Remote Work — The rise of remote work has enabled businesses to hire workers from any location worldwide without geographic restrictions or investing in physical infrastructure. Remote workers also save companies money on travel costs associated with bringing staff together for meetings or other events.

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 Trevor Bogan.

With over 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition, Trevor Bogan proudly serves as the Regional Director of the Americas at Top Employer Institute. Mr. Bogan received a Bachelor’s in Public Communications from The College of Saint Rose in 1998–2002. Mr. Bogan is a Regional Manager of Human Resources certifications and a Client Management expert. He holds advanced professional skills in Sales Leadership, Consultative services, and Sales/Business Development–demonstrating knowledge in various industries, including banking, finance, staffing, and recruiting. Mr. Bogan currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. While Trevor isn’t working, he’s spending time with his family and friends, longboarding, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors.

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.

One of the first things that come to mind is how hard I’ve worked to establish myself professionally in the field of Talent Acquisition and how I have been truly blessed to have received recognition for my hard work. Not everyone in the workforce is so lucky. But, by becoming the Regional Director of the Americas at the Top Employers Institute, I can finally pay that recognition forward.

Historically, I have received numerous accolades for my sales and business development skills and have been honored with several awards, including Elite performer, Top Sales Executive, and Top Regional Sales leader for profit growth. That’s why I am so excited to be a part of the Top Employers team, so I can give others acknowledgement for their excellent people practices, just as I have received acknowledgment for my people practices throughout my life. By being a part of a team that certifies top employers through the Top Employers Certification program, I can help organizations receive global recognition for driving incredible people practices year after year.

I feel honored to work with the fantastic Top Employers marketing team to build the Top Employers Institute brand across North America. I continuously look forward to partnering with new and existing clients to improve their People Practices and create a better world of work–together!

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?

Indeed, technology will play an even more significant role in our work life ten years from now. We can expect more automation and cloud computing technologies to be used for data storage and collaboration. Furthermore, we may also see virtual reality being used for training or remote meetings between far-off coworkers.

Another area that should see some significant advances over the next decade is artificial intelligence (AI). AI has already made considerable strides in the corporate world and has been used for tasks such as content creation, customer service automation, recruitment processes, and much more. In 10 years’ time, we expect AI to be a staple part of organizations globally — something that could drastically reduce operational costs while increasing efficiency levels across organizations worldwide.

Finally, one thing that probably won’t change too much in 10 years’ time is human interaction — something that simply can’t be replicated by machines, no matter how advanced they become. Although many companies are starting to move towards remote working models where most communication occurs digitally rather than face-to-face, physical interaction will still be vital to maintain relationships between colleagues and clients. It is also unlikely that robots will ever replace creativity, which experts agree should remain firmly within the purview of humans only!

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

The first step to future-proofing your organization is to stay up to date on new technologies and industry trends. This means staying abreast of changes in your sector and trends in consumer behavior and market preferences. Staying informed will enable you to make strategic decisions about which products and services your organization should offer. It will also help you identify potential opportunities and threats before they become problems.

Another key part of future-proofing your organization is investing in employee training and development. Providing employees with learning opportunities helps them better serve your customers and position your company for long-term success. Also, employee development boosts morale among team members, making them more productive and engaged in their work.

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?

Communication is key when reconciling any discrepancies between employer offerings and employee expectations. Employers should strive for an open dialogue with staff about their needs so that both sides can reach an agreement or a reasonable compromise. Employers should also encourage feedback from their staff members to better understand their perspectives on issues (employee surveys are a great place to start). Everyone’s voice matters and should be considered when planning strategies.

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

One potential benefit of working from home is greater flexibility and autonomy for employees. By removing a commute to a physical workplace, employees can choose their own hours and make better use of their time, allowing them to prioritize personal needs such as family or hobbies. Research has found that many employees feel more productive when working from home because it creates a better work/life balance. And when employees are happier, they are more productive, and the happiness of an organization’s employees dramatically contributes to the success of a business.

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?

