Remote Work is an expectation — we are recruiting for roles that are office based, 50%+ of candidates will not even talk to us due to the lack of flexibility and remote work options.

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 Rey Ramirez & Jason Walker.

Reynaldo Ramirez is a versatile HR Leader with entrepreneurial passion, diverse industry experience, and a strong track record of success in HR. Adept at working in a demanding, fast-paced environment with key strengths in building relationships and delivering results. Direct experience in managing complex acquisitions & divestitures, start-up organizations, consulting services, and fast growth operations.

Jason Walker is a Senior Human Resources Leader with 15 plus years’ experience in running all phases of a successful human resources operation. Strong skills in selecting and retaining top talent, building high-performance teams, and consistently meeting and or exceeding external customer’s expectations. Exceptional interpersonal ability, to communicate powerfully to all levels of the organization and position and feature HR as an integral part of a successful and profitable organization.

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.

Jason — I grew up in San Jose, California. I was a terrible student for my K-12 education as I had dyslexia and did not know I had it until later in life. It was hard growing up when you were constantly called stupid, dumb or lazy. What I realized is that you can overcome most things through hard work, and you need to have people in your corner who will coach, guide and mentor you when you’re younger. I did not have a lot of good advice when I was growing up and I try to help people now.

Rey — I grew up in the barrios of South San Antonio and it taught me the value of hard work, a need for good education, giving back and to always be humble.

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?

Same –The battle for top talent will continue for the foreseeable future and will continue over the next 10+ years. We believe that finding good employees will continue to be difficult and with the aging of the workforce, finding talent will be tougher for companies. Technology Jobs will continue to be in demand in the future as they are today.

Different — Artificial Intelligence will continue to take over repetitive non value added work at many organizations. Also, remote work will continue to evolve and expand, we think most of the work in the future will take place at home or in co-working spaces. We think the office will not exist as it is today (large corporate centers will be gone) in the next 15 years. There will be a small footprint of people in offices, this will also help reduce the carbon footprint and greatly improve global warming.

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

We would recommend that companies eliminate the phrase “we don’t do that here” and embrace possibilities and be more open to change. In the future and today flexibility is as valuable as cash compensation to employees. They will choose to work for an organization that offers flexibility and will leave organizations that don’t! Organizations will also be required to foster Innovation and quickly act on new ways to complete work with technology or through third parties, this will be a requirement for future organizations.

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?

Employers do like that employese have the power/leverage right now in this market. Employees are demanding flexibility, remote work options and even benefits & compensation. That gap will continue and employers that area able to adapt will be the winners in attracting and retaining talent.

We would recommend that companies look at ways to operate differently, become more innovative, become more focused on employees and their needs. Organizations that understand that the rules of the game have changed will win the talent war in the future. Another factor is the amount of cash in the economy- this cash in is employees banking accounts and has given employees new power to no have to work or if their demands are not met, quit and find a new employers. This power shift is dramatic. Especially with knowledge workers.

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

​​Remote working is no longer an experiment and workers have proven it can be done very well and with higher productivity. The experiment is completed, and employees really liked the flexibility if offers. Companies and employees have proven that they are able to pivot quickly and get work done. This will drive big change in facilities needed to house employees and in expectations of employees going forward. All this was done due to the Covid pandemic.

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?

We think that these will be changes needed in the future: 1. Internet for all as a baseline, 2. Schools and colleges have to have remote and onsite learning options that work seamlessly, 3. Essential workers are critical to our economy and paying them living wages needs to be a priority.

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

We feel that the last 18 months has proven that people can change and that working away from an office is possible and profitable for organizations.

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?

We believe organizations should focus on providing more time off. Companywide wellness days, mental health counseling for employees, providing mental health/wellness apps, no meeting days, and making it OK to talk about mental health with your employer with no stigma.

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 refocus on talent retention and development. Goal is to build a company that people want to work at. If you have a terrible culture, bad managers, overworking people — employees will not take it and resign. Employees are much less likely to sit at their desk, they will quickly look for other options, make the call to the recruiter that called them last week and look at other opportunities in the market. Even short tenured employees will walk our with no notice. This is a very different approach when compared to older generations/boomers.

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

Remote Work is an expectation — we are recruiting for roles that are office based, 50%+ of candidates will not even talk to us due to the lack of flexibility and remote work options.

Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing — we are seeing clients provide wellbeing days to the entire company, these days off are added to long weekends to make it 4 days off as an example.

Reduction in Corporate Campus/Footprint/Real Estate — We are seeing fortune 50 companies give back-office space here in Denver. Companies are reducing space, reworking space and putting in place hoteling approaches to reserve a place to work on a specific day. Deloitte has been doing this for many years and organizations are using similar models.

Employee self-marketing requirements in a Remote Work Environment — as employees move to more remote work and a limited amount of time in the office, we recommend that Leaders utilize office time for collaboration and teamwork type work. Thinking about what makes being in the office productive and continue doing more of that! Employees should not go into the office, go into a Phone Room and dial into Teams calls, they can do that at home.

Leadership requirements for future will be very different than today — Leaders will need different skills to manage remote teams. Leaders need to be better listeners, ask for employee feedback, be more empathetic and focus on their team’s wellbeing. Leaders also will need to act on suggestions, recognize & show appreciation and provide timely feedback to their teams. Observing how employees are doing and making sure everyone on the team is participating in virtual meetings. Leading by walking around will not work in this new environment.

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?

The quote that I always look at on my desk is, “This too shall pass” even though you’re in the middle of something and it seems all consuming it is not. It will end and get better. Sometimes you have to think in a year from now will I even remember this issue?

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 really want to have breakfast with John Cleese, obviously I am a huge Monty Python person. But, he produced some of the best selling work training and compliance videos of all time. I think anytime you can insert appropriate humor into today’s work world it goes a long way. I would love to talk to him about humor in the workplace.

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?

We can be reached at thrive@thrivehrconsulting or you can go to our website at

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