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Miles Everson On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work

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Power Balances Shift. Back in the industrial era, workers organized in unions. But who needs a union when you can organize in five minutes on a social media platform and can create income from the comfort of your computer, smartphone, or car? The balance of power sits in the worker’s hand.


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 Miles Everson.

Miles Everson is the CEO of MBO Partners, the definitive market leader in enabling the future of work and improving the well-being of professionals and businesses throughout the world. Before joining MBO, Everson had a rich career with PwC, almost three decades in total. Everson has worked with many of the world’s largest and most prominent organizations, specializing in executive management. He helps companies balance growth, reduce risk, maximize return, and excel in strategic business priorities.


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?

Let’s begin with what will stay the same: the rate of change surrounding the work environment will continue to accelerate. Beyond that, almost everything will change, particularly for white-collar knowledge jobs.

The work environment will rely on a more fractionalized infrastructure in all respects. Today, we have fractionalized technology stacks, fractionalized real estate, and now we’re fractionalizing the workforce so that companies have access to go deep with the skills they need when they need them. And with these deep skills comes a new way of thinking about workforce engagement. One rarely needs deep and specific skills for the long term but instead leverages these skills for more frequent, shorter duration engagements in order to deploy capital efficiently.

However, this trend isn’t just for the corporation; it’s for the worker too. Workers can now develop deep and specialized skill sets and capitalize upon this knowledge for many corporations over the course of their careers, pursuing passions, economic viability, and a better work-life balance than if they devoted their time to one corporation for their entire careers.

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

Employers must first open the aperture on the totality of their workforce. It no longer includes just captive full-time employees but also their contingent labor sources. The successful employers of tomorrow will leverage this strategic workforce to keep up with deep pools and labor benches of in-demand skills, and savvier employers will strategically recognize and acknowledge this population of skilled independent labor as a significant portion of their workforces.

Acknowledging this first truth: that top performers no longer wish to be traditional, long-term employees should drive a shift in thinking and strategic planning. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that today’s average employee tenure is just 4.1 years, down to the lowest level since 1980. For employees under 35, it’s even less — 3.5 years — and in high-growth areas like technology, that number may be as little as 18 months. Per Bankrate, half of American workers will look for a new job within the year.

When employers recognize that even their so-called “permanent” workforce is transient, they will also see a direct implication on how they obtain and retain institutional and organizational knowledge and recognize a need to shift how one manages and procures this knowledge to reflect a more variable workforce.

Successful leaders will embrace the differentiation between institutional knowledge and having heterogeneous thinking and knowledge flow thinking. Effectively, embracing that a larger and more diverse workforce can help combat the “it’s always been done this way” way of thinking with new and fresh perspectives that spur innovation.

More simply, don’t confuse institutional and systemic bias for institutional knowledge. Companies that embrace the need for institutional knowledge often amplify the systemic bias of the institution. One of the best ways to mitigate this issue is to engage a more diverse labor base that includes new talent, e.g., independent labor.

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?

Too many employers advocate for people to become long-term tenants in their company as employees, whereas today’s employees are looking for varied experiences that enrich their knowledge and wealth.

The two primary things that come to mind when looking at the differential between what employers want and what employees need: employers must embrace employees as workers in a workforce, not just as employees of their company. This may mean giving workers the flexibility they desire, not just where they work but also how.

MBO Partners’ State of Independence — the longest-running look at the independent workforce in America, shows that in 2021, the 51 million independent workers in our country are growing faster than ever before (a 34% annualized increase) and also that they are at their highest levels of happiness, satisfaction, and earning in the 11 years of our study. By 2025, more than half of the U.S. workforce will be or will have been independent at some point in their careers.

By this logic, the single biggest thing employers must offer is the flexibility to allow workers to work not just where, but how they wish to, as many of the top talent in America will soon choose not to be employees of a corporation, but employers of themselves as independent business owners.

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

The trend of working remotely — not just about working from home anymore — was accelerated by as many as five to ten years because of the pandemic. The implication of that is now it has become a societal norm for an individual to want to work remotely, or potentially have to, or have a hybrid model. As a result, companies must embrace the flexibility in the work arrangements that workers now expect.

