Increased creativity and innovation because of travel. Travel has proven to spark creativity and innovative ideas by entrepreneurs, writers, and more. With the growing amount of people working from incredible places around the world, there’s no doubt that people will have a fresh, new, and open mindset to get creative and come up with beautiful work.
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 Sahara Rose De Vore.
Sahara Rose is a Certified Transformational Coach and a Wellness Travel Coach & Consultant. As a dual business owner, Sahara specializes in educating on transformative and wellness travel for the corporate world and is also the Founder of The Travel Coach Network.
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.
By far the most impactful experience that I’ve ever had was when I chose to skip society’s pressures of climbing the corporate ladder after university and deciding to buy a one-way ticket to Ireland, pack a backpack, and set off to travel the world.
What I initially thought would be a month and a half European backpacking trip turning into a decade-long solo journey around the globe.
Traveling has helped shape me into who I am today without a doubt. As a traveler, you gain a whole new perspective on not only the life of others around the world but on your own life. I was a lost and confused 22-year-old college graduate who had no idea who I was as a person, who I wanted to be, what career path I wanted, what my passions were, or what kind of life I wanted to have.
Traveling made me realize my strengths and my weaknesses. It made me a more compassionate, empathetic, understanding, and accepting person. It helped me form my values in life. Travel opened my eyes to what matters most to me in life and what doesn’t. It taught me what kind of lifestyle I wanted to have and what made me happy. Ultimately, travel inspired my entrepreneurial journey as a Wellness Travel Coach and Consultant and becoming the founder of The Travel Coach Network where I aim to help guide other passionate travelers feeling stuck in their own career path or business building journey.
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?
I think that in 10–15 years from now, there will still be levels of leadership and people working for large corporations. What I think will be different is practically everything else.
I forsee many companies closing down even more physical offices because of the lack of need for them. Instead, we will see more community-based remote work office spaces will be the new normal.
The idea to work from your laptop from anywhere in the world use to be something associated with Millennials but we all know that’s no longer the case. The desire to have a more nomadic lifestyle as a digital nomad has stretched beyond just the youth and appeals to a wide range of people who realized how much they value flexibility, mental wellbeing, and time with their family. Even more companies will offer permanent or optional remote work opportunities.
Remote working will expand beyond working from home. In 10–15 years from now, people will be working all around the globe in destinations that they never thought were possible for them on a typical 9–5 schedule could ever visit.
What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
Employers need to loosen the strings and start getting more flexible. The past few years gave everyone the time to rethink their values, what they care about, and what they don’t. They also had time to reevaluate their wellbeing and what makes them happy. So, for employers who want to attract and retain valuable talent moving forward, they need to satisfy people’s desire for more flexibility in their schedule and ability to travel and work from other locations.
Companies also need to take a look at their company culture and ask themselves if what they say that they represent and value is truly aligns with their actions. There has been a lot of change in society and culture over the past few years and who people choose to work for has a lot to do with how the company treats diversity, inclusion, and the mental and overall wellbeing of employees.
I know that numbers are priority in growing a business but that mentality helped shape the belief that companies don’t actually care about their employees, they only care about profit. That is why companies need to forget numbers and think about value in a new human-centric way. People want employers to prove how they will support and embrace their wellbeing needs, desire lifestyle, personal life, and overall values.
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 that as remote work grows, people are going to want more financial support from their employers. Working from anywhere in the world sounds fun but could be expensive. I think companies are going to realized just how much added support and services they are going to need to offer remote workers to keep them happy and convince them to stay in the company. Companies need to look into designing a whole new type of travel program, one for those in the workplace and those who work remotely. They will need to allocate money in places that may make them feel uncomfortable but times are changing and so is the workplace.
We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?
Having been forced to work from home for almost two years has greatly influenced the future of work. The people who envied those who had the guts to quit their corporate world to travel the world or leave their 9–5 job to live more nomadically now had their own chance to reshape their life. So many employees scrolled on Instagram admiring the lifestyle of these riskier “freedom-based” nomads only dreaming about doing the same one day but knew that they never would. There was a roaring burnout epidemic happening in the workplace with employees who were unhappy, unwell, overwhelmed, stressed, and hated their job and lifestyle. They were afraid to ask to take their vacation and felt guilty when they did. They feared their bosses thinking less of them if they went on a vacation and disconnected from their email. They did the bare minimum for their job because they knew in their heart that the company that they worked for didn’t actually care about them, they only cared about them helping the company make more money. But that has all changed. There will be more people being picky about their job choice and who they work for. There will be more people who never return to the workplace because they realized that they’d rather create their own schedule and lifestyle and work for themselves online.
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?
