Housing is tied to employment. The pandemic led some employers to extend rentals to employees in order to make it feasible for the employees to live close to work.

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 Danetha Doe.

Danetha Doe is an economist for Clever, a real estate data company. She is a regular guest speaker at Google and the U.S. Small Business Administration on financial wellness for employees. Danetha is the author of the book, Financial Wellness in the Workplace.

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.

One of the life experiences that shaped me today was my 9th-grade entrepreneurship class. It was a semester class where we created a business idea, wrote a business plan, and pitched the plan to bankers for a loan. It was a fake loan, but the process felt very real. I learned at an early age the importance of creativity and the importance of understanding financial statements. I have used the lessons I learned in 9th grade throughout my career.

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?

10–15 years from now, I believe the workplace will continue to be the main source of income for individuals and the main source of health care coverage.

The differences I predict will be an increase in remote-friendly workplaces, four-day work weeks, more positions with a salary plus commission structure, and housing tied to employment (similar to how healthcare is tied to employment).

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

My advice is to provide opportunities for employees to participate in profit-sharing with the company. Also, provide more competitive benefits such as mental health services and financial wellness resources.

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 will be income-related. The cost of living is increasing at a rapid pace and wages/salaries are not keeping up. Employers will need to figure out how to increase compensation for employees while balancing the health of the business. My suggestion is to implement a profit-sharing strategy. Profit-sharing gives employees an opportunity to directly participate in the success of the company and reap the rewards from it.

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

The future of work is working from home. In order to compete for top talent, companies will need to embrace employees who wish to live anywhere in the country — or the world!

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?

I can only speak for the United States. In the States, the necessary societal changes center around affordability. We need universal health care and we need universal housing. Both of these changes will need to be a collaboration between the federal + state governments and private industry.

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

My optimism lies in the increased emphasis on mental health and overall wellness. The future of work prioritizes the needs of human beings rather than seeing them as human doings. I’m eager for this shift because it will free all of us to focus on taking care of the planet and healing Mother Earth.

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?

I am seeing innovative strategies around financial wellness. This includes access to financial coaching for free, profit-sharing opportunities, and grants provided to employees experiencing hardships. Financial health has a direct impact on mental health. If employers can help alleviate financial stress, then some of the mental health challenges experienced by employees will be eliminated.

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?

Leaders need to recognize that employees are no longer willing to sacrifice their health for a paycheck. We surveyed current college students on what they expect to make after graduating. On average, they expect to earn $104,000 as a starting salary. The average starting salary for college students is $55,260. The wide gap between expectation and reality shows that companies need to evolve their level of compensation for employees.

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

  1. Remote work is the norm, not the exception. For example, Airbnb recently announced its employees can work anywhere in the world. More companies will follow suit.
  2. Profit-sharing is part of the compensation package for most employees. Silicon Valley tech companies, and companies that go public, have practiced this for decades with stock options. I believe more private companies will incorporate this into their compensation model.
  3. Housing is tied to employment. The pandemic led some employers to extend rentals to employees in order to make it feasible for the employees to live close to work.
  4. More employers will provide financial wellness benefits. PayPal has been one of the leaders in this area by providing funds to employees who experience financial hardship.
  5. Mental health will be covered in healthcare benefits. Since the pandemic, more employers have partnered with therapists to provide mental health services at no cost to employees.

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?

All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust. — Tinkerbell

I love this quote because it’s a reminder of the magic and serendipity life always offers.

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.

I’d love to chat with Anne Wojcicki and Gwyneth Paltrow. I admire what Anne has done with 23andMe, and what GP has done with Goop. I also secretly want them to collaborate because their businesses are game-changers in the health industry. My wish would be to have a private mimosa brunch with the three of us.

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?

The best way to connect with me is to find me on LinkedIn and say hi! (Profile link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danethadoe/)

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