It is worth a more nuanced point: the capability from a technological perspective existed well before COVID-19. The societal acceptance that it’s ok or even preferred to work remotely will forever change the future of work.

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?

Historically, a corporation provided three things to its workers:

  1. A career model that lasted for a significant portion of one’s employment.
  2. Defined benefit plans to offer comfort in retirement.
  3. Health and welfare plans to take care of one’s personal needs.

Today, the bond between corporation and employee is broken, as most of these tenets have largely been eliminated or diminished beyond recognition.

First, the tenure of employees is the lowest it has ever been — just 4.1 years on average. Next, the percentage of employers offering a defined benefit offering is just three percent, down from over 60 percent in 1980. Lastly, health and welfare plans are increasingly expensive and provide less and less coverage, although this area may in many ways be seen as the last viable tie to employment. When this last tie to the employer-employee relationship is broken, the current employment structure in America will also crumble.

Our government must evolve, too, devising new systems for both tax collection and benefits distribution not tied to an antiquated notion of employer-employee relationships. The political process needs to recognize that people want to choose the form in which they provide work and to whom, and there should not be government or regulatory overreach trying to mandate how it is done.

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

I feel incredibly optimistic about the future of work. MBO’s research shows that independent workers are happier, healthier, and wealthier than their traditionally employed counterparts; 68% also feel more financially secure.

Innovation is at an all-time high. From online marketplaces (which 40% of independent workers now use to find projects) to simplified technologies to establish business entities (such as LegalZoom) and to build and market digital personas and stores (think social media, as well as online branding platforms like Squarespace and Shopify). These tools and technologies make it easier than ever to go into business with little to no startup costs or risk.

The greatest point of optimism I have is that barriers making it easy for workers and enterprises to select who they want to work for has never been lower, which means that opportunity has never been greater.

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 well-being?

Give people the control to do the work they love the way they want, and they will be happier, healthier, and wealthier as a result. Our data shows this is true about independent professionals, but the same logic applies to employers looking to attract top employees. The employer must give up some control to be an attractive place to let people do the work they want to do. This may mean letting people work remotely or implementing attractive compensation and benefits structures to bring in the best employees.

At MBO Partners, we believe that well-being starts with open, honest, and regular communication with our employees, and we do that via a weekly 30-minute all-hands huddle. Further, we have a daily 90-minute quiet period (without internal meetings) to encourage deep work and allow people to take a break from digital interaction as necessary during the day. We also offer additional benefits to our employees, such as an annual wellness stipend and regular activities to stimulate physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial wellness.

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?

There are many important takeaways and headlines of the trend we’ve deemed “The Great Realization” — the idea that workers and employers alike realize that there is much that needs to change about the world of work.

There are three key takeaways:

  1. Workers have a much greater ability to choose who they work for, and they will work for a shorter duration for any one company than what we have historically seen.
  2. Companies need to recognize that their workforce is comprised of all workers that they should have access to, not just their full-time employee workforce.
  3. Projects and outcomes will measure value creation that gets delivered by your workforce, and there will be a shift away from full-time organizational chart-driven operating models to project-based, value-driven work outcomes.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends to Track in the Future of Work?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Workforce Optimization: Plan for the Fractionalization of the Human Asset Class. In corporations today, there’s no asset on the books related to human capital. Instead, they’re treated as an expense. Whether it’s vacation or pension accruals, it’s a liability. We all know people are an organizations’ most significant assets. We just haven’t figured out a framework for valuing human capital to reflect it yet. But change is coming. Efforts to introduce robust measures of human capital into financial reporting have accelerated in recent years as market interest in understanding how companies manage and measure human capital grows. In 2022, we’ll continue to see the fractionalization of the human capital asset class accelerate and savvy businesses begin to articulate a strategy for measurement.
  2. Power Balances Shift. Back in the industrial era, workers organized in unions. But who needs a union when you can organize in five minutes on a social media platform and can create income from the comfort of your computer, smartphone, or car? The balance of power sits in the worker’s hand. Analysts may call this The Great Resignation, but I call it the Great Realization. If a person is good at what they do, the choice is theirs, both about where and with whom they work. For in-demand talent, most of whom say they are happier and healthier than in a traditional job, this may mean spacing between five or six clients, spreading the risk across a much larger spectrum than a single employer, and likely driving even more income as a result.
  3. Normalization of Global Wage Scales for White Collar Jobs . While we’re not likely to see an equilibrium anytime soon, we’re certainly already seeing wage scales normalizing in high skill areas worldwide, such as in-demand programming work. Remote work has contributed to this greatly. When the same job and functions can be done remotely, they can be done by people who operate in lower cost of living locations. As organizations evolve, they will need to plan for the rising cost of offshore talent in highly skilled areas and the normalization of wage scales for domestic workers.
  4. The Government will Continue to Pursue Protectionist Policies — and it Will Eventually Backfire. Some of the largest sources of tax revenues are wage taxes and income taxes. It’s no secret that that government will continue to pursue more protectionism policies to avoid losing those tax dollars. They may frame it as a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to prevent a race to the bottom, but the reality is that politicians don’t know how to handle independent work. While in 2022, the government may not take notice, they need to do so eventually. And corporations need to advocate that the choice is in the worker’s hands, at least for those who demonstrate the ability to run a compliant independent business.
  5. Independence is Here to Stay (and Grow) — and It’s Financially Lucrative. By 2025, more than 50% of Americans will have worked as an independent during their career. That means, in three years, half the workforce, including the talent you’re looking to hire, will identify as an independent. Not as an employee. Savvy enterprises must do more than accept that independence is here to stay. They need to devise a cohesive and comprehensive workforce optimization strategy to not just engage but also to recruit and retain top independent talent. Those who don’t risk being left behind, not just in 2022 but in the years to come.