The societal changes that are necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone is to come to terms with the fact that the typical 9–5 job structure is no longer in the majority. For decades, the concept of a job was to get a degree, find a company to work for, climb the corporate ladder (if you’re lucky), get a good title, and work from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. If anyone had a job or lifestyle that was different, it was not the norm. There was a lot of pressure put on people to follow the traditional work structure by culture, generations, and society but we all know that this is no longer the case.
What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?
If people are happier in their work and happier in their lifestyle and happier with their company culture and happier with their opportunities to work from anywhere (including just from home), people are going to perform better and will be better in their overall wellbeing. We all know that when people feel better as a whole, great things can come from that meaning increased innovation, creativity, generosity, kindness, love, and passionate productivity.
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?
Travel is proven to help improve our mental wellbeing in such personal ways and travel is always something that employees asked about when choosing an employer. This is why companies should think outside of the box and outside of their own traditional comfort zone when it comes to vacation policies. Not everyone will work remotely or move abroad to work, so what about those who are still in the workplace or can’t change locations? Some things for companies to think about is paying people to take their vacation and getting creative with their travel policies. Studies talked about the overwhelm of employees not taking their vacation days pre-pandemic or not using their vacation days effectively (meaning they just stayed at home and possibly continued to work), despite the growing desire for a vacation. Companies can consider programs like sabbaticals, workcations, or volunteering abroad opportunities for their employees. They should also incorporate elements of travel, such as being in nature that people crave or cultural experiences, into their workplace. Some ways to do this is to offer hiking or outdoor programs, holding meetings outdoors, having cultural exchange days, or learning about another employee’s home country.
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?
Leaders need to understand that they are no longer in the driver’s seat. People have more options than ever before to work for someone else or to make money online. People are also placing more value on their mental and overall wellbeing than their job title, the company that they work for, what their bosses think of them, or how much money they make. This means that leaders need to wake up and start catering to employee’s personal and work-life needs in order to attract and retain their valuable talents. Company culture needs to put people to the forefront instead of revenue and prove it. This includes putting proper management in place who are empathetic, compassionate, and understanding of employees. Remember, management has always been a driving factor for why a valuable employee leaves a job. Times have changed. So does your company.
Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”
- Travel will also be a key element into every corporate wellness program.
Before the pandemic, corporate wellness program lacked the value of travel which was always a shocker to me in the midst of a rising trend of people quitting their job to “travel the world” and amidst of the soaring workplace burnout epidemic that was occurring. People don’t care about another wellness app. Our human needs crave exploration, discovery, human connection, and being in nature to help us maintain a happier and healthier wellbeing.
2. Instead of everyone in one space working for the same company, you will see more co-working spaces with remote employees working for a wide range of companies.
With the increase in remote workers and soon the ability for more mobility, people will be working from all around the world. You can only work by yourself for so long in a new environment until you start craving human connection and social interaction again. Therefore, remote workers will seek community-based accommodations and office spaces where they can mix and mingle with like-minded people.
3. There will be more startups and entrepreneurs.
The pandemic gifted people the ability to rethink their own desirable work lifestyle and whether they wanted to go for someone else or create something of their own and have more freedom and flexibility. The time that we had over the past few years allowed for people to invest in self-development courses and opportunities online and the time to do research on ways to earn a living working from your laptop. This isn’t a trend but instead, will be a key threat to all big companies. There are new problems in various industries that sparked new ideas by entrepreneurs and startups moving forward.
4. Increased creativity and innovation because of travel.
Travel has proven to spark creativity and innovative ideas by entrepreneurs, writers, and more. With the growing amount of people working from incredible places around the world, there’s no doubt that people will have a fresh, new, and open mindset to get creative and come up with beautiful work.
5. Added support for remote workers.
Although working from anywhere in the world sounds desirable by most, there are going to be a whole new set of issues that employees will face other than taxes and laws. Changing environments isn’t always easy. There are new sights to distract you, new sounds, languages, cities to navigate, cultures to adhere to, and foods to eat. This could put a damper of people’s work-life balance and mental wellbeing. These challenges could be navigated by added support that companies need to consider. Such support could look like travel coaches who help with environmental adjustments and work-life balance.
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 universe will only give you what you can handle”. This quote has never been more relevant to my life than when I started my business. When you try to do too much at once and don’t dedicate your energy to what needs it most, you are putting a limit to what the universe will provide for you. There’s a reason why you aren’t reaching your desired goals. You need to open your heart and put energy to where you want to thrive. Allow the universe to guide you. There is a reason for everything, it is up to you to recognize that and accept it.
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.
It would be an honor to meet Richard Branson with Virgin. What he built out of the entire Virgin brand is simply remarkable and inspiring. I admire his commitment to being kind and generous to his employees and what he created with Virgin Pulse.
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?
Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.