Automation and AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have been transforming industries by taking over repetitive tasks and freeing up workers to focus on more value-added tasks. One example is the use of AI in customer support, where chatbots can handle routine queries, allowing human agents to handle more complex issues. This trend will continue to evolve, and workers will need to reskill and upskill to stay relevant in the job market.

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 Cory Hymel, Gigster.

Cory Hymel serves as the Vice President of Product & Research at Gigster, a company democratizing access to great software development. With over 800 engineers, Gigster helps startups to Fortune 500 companies unleash human cloud-driven innovation at a global scale. Follow him on YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn and read his blog at

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.

This first experience is one that really set my trajectory into the tech space. My sophomore year of high school we were fortunate enough to have a grad student, a gentleman named David M. from our local university, teach software engineering 3 days a week. He was one of the best educators that I’ve ever had and fostered a large amount of excitement and curiosity for software engineering. He’s the one person that I can singularly point to and say that I’m in technology because of him. The power of good teachers is often overlooked — especially when it comes to getting kids interested in tech at a young age.

The second experience is when I sold everything in 2017 and moved into a van to travel North America with my now wife. We traveled for over a year across the US, Mexico, and Canada, finally ending up in Southeast Asia. It’s hard to count the number of life lessons that happened during that trip but one of the biggest was learning to trust myself and be OK with uncertainty. We had barely any money, no clue on where we were going, and no idea what we would do after. I became comfortable with the fact that, no matter what, I can find a way. That confidence has helped lead me to where I am today.

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?

The future of work will be different in that a large portion of the workforce will be fluid. The concert of working at a single place of employment for extended periods of time will diminish and we’ll begin to see fractional work everywhere. This began to manifest years ago with Uber, Lyft, Doordash, etc. and was exacerbated during the pandemic. DAOs and Web3 organization structures even furthered the idea. In 10 years we’ll live in a world where the talent shortage is filled not through full time employment but fractional work.

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

The wants and needs of the future workforce are changing quickly. Organizations often forget that they need to adapt to not just their customer base but also their workforce. We saw during the Silicon Valley boom that large cap tech companies started offering crazy perks, cultural ideology, and other incentives that attracted a majority of top talent. Today being able to adopt remote work, fractional work, and younger generations incentives that are not only aligned to monetary compensation is extremely important.

Companies that don’t do this may survive, but they won’t be competitive.

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?

The biggest gaps today are:

  1. Flexibility and remote work: Remote work is the norm now and companies not able to adapt will have a hard time staying competitive.
  2. Upskilling and continuous learning: The future of work is fluid and employees find continuous learning an attractive opportunity at a company. Keeping open communication and dialog with your employees to understand how to help them advance their career can help retention as well as attract high quality individuals.
  3. Globalization: “Remote work” does not mean a different city or state. In order to stay truly competitive you have to look at the entire global talent pool and adopt principles and processes that let you leverage them effectively.
  4. Incentives beyond money: Generations entering into the workforce now are not as money driven as past generations and often look for deeper purpose in work beyond collecting a paycheck. Work to understand what your target audience is looking for beyond money.

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

The global experiment normalized that you don’t have to be on premise to be productive. It’s hard to overstate how difficult this would have been if not for the pandemic. It accelerated organizational culture, structure, and understanding years ahead. The future of work is underpinned by the idea that you can be remote, had the “working from home” experiment not happened we would be 20–30 years behind where we are today as it relates to the future of work.

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?

Recognition that the future of work isn’t going to impact everyone to the same degree. As a knowledge worker in the technology sector it’s an easy bubble to think, “Wow! This remote and fractional work can change everything!” and that’s simply not the case. There are (a lot) of jobs out there that may feel little to no direct impact from the future of work.

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

DAOs. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations may be one of the most impactful (and exciting) things to come out of the 2017–2022 Web3 bull run. This new organizational structure grew organically, it’s rooted in technology, it was pioneered by pioneers, and evolved massively in only a few short years. It showed that large groups of independent, anonymous workers can be brought together and organized to accomplish a singular mission. Whether companies adopt the specific technology supporting DAOs, it’s impossible for any organization to ignore the power of decentralized and distributed workforces. When we look back 50 years from now we will see DAOs as impactful as the 40hr work week was.

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?

Admitting and recognizing that mental health is important is step one. The second step is recognizing that company culture in the future work is vastly different from traditional culture definitions. Future of work culture indexes more heavily on a healthy work/life balance and offering culture participation channels. It also focuses more on individual identity which helps with mental health. Compare that to companies that offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, sleeping pods, wellness centers, daycare, etc. in hopes that you never leave and your whole entire world and identity is defined by the company and you can see the difference.

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?

Workforce needs and wants are changing. Leaders need to adapt and listen. Millennials are seeing that they can express different wants but still have years of traditional conditioning. Gen Z’s are more expressive in their expectations and wants. Gen Alphas are coming and will undoubtedly have new needs. Build a culture that supports inclusivity across the age groups and understand that it’s not a one size fits all.

One of the largest tectonic shifts in culture I’ve seen is that individual identity is no longer as strongly tied to place of work as it used to be. Remote work is one of the driving factors of this. When looking to evolve your company culture, understand that first you need to redefine what culture means.

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

  1. Remote and Hybrid Work: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid work models, pushing organizations to adapt and rethink their workplace strategies. For example, many technology companies, such as Google and Dropbox, have announced permanent remote work policies. As this trend continues, expect to see improvements in collaboration tools, more emphasis on work-life balance, and a shift in office space usage. The rise of digital nomads and the implementation of “workcations” are also notable outcomes of this trend.
  2. Automation and AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have been transforming industries by taking over repetitive tasks and freeing up workers to focus on more value-added tasks. One example is the use of AI in customer support, where chatbots can handle routine queries, allowing human agents to handle more complex issues. This trend will continue to evolve, and workers will need to reskill and upskill to stay relevant in the job market.
  3. Gig Economy and Freelancing: The gig economy is growing rapidly, with more people choosing to work as freelancers or independent contractors. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have made it easier for professionals to find work and clients to find talent. For instance, the rise of Uber and Lyft has disrupted traditional taxi services, giving drivers more flexibility and control over their schedules. As this trend expands, we’ll see a shift in labor rights, benefits, and worker protections.
  4. Lifelong Learning and Skill Development: The rapid pace of technological advancements and the dynamic nature of the job market are pushing individuals to engage in lifelong learning. For example, massive open online courses (MOOCs) like Coursera and edX offer accessible and affordable education in various fields. Employers are also investing more in employee training and development, recognizing the need to constantly upskill their workforce to remain competitive.
  5. Employee Well-being and Mental Health: The future of work will also see a greater focus on employee well-being and mental health. The pandemic has emphasized the importance of mental health in the workplace, with many organizations implementing mental health support programs and policies. One example is the “right to disconnect” legislation in France, which allows employees to avoid work related communications during non-work hours.

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?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I know that it’s been said a million times before but it was one of my father-in-law’s pieces of advice for marriage and I took it to heart. I think about it on a daily basis from personal life to work life and it’s helped relieve a lot of stress.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, 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.

Josh and Chuck from the Stuff You Should Know podcast. While they’re not business, VC, or anything I’m fascinated with how they’ve maintained such a deep level of curiosity for so long. I wish I could be more curious and would love to pick their brains on how they do it.

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?

LinkedIn is probably the best way. Just search my name!

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