In the WorkWell Podcast, by Deloitte, Jen Fisher — Human Sustainability Leader at Deloitte and Editor-at-Large, Human Sustainability at Thrive Global — sits down with inspiring individuals for wide-ranging conversations about how we can develop a way of living and working built on human sustainability, starting with ourselves.

This week, Kelly Monahan, Managing Director of the Upwork Research Institute, discusses strategies to create working environments that power the growth of organizations and the people who work for them, so everyone benefits.

On  meaningful work in the post-pandemic era:

“The pandemic forced people to work differently, and I became optimistic that this might be the breakthrough moment for distributed or remote work, so we can lead in different ways and have conversations centered around well-being in the workplace. What I’m concerned about today: how do we make sure we don’t revert back to pre-pandemic norms? How do we create organizational systems that still enable human connection? A remote environment should be a great equalizer, because there’s no top floor office — we’re all in the same size Zoom box. But at the same time, in terms of human connection, it’s hard to listen in a remote environment because we’re not physically together.”   

On encouraging employees to disconnect from technology:

“As organizations and leaders, we have to be explicit in the guardrails we put on the use of technology. It’s not our fault — technology and systems are wired so it’s too easy to pick up that phone and check a message, and check back into work at 10 o’clock at night. And we’ve got to be careful, because that has become normalized. I’m hoping companies that are leaning into distributed work and enabling flexibility for employees are also setting parameters around technology use and making sure that it’s benefiting the individual — as opposed to just increasing profits. If big companies that adopt these new behaviors start winning in the market, I think others will follow.”

On rethinking the work week:

“We don’t need a 40-hour week mindset anymore because that’s not how we’re working. Yet we still have these like faux paradigms: nine to five, Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week. I’m trying to drive a different level of conversation that proves that working in a way that’s sustainable is good for people and businesses. To me it’s about having a new north star metric around productivity.”

On Gen Z’s approach to work:

“There’s a significant difference in the expectations of our younger workers. And it brings me a lot of hope actually, because they are demanding that things be done differently. And they will choose not to work at an organization if it doesn’t align with their values and needs. They want a variety of tasks, they want a variety of income sources. They think about employment very differently. For example, they can be an influencer and have a side job on a social media platform. It’s interesting to think through how we as leaders can enable this newfound flexibility because the amount of creativity that comes from that is powerful. It can lead us to a whole new way of thinking about work today.” 

To hear more from Jen and Kelly, listen to this full episode of WorkWell here, available wherever you get your podcasts. Visit the WorkWell library for the full collection of episodes.


  • Jen Fisher

    Human Sustainability Leader at Deloitte and Editor-at-Large, Human Sustainability at Thrive Global

    Jen Fisher is a leading voice on the intersection of work, well-being, and purpose. Her mission is to help leaders move from the legacy mindset that well-being is solely the responsibility of the individual to the forward-thinking idea of human sustainability, which supports the long-term, collective well-being of individuals, organizations, climate, and society.  

    She’s the co-author of the bestselling, award-winning book, Work Better Together: How to Cultivate Strong Relationships to Maximize Well-Being and Boost Bottom Lines, the Human Sustainability Editor-at-Large for Thrive Global, and the host of the WorkWell podcast series.

    As the first chief well-being officer of a professional services organization, Jen built and led the creation and execution of a pioneering holistic and inclusive well-being strategy that has received recognition from leading business media brands and associations.

    Jen is a frequent writer on issues impacting the workplace today, including the importance of mental health and social connection to workforce resilience, happiness, and productivity. Her work has been featured in CNBC, CNN, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Harvard Business Review, among others.

    She’s a sought-after speaker and has been featured at events including TEDx, World Happiness Summit, Out & Equal Workplace Summit, Acumen Global Gathering, WorkHuman, The Atlantic Pursuit of Happiness event, and more. She’s also lectured at top universities across the country, including Harvard, Wake Forest, Duke, and George Mason.

    Jen is passionate about sharing her breast cancer and burnout recovery journeys to help others. She’s also a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, self-care champion, exercise fanatic, sleep advocate, and book nerd! Jen lives in Miami with her husband, Albert, and dog, Fiona.

    You can find her on LinkedIn or on Twitter and Instagram @JenFish23. You can also receive her personal insights and reflections by subscribing to her newsletter, "Thoughts on Being Well"