Businesses must create opportunities for employees to develop their skills. By offering training programs in the ever-changing workforce, individuals can learn new trends and talents and sharpen existing skills. Also, it is increasingly important that workers keep themselves up to date with changes in technology so everyone is prepared for the inevitable (and exciting) changes ahead.

Additionally, forging strong ties between employers and employees through effective communication channels is critical if we want our future workplace environments to thrive. Companies should look into ways where both sides’ feedback is actively encouraged to build trust among colleagues across all organizational levels.

What is your most significant source of optimism about the future of work?

My greatest source of optimism about the future of work is that organizations like Top Employers Institute will continue to certify companies for implementing their best people practices. I believe in creating a more positive world of work. Acknowledging incredible people practices at organizations worldwide will promote a healthier, happier, and more productive future workforce. After all, what company wouldn’t want to be certified for driving exceptional people practices? The focus is shifting to mental health in the workplace and implementing workplace cultures that promote well-being.

Our collective mental health and well-being 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?

One popular strategy employers use is providing access to mental health resources like counseling, therapy services, or even mindfulness activities. By making these resources available, they are helping their staff overcome mental challenges and encouraging them to maintain good mental health throughout their time with the company. This could include offering free access to an employee assistance program (EAP) for confidential counseling services or providing onsite visits from therapists specialized in employee wellness. Additionally, employers could invest in online self-help tools like cognitive behavioral therapy apps or meditation programs explicitly designed for work-related stress relief.

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?

Organizations must prioritize employee engagement to stay competitive. This means offering ample opportunities for meaningful work and open communication between employees at all levels of the organization. Companies should strive to create an environment where everyone feels included and respected regardless of job title or rank. Additionally, businesses should be vigilant about creating an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up without fear of repercussions or judgment from their peers or superiors.

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

1) Automation & AI — Automation enables businesses to streamline processes and reduce costs, while AI helps increase efficiency by analyzing data quickly. Companies like Amazon and Apple use AI-driven algorithms to analyze customer behavior and improve their customer service operations. However, automation and AI capabilities require a significant investment of time and resources for implementation, so it’s important for organizations to keep track of how these technologies continue to evolve.

2) Remote Work — The rise of remote work has enabled businesses to hire workers from any location worldwide without geographic restrictions or investing in physical infrastructure. Remote workers also save companies money on travel costs associated with bringing staff together for meetings or other events.

3) Data-Driven Decision Making — Big data is playing an increasingly important role in businesses today, allowing executives to make decisions based on real-time data analysis rather than gut feeling alone. By leveraging big data tools such as predictive analytics, companies can gain a competitive advantage over those who don’t use them as part of their decision-making process.

4) Flexible Scheduling — More organizations are beginning to adopt flexible working policies. This increases work/life balance possibilities for employees, which is essential to the success of a business. Because as I stated previously, happier employees are more productive. This trend toward flexible scheduling is becoming more common within many industries, particularly among Millennials who value having control over when they do their jobs outside traditional 9–5 schedules.

5) Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality — Virtual reality (VR) has been gaining traction within various industries over the last few years due to its ability to simulate real-world scenarios at low cost (compared with traditional training methods like classroom lectures or textbooks). Some companies have taken advantage of VR technology by providing immersive experiences for employees during onboarding sessions or team-building exercises. Additionally, augmented reality (AR)-enabled applications can help teams visualize complex projects before execution –thereby reducing costs associated with mistakes.

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?

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

Maya Angelou

When tackling anything in life, courage is the first step.

It takes courage to understand yourself, others, and the world around you. It takes courage to get out of bed and accomplish everything you do each day. It takes courage to keep moving forward throughout each trial, each tribulation, and each triumph. Courage allows us the opportunity for growth and is the true catalyst for inspiring fearlessness.

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 lunch with Coach Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan Wolverines football team! I am a huge Wolverines fan. This team’s hard work and dedication inspire me every day.

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?

Follow me, Trevor Bogan, on Linkedin or follow Top Employers on Linkedin, or visit the Top Employers Insights page to discover what myself and the incredible Top Employers team are up to when it comes to creating a better world of work!

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