Technology. Technology is going to keep advancing and being an integral part of the future of work. When it comes to training and development, the most robust concepts will integrate new technologies such as gamification, animation and more. Remote work will rely on the advancement of e-learning tools through cutting-edge technology.
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 Dr. Kay Green.
Dr. Kay Green is the founder and CEO of EDesign Consulting. She has a 10+ year history of providing high-quality, innovative, expertise through cutting-edge course design and real-world instruction and application in the virtual classroom. Dr. Kay specializes in content design and development that meets the need of any digital-learning environment and is certified in Instructional Design, Online Instruction, and Quality Matters with progressive roles in higher education, government, and corporations.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. 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?
In the next 10–15 years, we will see the decline of the traditional workplace. Working from home will become the norm because the pandemic has mashed together work-life balance. With the rise of on-demand and micro-learning, people will be able to prioritize their professional and personal timelines in a more balanced way.
What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
My advice would be to keep learning and investing in your employees. Also, digitize everything. Everything that you have should be adapted online. Companies need to start exploring artificial intelligence, trying out virtual reality and implementing new technologies that make their systems really flow. Get ahead of what we know is coming. If they know it’s “working at this time,” then don’t stay complacent. Stay ahead of it.
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?
It’s common to hear employers say they have an existing professional development offering that’s “so great” and it’s them fire hosing information over the span of eight hours. Their employees don’t retain any information and it leaves a huge disconnect. Employers need to make better training and offer more modalities. It’s vital to interact and understand employees and their e-learning needs.
We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?
Working from home is going to be the norm. It already is. I go back to the Great Resignation. People aren’t willing to tie their lives up to sit in an office. On average, research shows that people are only working about four to five hours a day. The rest of the time they’re just sitting on the internet or sitting in traffic. If that is the case, it just makes more sense to have that type of flexibility. They did realize that people are more productive working from home. So, what’s the purpose of the office? Employers need to ask themselves what works best for their employees moving forward.
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?
It’s got to be about the flexibility. If it’s front-line workers or executives, the pandemic really made people question their work-life balance.
What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?
I’m confident and optimistic that the future of work will be focused on flexibility and employee happiness. We’ve learned that employees need to have balance in order to stay productive and focused and really enjoy what they do. Workplaces are also learning to prioritize micro-learning instead of training sessions that are in-person and several days long. People need information in smaller doses, various modalities, and presented in an engaging way. We cannot forget that the balance is work and life has a common denominator: Learning. Access to new information, support in learning processes, exposure to industry trends and more are all cultural elements of a company.
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?
Absolutely. I consulted with one company that incorporated telehealth and mental health hotlines for their employees as well as mental health portals to speak to a representative if they needed support. This company in particular had sleeping pods, yoga, activity groups, and an array of wellness concepts to support their employees. They were also having touch bases and round robins to talk about how the week was. I thought these concepts were very innovative.
In my own work with EDesign Consulting, I have also designed mental health e-learning concepts for clients and I think there will only continue to be a rise in the demand for these kinds of offerings.
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?
Companies need to re-invest in their employees and adopt new ways of learning to stay relevant. I am confident that e-learning is the way of the future and is a crucial investment.
Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”
Everything is global now. If people are going to adapt, they’re going to need to get used to work with other cultures. With the rise of remote work, it will be increasingly more important to be culturally aware. In many of my projects, translation and cultural visibility is key. This concept from a workplace dynamic and a learning standpoint will critical going forward.
Years ago, if you think about the structure of the workforce you’d work 9-to-5 and stay on the position. That is simply not the case anymore. We’re seeing new work habits and new norms across workplaces and sectors. Companies will need to adapt to these new behaviors and their employees will need to be ready to understand how to function within them.
Technology is going to keep advancing and being an integral part of the future of work. When it comes to training and development, the most robust concepts will integrate new technologies such as gamification, animation and more. Remote work will rely on the advancement of e-learning tools through cutting-edge technology.
The rise of the millennial age group has impacted company culture and technology; and we’d be wise to understand their motivations beyond traditional generational critique. Digitization and work flexibility can both be attributed to the millennial generation, but all age groups are having to work together in order to accomplish workplace and learning changes.
Again, remote work will be the norm going forward. People want to have flexibility and work-life balance. It’s crucial that employees and their needs are met in order for them to be more productive. The office may still play a role in corporate culture or team building, but for most, a portion of their work will happen remotely and over digital platforms. Learning and navigating those ever-evolving platforms will be a constant learning curve in our professional lives.
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?
My favorite life lesson quote or mantra is “The primary goal that I want to accomplish in life is to challenge what is and consider what can be.” It really falls in line with my mission to question what learning concepts can be and how they take shape. I am always working hard to craft new ways of thinking both figuratively and visually. I think that quote really emphasizes why I do what I do.
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.
Mark Cuban. Interestingly enough, I’ve watched his shows and read his articles and I just think his confidence and his business acumen and very unapologetic. He’s just a very unique and authentic personality. I love people like that.
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?
Absolutely. I love to connect on social media. I’m always sharing articles about the future of e-learning, micro-learning, gamification, you name it. You can find me at @DrRKayGreen on Twitter or @EDesignConsult on Twitter and Instagram.
Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.