Employee monitoring tools will spark more controversy.

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 Gaetano DiNardi.

Gaetano DiNardi is a proven marketing leader with 10 years of experience leading high performance marketing teams at fast growing tech companies like Pipedrive, Outreach.io and Nextiva. Today, Gaetano serves as the VP of Growth at Aura, a company that’s dedicated to creating a safer internet for everyone.

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.

My path into a marketing career is somewhat unconventional — I actually have a degree in marketing, but I didn’t really learn anything valuable in school about marketing.

I wanted to apply my marketing skills to music, and have a career in the music business. I was a songwriter and producer in New York for many years, trying to “make it” — I was able to work with some cool artists like Fat Joe and Shaggy, but because I was blogging about my experiences as a rising songwriter/producer, I kind of fell backwards into SEO.

People started finding my content online by doing Google Searches for things like how to license your music and get paid — and without knowing it, I was growing a lot of traffic to my website. Random people were messaging me on social media, thanking me for writing such helpful content.

I fell in love with the idea of publishing amazing content and building something valuable that people would find online in the research, instead of me having to go outbound to find an audience. All of this really solidified my love for inbound and marketing in general.

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?

Hybrid work environment — this will be the new normal. Folks have become accustomed to the flexibility that comes with remote work, and so companies will implement this going forward.

The Great Resignation — top talent will become harder to recruit and retain. U.S. workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers. This isn’t showing any signs of slowing down for 2022 and beyond.

Company security protocols will become much tighter — given the increase of online vulnerabilities, spam emails, phishing attacks and data breaches, companies are going to enforce strict rules with regard to data protection and online security. This means 2FA enforced for all apps and services, password managers, identity theft protection for employees, tutorials and training for data breach remediation, etc.

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

Pay more for top talent. Just like inflation is happening in the economy, the cost of hiring top talent is also rising. Super performers can freelance and serve multiple clients, doubling or tripling the income of a full time salary.

Can do > has done — when it comes to hiring. HR teams are obsessed with finding a candidate that has “seen the movie” before. Often, these types of candidates are not the best choice. Promoting and nurturing internal talent should be the default option, instead of seeking external talent. Meanwhile, there are qualified internal candidates who will never get a look.

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?

Higher pay — companies are notoriously cheap with salaries today, yet they will spend millions of dollars on advertising annually. Dan Price of Gravity Payments raised the minimum salary at his company to 70K dollars, and reports that even six years later, it has yielded tremendously positive results.

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 the future of work. People will be able to spend more time with their families, enjoy increased flexibility, and avoid the horrors of daily commuting.

More people working from home will have a profound impact on our transportation systems, consumer spending behavior and real estate.

McKinsey published an amazing study of trends and predictions that I’d recommend everyone check out.

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?

Elimination of micromanagement at work — companies need to embrace a mindset of full autonomy for their employees and teams. In a remote first world, we shouldn’t be keeping tabs on our employees, but rather empowering them and being supportive of the lifestyle changes that are happening as a result of remote work.

Especially parents who work from home — it’s not easy to accomplish deep work if you have kids running around the house, making noise and distracting you from work. Companies will need to offer things like coworking space reimbursement to offset these challenges.

Increased reliance on high speed internet — personally, I run an ethernet wire across my living room to my home office in order to enjoy the benefits of a wired connection. When you are using audio and video conferencing, it consumes significant internet bandwidth. Wi-Fi interference and slow internet speeds could become a challenge for some households.

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

  • Increased productivity. More freedom and autonomy.
  • Less traffic, reduction of pollution, no stressful commutes to work if you work from home.
  • The ability to earn more money if you’re a freelancer or consultant.

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?

  • Offering paid gym memberships.
  • Increased health insurance benefits.
  • Adopt a 4-day work week.

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?

  • Stop micromanaging.
  • Promote from within.
  • Celebrate small wins.
  • Pay your employees better.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. More companies will announce and stick to a hybrid work model as a recruitment and culture tool.
  2. 4 day work week will start trending globally. In the U.S. it will become far more normalized.
  3. Scarcity of top talent will only become more severe.
  4. Companies will need to build a more inclusive workplace.
  5. Employee monitoring tools will spark more controversy.

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?

  • An old italian saying — “Chi mangia bene, vive bene” — which means, whoever eats good, lives good.
  • It’s a reminder to stay nourished and take care of your body. It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of Zoom fatigue and back to back to back meetings. But don’t forget to eat and stay healthy.

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.

  • JB Smoove — He’s absolutely hilarious, and one of my all-time favorite comedians.
  • I lost my stepdad as a consequence of COVID, and comedy has really helped me through the grieving process. Watching JB on Netflix and HBO has helped me alleviate a ton of grief.

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?

Please feel free to connect with me by visiting my websites https://officialgaetano.com/ and https://www.aura.com/

Connect with me on social media here:

On LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/officialg

On Twitter — https://twitter.com/gaetano_nyc

On YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeEhdY6v0tkVJPAHM-zzSFA

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