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?

Knowledge compounds and creates options; become a consummate and radical learner of new things.

When it comes to work, the most successful long-term workers are good at learning and applying what they learn. That’s because the rate of change continues to accelerate, and you can no longer rely on “I got my education, and that’s all I need to do.”

Mastering learning will define the options you have for the future of the work that you will do.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, V.C. funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S., 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’d love to meet David Sinclair, the scientist who wrote the book Lifespan. I’m fascinated not just by the work he’s done about having a healthier long-term outlook on life but by his commitment to ongoing and lifelong learning, breaking decades of historic scientific bias and research about what impacts longevity and the future of the brain. I believe individuals like Sinclair will change the world through their efforts.

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?

Please visit us online at www.mbopartners.com; we’d love to hear from you.

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

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DLP Strategy for Your Business – How Significant Is It?

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DLP Strategy for Your Business - How Significant Is It?

Data is the lifeblood that fuel’s today’s information-based economy, so it’s incredibly crucial for businesses to keep sensitive information as secure as possible. And because of increasing concerns regarding cyber crimes such as data breaches, corporate espionage, and phishing scams, data loss prevention (DLP) strategies have become essential to running a business.

All About Data Loss Prevention

  • Data loss prevention, otherwise referred to as data leak protection, is a method that combines strategies, technologies, and processes to stop unauthorized individuals from accessing a company’s private data. It’s crucial to include DLP strategies in your business plan to detect potential exfiltration transmissions by monitoring, identifying, and blocking data while it is being used, in transit, and at rest.
    • Data In Use: It pertains to securing sensitive data in endpoints and applications as it is processed by authenticating users. In addition, controlling an individual’s ability to access sensitive data is also assessed.
    • Data In Motion: DLP ensures that confidential information is protected while being transmitted across networks. It encrypts the data using email and other messaging security platforms.
    • Data At Rest: Lastly, DLP protects sensitive data stored in databases, the cloud, and other storage mediums. It uses a multifaceted approach, including access control, data retention policies, and encryption.

Why Are DLP Strategies Important For Your Business?

  • Data loss leads to a financial crisis

Experts in the field of data security stated that the global average data breach costs went from $3.86 million to a whopping $4.24 million in 2021. And who knows what the statistics will be by the end of 2022? 

After seeing cybercriminals take big corporations’ ability to control their systems last year, it should be clear that data loss prevention strategies are essential in running a business.

  • Loss of productivity

As a business owner, you should always do what’s best for your company – continuous productivity to satisfy your customers, business partners, and ROI. With this in mind, incorporating DLP strategies should be a priority because it has the ability to prevent limited productivity.

