Making Employees Happy. From our perspective money is not the only motivator for employees. What truly motivates them are three key drivers — autonomy, mastery, and purpose. From management on down, all Resident employees focus on the autonomy trusting management gives them, mastery over their profession, and meaningful purpose every day. Good perks always help. Working from home provides schedule flexibility, as well as vacation time and length flexibility. Equity for all employees, and a leadership team that shares the same core values as do all employees.

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 Steve Ryan.

Steve Ryan is Managing Director, DTC US for Resident, one of the fastest growing companies in the US. Resident uses a strategic data-driven approach to lead continued growth of Resident brands across all departments: Marketing, Product, Operations, Data, CS, Sales, and Retail.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. 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 workplace has had the opportunity to evolve over the course of the pandemic. People have had the time to take a step back and look at what’s important to them and the aspects that make them enjoy their workplace and roles. Businesses are now having to re-look at old ways of working and adapt to these varying ideals of their employees, whether that be introducing a four-day week, a remote/hybrid structure or better working flexible hours. However, for some employees they have found that tapping into a specific skill set is what they enjoy the most. This, I predict, will lead to a continued and significant move away from people working for one company as people search for multiple challenges and uses for these skills. Instead, people will work for multiple companies for varying periods of time and employees will rent out their skills and experience rather than simply renting out their time.

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

With the rise in remote working, people are no longer restricted to working within their immediate geography which creates more choice and opportunity for people to work for different companies. In this period dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’, employers shouldn’t focus on preventing their employees from finding better jobs that suit them or pay more, but rather work to ensure that their role within the company is the best one available for them. Listening to employee feedback on all aspects of the business, whether that be pay, benefits, working conditions, personal growth or company mission, will help employers to navigate this.

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?

One thing I fear is that job security will continue to erode. Remote working has gifted employees more flexibility in where they work, as I’ve touched upon, but this has also allowed companies to review their personnel needs as their business, industry or strategy grows, opening themselves to a wider pool of global talent. To maintain job security businesses, need to ensure they are hiring with future needs and growth in mind. Hiring employees whose skills can develop and grow along with the company will create stability and less friction in the workplace for both employees and employers.

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

It’s safe to say no one saw the shift to working from home coming. Pre-pandemic five days a week in the office was the norm, working remotely was a luxury. However, the pandemic has opened many people’s eyes to the benefits of remote working and allowed them to let go of their previous misconceptions about remote working. Remote/hybrid working is here to stay, and companies need to understand that a return to the ‘old ways’ of working is no longer an option. At Resident, we’ve been remote since our founding in 2016. We saw the benefits of hiring the very best talent regardless of their geographical location and I hope other businesses start to as well.

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 society needs to become a bit more flexible as the future of work isn’t a one size fits all, it depends largely on a person’s stage of life. For older workers or parents, working remotely can be a Godsend allowing them to claim back time in their day that would previously be spent commuting. However, younger employees starting out in their careers need contact for both social and career development reasons. To some degree, commuting will happen for social reasons rather than just for work.

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

I am optimistic about where the younger generation is helping to lead society. Younger generations are prioritizing crucial societal and global issues such as the environment and diversity and inclusion and are acting as an example for the rest of us. By having these as key priorities they will help to shape this evolving workplace demanding that businesses take action against climate change and actively work on their DEI initiatives which will benefit working environments, cultures and company performance in the long term.

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?

It’s so important for businesses to look after their employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Companies who offer benefits such as therapy and time off for mental health are only doing half of what they should be doing. Employers need to look at their workplaces very carefully and ensure that they are creating a positive work environment that supports employees, creates a space where their voices can be heard and motivates them. This can only be done through the support of their employees and so companies need to listen and hear from their employees as to where they can improve in doing this.

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 look at the reasons driving all of these big changes and acknowledge that people’s attitudes to working have changed. They need to ask themselves if there are new ways that roles within their organization can be adapted or reevaluated to meet the desires and needs of employees as well as looking at what, previously, has negatively impacted employees’ experiences.

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

Trend #1: More Companies Will Go Remote

Companies that are already “remote working first”, like Resident, have not experienced The Great Resignation during the pandemic because there was less disruption. Being location-agnostic allows management to hire the best talent regardless of where they live. At Resident, the staff is distributed across three continents, six countries, and 11 time zones, with offices in New York City, San Francisco, London, and Tel Aviv.

Trend # 2: Making Employees Happy

From our perspective money is not the only motivator for employees. What truly motivates them are three key drivers — autonomy, mastery, and purpose (Daniel Pink). From management on down, all Resident employees focus on the autonomy trusting management gives them, mastery over their profession, and meaningful purpose every day. Good perks always help. Working from home provides schedule flexibility, as well as vacation time and length flexibility. Equity for all employees, and a leadership team that shares the same core values as do all employees.

Trend #3: DTC Will Grow — Perpetuating Remote Work

It has never been a better time than now to start a DTC brand. Why? Businesses have far more control reaching customers, the chain of people from production to purchase is shorter, and there is more ownership. The brands of the future will all launch in DTC, and the biggest challenge will be how they navigate wholesale. Unless they fully control the retail partnership (which is only likely to happen at scale), they surrender much of what makes their DTC brand strong.

Trend #4: The Impact of the Metaverse on Ecommerce

In the long term, the Metaverse will become yet another route to market for brands and employees. People will spend more time in the Metaverse, providing a unique opportunity for brands to showcase their products in innovative ways, but they will have to adopt specific sales strategies for this new (and unproven) environment. Major brands such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Balenciaga are leading the way by selling specifically for people in the Metaverse.

Trend #5: The Impact of Inflation & DTC

DTC is the most efficient way to reach consumers and while there will be pricing pressure to respond to inflation, DTC brands are better placed than traditional retailers. One of the main reasons is that they have much more data on their customers and prospective customers, which means they can react to trends and shopping patterns faster and more proactively.

.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?

I’m also a huge fan of life lessons and quotes. There are lots of great business quotes and very famous ones, too which inspire me, but I only have one on my wall in my office which isn’t any of them. Rather, it’s a quote from the comedian Bill Hicks about life in general that ends with the words “It’s just a ride”. To me, this quote is very calming and teaches me to enjoy each day, including the ups and the downs and the good and the bad.

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’s hard to look past Elon Musk. He is undoubtedly a genius and would be if he only had one of his companies, let alone four. I’d love to pick his brain on a million things, but largely how on earth he does it! However, if I had but one choice it would be Keith Richards, I doubt he reads this magazine, but lunch with him would be one to remember! Elon for breakfast, Keith for lunch.

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?

Anyone can reach me on LinkedIn at/steveryan7, I’d be delighted to speak with any readers.

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

Thank you!