Enable autonomy and trust your employees. Screen or key tracking software is not the solution to making sure work is getting done. If your employees aren’t able to somewhat self-prioritize their work, then the problem lies with your leadership and communication rather than their ability to get things done.

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 Mike Griffith.

Hailing from sunny San Diego, California, Mike Griffith founded Spark ROAS, a performance-based PR and marketing agency. After previously helping start and grow a Shopify agency to an 8-figure exit where he lead a team of 40+ people, Mike continues to scale dozens of consumer brands across apparel, tech, and food & beverage by leveraging Spark ROAS’s three core service pillars of Performance PR, Paid Media, and Email Marketing. Mike brings strong experience and knowledge of how to grow a business while raising a young & growing family at home.

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.

I took an entrepreneurship course through the engineering department in college. It was designed to help develop business skills for students from engineering backgrounds that were pursuing promising projects. I was not technical (I majored in sociology) but this course was so interesting to me. The idea of not just building something from nothing, but building something self-sustaining was really compelling to me at the time. The course was super interesting but I basically did none of the project submissions and failed the course, which nearly threw me off track from graduating on time. I claimed at the time that it was because I had a heavy course load and was in a course from a different major than what I was used to. But the truth was that I just didn’t put the work in. It taught me that learning was great, and being excited about an idea was compelling, but not putting the work in wouldn’t result in anything.

Becoming a father has been a more recent experience that has been a challenge and a blessing all at once, particularly in a work from home environment. Finding time to get work done to grow my business while also putting in quality time with my son and daughter is one of the biggest balancing acts and challenges I’ve faced. My wife and I joke occasionally about what we did with our spare time before having kids and how productive we could have been if only we’d known the commitment we’d be making to our children then.

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 Same:

  • We will still be using email for most official business communication.
  • Some people will still hate their jobs, regardless of how workplace policies change.
  • We will still be complaining about work-life balance.
  • Top tier talent will continue to aggregate with other top talent at leading organizations.


  • Organizations will be more globally structured. I think Globalization has been a “trend” for decades now. However, having experienced working with DAOs in the Web3 space, it is eye opening to see how great talent can organize, collaborate and actually be highly productive in a global setting with regular contributors on every continent.
  • We will likely see more of a bifurcation like we’ve seen during the past two years where more office-based jobs are remote or part-remote while retail and local service jobs continue to require in-person performance.
  • Employees will likely be more mobile and jumping between companies will normalize somewhat, though it will still need to be backed by demonstrable work output. A funny reference to this recently on twitter that I’m paraphrasing below:
  • 1980: I will have this job for the rest of my life
  • 2000: I will stay at this job for 4 years until my stock vests
  • 2022: I will have a remote job and join a dozen DAOs then ghost them when something new comes up.
  • Linkedin will be replaced by some combination of Twitter (or a twitter alternative) and niche recruiting networks.

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

If your business allows (and more businesses can make this happen than they think), build processes that allow for remote work and open up your recruiting to quality folks in different parts of the country or world.

Enable autonomy and trust your employees. Screen or key tracking software is not the solution to making sure work is getting done. If your employees aren’t able to somewhat self-prioritize their work, then the problem lies with your leadership and communication rather than their ability to get things done.

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?

I think there will always be gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect in the workplace. This tension is what creates dynamic markets for ideas and labor and allows employee talent to flow where employers are more amenable to their expectations. Ultimately businesses need to be efficient and profitable (unless you’re burning Softbanks money for hyper growth) and there is a limit to what even the most forward-looking and profitable businesses can offer their employees.

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

I think it demonstrates that many organizations and individuals are not ready for, and likely would not prefer, a full work from home experience. While flexibility and the ability to work from home will be more prevalent, I think the forced work from home experience demonstrated that in-person collaboration is a positive in many organizations.

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 think it’s delusional to think that there will be a future in which work will be great for everyone and we’ll all live in a utopia doing things we love. There will always be some sort of unpleasant work that someone has to do.

However, I do think that automation, robots, algorithms, and other advanced tools. that help reduce mundane work required by humans will enable a shift to more creative work for many. Further, as AI improves and becomes more adapted to specific industries, it will act to enhance creative work in ways we don’t yet realize. For this to happen, society will need to overcome its fear of short term job losses from these trends and instead embrace the automation of cognitively easy work.

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

Looking at the number of job titles and industries that exist today that didn’t just 10 or 20 years ago is, I think, a sign that despite short term phases of tumult, as long as technology continues to evolve, there will be new industries and jobs that will unlock people’s creativity and passion. My greatest source of optimism is that my imagination likely hasn’t thought up how work may be improved in the future.

More specifically, there is an account on twitter called Pessimists Archive that tweets out articles, posts, and stories from the past that, in the time they were written, were concerned about how a specific technology or aspect of society was going to result in some negative outcome. In re-reading those stories now, many are laughable. Today we would not be concerned about people’s ability to work due to reading novels, getting news from telegrams, or using an iPhone and yet those were exact concerns that were written about and worried about in the past.

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’ve seen employers adding meditation or mental health add-ons to the line items of their benefits lists. Ultimately I don’t think these are really the solution to employees’ mental wellbeing. Instead, I think the key is remembering that each employee has their own challenges and triumphs outside of the workplace. Flexibility and trust are key to giving employees the space they need to take care of times when “life happens” and work might not be the number one priority. I understand that this is more challenging the larger the business becomes, however by empowering directors or managers to give this space to employees, you are more likely to find a solution that works with each department of your organization.

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?

In a world where remote work is the norm, talent can be found globally, not just in your town or city. But on the flip side, employees can now apply to great companies globally too and the best employees are going to opt into working for companies that value them and reflect that value through their work structure and compensation packages.

I currently own and run an agency and have worked at several agencies over the years. I have never been at an agency where rockstar employees weren’t thinking about the day they could run their own shop or launch their own project. I think that agencies and other businesses with clients that don’t enable and encourage their employees to test the waters with some side clients or projects w/o signing over the rights to the agency are likely to lose their top talent more quickly. Google’s early 20% rule was probably ahead of its time and was not a policy that would work for all businesses. However in a world where employees are working remotely all or some of the time, it is likely that the more motivated ones are going to be trying to do this anyways with or without the employer’s tacit approval.

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?

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.

This quote reminds me that oftentimes, it’s not a single big event or pitch or email that is going to lead to success, but instead it’s putting in the time day in and day out to take care of the little things that will ultimately be more important than a single moment of brilliance.

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 feel like Elon Musk is the obvious answer to this question — He’s already unfiltered to a degree, but I would love some raw discussions on Mars and Neuralink. TBH I’m probably not big brained enough for him to be entertained by a meal with me.

Notable 1B choices:

  • Sean McVay — he just led his team to a superbowl win at the same age I am and is my wife’s biggest sports crush.

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?

@mikegriff11 on twitter, though to be honest I don’t tweet all that often.

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