  • Tarnished brand reputation

By having a standardized set of DLP strategies, your company will have excellent protection against cyberattacks. So thanks to data loss prevention methods, your business’ brand reputation won’t be humiliated by the public eye.

  • Compliance with government regulations

All businesses are required to comply with federal, state, international, and industry-mandated regulations, all of which aim to prevent data loss. If you fail to comply with these regulations, you’ll need to pay penalties and fines. This results in a loss of customer trust and ROI.

  • Hackers often target small businesses

Most business owners believe that hacktivists won’t attack small businesses when in fact, they voluntarily target startups and small-scale businesses due to a lack of proper data security protection. So despite having a small business, you shouldn’t skip on setting DLP strategies.

  • Cybercriminals are constantly evolving

Technology continues to grow at a rapid rate, and although this is excellent news for business owners, it’s also a piece of great info for cybercriminals. Because as technology evolves, hacktivists also find new ways to access sensitive information. It’s also important to know that although most cybercriminals work far from their targets, some work inside the company they plan to infiltrate.

But the good news is that you can prevent these threats from happening by proactively implementing DLP strategies.

The Takeaway

Although no organization is indeed 100% immune to data security risks, it’s vital to know that implementing a DLP strategy will give your business a protective edge. Because as your company’s IT environment develops robust data security measures, your journey to better data loss protection will flourish.

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Robert Bainbridge On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work

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Business culture will also become even more important in the coming years. Those that can showcase their culture and mission the best will attract and retain the best talent.


As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Robert Bainbridge.

Rob is Chief People Officer at Decision Intelligence company, Peak. He joined the Manchester-based tech scale up in 2016, and has been pivotal in building an international team that now spans the UK, US and India.

On a mission to change how the world works, Peak places huge importance on its culture; the company is built on strong values of smart, curious, open, driven and responsible. Rob and his team have grown the global Peak team by 230% in the last three years to over 200 people internationally, and are responsible for scaling Peak’s culture. The team is focussed on developing a culture of sustainable high performance, and this year Peak received the Best Companies 3-star accreditation, which recognizes extraordinary levels of employee engagement. Not only that, but Peak has ranked among the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For the last two years in a row.

Rob has nearly two decades of experience in talent management and acquisition in the tech and finance sectors. He joined Peak from Sympatico Consulting, a specialist HR and Recruitment consultancy he founded, and was previously Head of Practice at Harvey Nash.


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?

Coming from a family of farmers I spent a lot of time, especially over summers, growing up around large groups of friends and family — people from different backgrounds, with different views. I think this gave me an understanding, appreciation and interest in people from an early age. That, and accidentally finding myself in a recruitment role (when trying to pursue a career in politics) in my early 20’s were the defining experiences in my career.

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 advancements, such as the metaverse, will have a drastic impact on the workforce as we know it. The metaverse is just in the beginning stages of development and there is still so much to uncover. In-person offices, virtual meetings, and day-to-day work schedules will take a new form as companies begin buying “office space” in the metaverse.

But the need for the workplace to be people-centric will never change, and rightly so. People power businesses, and I think we’ll see more and more employers support initiatives that help their teams to achieve a meaningful work-life balance through focused productivity and a truly people centered culture.

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

Innovate for people, those that work for and with you, as well as your customers. The most successful innovators are the ones who put people first.

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?

Since the Great Resignation, employees have begun demanding more time and resources to develop both personally and professionally. They are constantly looking for a chance to reskill and upskill, setting themselves up to grow into the next position of their respective career. Employers who are unable to accommodate growing employee demands will find themselves unable to retain top talent and stay competitive in their industry. To help reconcile the gap and retain talent, employers should encourage employees to use a certain percentage of their day to pursue growth opportunities or a chance to learn a new skill they are passionate about. This could help foster a work environment where employees feel like they can bring their whole selves and creative ideas to work every day.

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

After having the opportunity to work from home on flexible schedules, employees will be hesitant about returning to an office. Employers will need to get creative, offer hybrid work models, flexible work hours, amazing office space or the ability to work remotely to adapt to a new reality.

There will also be a larger emphasis on fostering work-life balance. Working from home caused high levels of burnout among employees, blurring the lines between work and private space. Moving forward, employers will need to start adopting methods to help them manage their stress and mental health, whatever work model they adopt.

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?

