My greatest source of optimism is our younger generations that are advancing in their education and careers, and preparing to be the next leaders.

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 Geoffrey M. Roche.

Geoffrey M. Roche, MPA, is the son of a nurse, future of work and education expert, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging advocate, champion for transforming health equity, and the host of the Ed Up Health Up podcast. Roche currently serves as the Senior Vice President, National Health Care Practice & Workforce Partnerships for Core Education PBC. He has been asked to regularly present on healthcare workforce topics at various national healthcare events including Becker’s Annual Meeting, HIMSS, ViVE, Becker’s HR Conference, among others. Roche was nominated in 2022 to the Forbes Business Council for his national level work.

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.

The life experience that comes to mind is the work I was a part of at Pocono Health System to develop innovative healthcare solutions to address homelessness in the community.

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?

We will continue to see more and more remote work as well as more intentional focus on culture, learning and development, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I see a lot that will be different because the leadership will be of a new generation.

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

They need to be focusing on their culture and ensuring all employees have a sense of belonging and that they feel they matter. They must also ensure learning and development is a cornerstone for all employees. Career mobility has to be a part of the fabric of the organization.

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?

Tuition reimbursement will continue to be a challenge and employers who truly invest in their employees will reap the benefits of a much stronger and healthier workforce.

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 or working remotely will forever change the workplace but employee engagement was never truly that good when in the office. There is immense opportunity to redefine the future of work in a remote culture particularly in areas around a 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?

There must continue and we must further advance an intentional focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to ensure all have a chance to thrive in the future of work.

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

My greatest source of optimism is our younger generations that are advancing in their education and careers, and preparing to be the next leaders.

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 must ensure support around mental health is weaved into the fabric of the organization and truly demonstrate care and concern for all employees. This will include going beyond EAP and turning the corner that mental health should be treated just like physical health. Employees must feel that they matter and that their health also matters both mentally and physically.

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?

The most important thing a leader hears is that culture matters and if they have not developed a culture and ensured accountability in their organization where all employees have a sense of belonging and they feel that they matter then their organization will fail. Culture is about connection and relationships and leaders have the ultimate responsibility to help ensure opportunities for that exist for all employees, regardless of title or position.

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

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?

Above all, try something. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This quote has inspired me to always be willing to innovate, create, and try out a new project or initiative with a focus on impact.

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 would love to have breakfast or lunch with President Barack Obama as he has always been an inspiration to me.

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?

They can connect with me on LinkedIn

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