by company or industry, of course, but there’s still quite a divide about this, despite our growing acceptance of remote, hybrid, and flexible work environments. Employers can reconcile this gap by listening to employees’ needs and working together with them to address their needs/concerns. For instance, while some employees appreciate the ability to work from home, others prefer working in an office, for different reasons, like needing to work in confined living areas at home and a desire for more in-person collaboration.

We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?

I think while we are seeing that “Working from Home” has worked very well, we still have a lot to learn. For instance, our company recently participated in the first major in-person trade show in more than two years. Our team appreciated the freedom and ability of travel, moving around for different meetings, and the in-person connections, but then we returned to the regularly structured workday of back-to-back meetings and Teams calls. How do we make “Work-From-Home” as productive as it can be, while helping employees achieve a better and healthier work-life-balance?

We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?

Again, the key here is flexibility. Employees seek a place to work where their physical/mental wellness, flexible work schedules, and ability to stay more closely connected to family/friends will be prioritized.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?

To make a commitment to sustainability and implement it in the work world. This includes everything from recyclable business practices, to relying more on renewable energy sources, and cutting down on the expectations for making daily commutes to/from the office. I am hopeful for us as a society to build a more sustainable future, make recycling a practice we are all committed to, going toward electric renewable energy sources, and being able to make choices about where we work. To have more freedom to work/live from anywhere.

Our collective mental health and wellbeing are now considered collateral as we consider the future of work. What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?

Employers should provide that work-life balance to their employees, while equipping them with the technology and tools to be productive from anywhere. Simple steps can go a long way in this regard, like enforcing quiet/”no-meeting” focus days or requiring employees to take a mandatory day off or set hours during the day to recharge. Employers should measure the success and performance of their employees, based on their results, not the amount of time they spend working.

It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?

Make simple changes in their business to give employees more freedom to work when, where, and how they want to. Provide them with the resources and tools to be more productive and achieve the work/life balance they need to be successful and fulfilled at work.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”

  1. The great resignation: Company policies around hybrid working will affect employee retention and attraction into the future.
  2. Embracing new ways of working: Being able and equipped to work productively, anytime or anywhere.
  3. Our physical and mental wellbeing: Balancing work and life to be healthier, happier, and more successful, personally and professionally.
  4. Living sustainably: Prioritizing sustainability in the workplace and committing to it through actionable practices.
  5. Protection: Protecting employees’ tech, wellbeing and workplace, and our planet.

For more insights into the future of work, read the results of our 2022 Annual State of the Workplace Study. Get the highlights on our blog or get the full report here.

I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer

Just try it.

ess, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.

It would be fun to have lunch with Elon Musk. I enjoy his way of exploring space and doing things to change the world.

Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?

Ror more insights into the Future of Work and Targus’ Global Workplace Study, head to the company’s blog. They can find me on LinkedIn: @andrewcorkill or reach out to me via email at [email protected].

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.