There will be changes across all aspects of society, I think we are already starting to see the education and learning sectors adapt. With online courses and tutelage, you could learn to be a software engineer and start a job without ever meeting anyone in person. Whether that is a good thing or not is another question!

We can already see changes in the housing markets with people moving from cities or looking for apartments that have dedicated work space.

I also hope that the future of work may help level the playing field for candidates from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Remote and hybrid working could help remove some of the established barriers for these groups.

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

That individuals will be able to find a working style and environment that allows them to work at their best. Done well, this could lead to increased productivity, wellbeing, and as mentioned earlier, diversity in the workplace.

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?

The pandemic has forced many people to reevaluate their priorities and employees are demanding more from their employers. It will definitely be interesting to see how policies develop as the fight for talent intensifies, but I think because this is talent led the onus will be on businesses to deliver meaningful initiatives — gimmicks like unlimited ice cream or a ping pong table in the office simply won’t cut it anymore.

At Peak, we focus on work life balance. Our benefit suite prioritizes physical and mental wellbeing benefits. We have a Clubhouse first model, with hybrid working and flexible working hours, as well as a work from anywhere for one month policy. Peakers also have free access to Peak’s fit club, Headspace app and talking therapy support.

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?

The most important message leaders need to hear is that employees are unhappy with the current state of the workforce. It’s time for companies to step back, reevaluate and look to improve to meet employee expectations. Aside from allowing employees to upskill and reskill, company’s need to create cultures predicated on an environment of trust, psychological safety and clear communication. Having a certain level of trust and openness among employees creates an environment where they feel like they are being heard and are comfortable voicing an opinion.

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

1 — Businesses’ operating models will increasingly become a key consideration for candidates when choosing a new role. We will continue to see high attrition while businesses work out how they are going to operate (remote, hybrid, full office) and people explore what works best for them.

2 — Business culture will also become even more important in the coming years. Those that can showcase their culture and mission the best will attract and retain the best talent.

3 — HR and Talent professionals’ value (and salaries) will increase as leaders continue to recognize the skills to be able to retain and find top talent are worth top dollar. HR and Talent professionals will need to add talent marketing and data skills to their toolbox, those that do will be the most valuable.

4 — Remote first and hybrid companies will begin to look further and further afield for talent, new skills hubs will emerge.

5 — The duty of care and the benefits employers offer will continue to evolve, both as part of their culture and their ability to attract and retain the type of people they need will be reflected in their benefit suite. Fresh fruit on a Monday won’t cut it!

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 always love the Gary Player classic, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” I think the quote speaks for itself! I don’t believe in leaving things to chance when it comes to people operations, I also firmly believe that practice and a growth/learning mindset can get you where you want to go. That and always saying “yes” to an opportunity to develop yourself!

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.

Having just finished watching the Beatles Get Back documentary, I’d go for Paul McCartney — he should also have some good tips on breaking into the US market (our next big challenge at Peak)!

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?

You can connect with Peak on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to keep an eye on what we’re up to. I’m not quite so good at keeping my channels up-to-date, but you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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

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Stephen Tarleton On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work

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Rise in digital empathy. I mentioned this one already but I really think this will be a gamechanger for the future of work. If companies refuse to bridge the expectations gap and embrace digital empathy — by bringing in new technology — they will become obsolete.


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 Stephen Tarleton, CMO of 1E.

Stephen joined 1E at the beginning of this year to help hone and amplify 1E’s brand and to drive customer growth in the Digital Employee Experience (DEX) market. Prior to 1E, Stephen ran the marketing and business development organizations at Corvus Insurance and LogicMonitor. During his career, Stephen has worked at large enterprises, worked as a management consultant and even owned the top food truck business in Austin, Texas.


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?

I was born and raised in Tarboro, a small town a little over an hour east of Raleigh, in the tobacco country of North Carolina. This environment provided me with a deep sense of community at an early age. Decades later, I am still in touch with many of the kids from my kindergarten class as well as high school and college. Being a part of a close knit, small community allowed me to create long lasting connections which have benefited my professional career — specifically, as it pertains to developing a professional network.

The flip side of this rural upbringing is that it created a desire for travel and exploration. The first time I flew on a commercial airline was for a job interview my senior year of college. Buying airline tickets was just not something my family did. Now, and for most of my adult life, I travel constantly, and get to live out my dream of traveling.

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 rapid shift to remote work in 2020 caused many changes to how businesses operate on a daily basis. As we look 10–15 years out, the importance of culture, productivity and maintaining an engaged workforce will remain a top priority. Businesses will still be looking for ways to improve the employee experience and will utilize the technology currently being developed to do that. Digital employee experience (DEX) tools are a great option as they serve as a catalyst to maintaining productivity and employee satisfaction. DEX tools monitor, analyze and optimize IT environments to ensure all employees have a seamless IT experience — regardless of their locations or the hours they’re working. Additionally, these tools also provide a competitive advantage. A decade from now, DEX tools will certainly be a “ticket-to-entry” requirement of employees when selecting a new job.

The biggest change we’ll see over the next few years is businesses continuing to expand their employee footprint. With the rise in fully remote or hybrid positions, a world of opportunity has opened up. Organizations can now expand into new regions and engage a more diverse and inclusive workforce without the constraints of the traditional 25-mile radius.

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

The biggest piece of advice I would offer other business leaders would be to lean into the technology at your fingertips and to partner closely with your IT organization regardless of your function. Don’t think of IT as the team managing devices or end points; think of that team as your employee enablement organization. There is so much great technology out there that businesses can use to scale their companies and create a truly great employee experience — they just need to be unafraid to invest in something new.

To do that effectively, you need to work as a collective team and not as rogue departments. I learned this very early in my career with a major hand slap from a CIO for running a rogue server under my Business Intelligence Manager’s desk. To put this into practice and to be successful in the future flexible work environment, executive leadership teams should look at how they can break down the traditional department silos. This may mean partnering IT departments with other departments like HR and facilities management to ensure employees remain engaged and productive in every aspect of their day-to-day operations.

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?

As the focus of the employee experience shifts from the physical to the digital world, the gap literally is the difference between what employees expect and what employers are willing to offer. When an employee is working from home, the road, or wherever else they find most productive, they want a seamless experience that moves with them. The traditional functions and realm of IT are now ‘table stakes,’ employees view connectivity, responsiveness, security, and working applications as basic needs to do their job.

To bridge the expectations gap, companies need to embrace digital empathy. A company that fully embraces digital empathy and fulfills the next level of employee needs — such as collaboration tools, autonomous remediation, sentiment measurement and tracking — will ultimately achieve employee empowerment. At 1E, we’ve altered our business model to create a more equitable environment for our workforce by introducing the concept of digital empathy. Our framework starts with our employees’ basic needs while working remotely — think connectivity and security — and combines it with their growth needs, such as autonomous remediation and user empowerment to create a foundation.

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

The work from home — or more accurately, the flexible work movement — over the last two years will forever change how we work, live, and play. Businesses have seen the benefit work from home has had on their employees’ mental health and wellbeing. But it has also shown just how productive you can be from a distance. The future of work will be hybrid and it will be distributed.

As I mentioned before, one of the biggest benefits to working from home is that businesses can expand to a global footprint and bring in top talent from around the world. I’m a great example of this. 1E is historically a UK-based company, but we are transitioning into a truly global organization and hiring leadership and employees with a remote-first mindset to help us get there. That’s how I was brought on as the CMO based in Texas. We’ll see more of this as the future of work unfolds.

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?

To truly move everyone into the next phase of work, society needs to embrace the fact that employees want flexibility. For the most part we’ve seen this happen, but as COVID cases go down, employers are beginning to demand employees return to the office full-time or in a hybrid fashion. As this happens, society cannot forget about flexibility — or the fact that remote and flexible work has worked for over two years. Society needs to change its overall thinking from let’s get back to the old way of work to let’s embrace the world of flexibility.

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

As a parent, I tend to think of the future through the lens of my children. My oldest is in his first year of high school and is currently looking for a summer job. As opposed to applying to the local fast-food restaurant, he can embrace the remote/hybrid work model and is doing multiple, flexible, part time jobs. From walking dogs in the neighborhood to doing stock research for a financial fund, he will get a variety of experiences just from the new way the world is working. What makes me most optimistic about the future of work is the tools and resources the next generation has at such a young age that I could have never dreamed of at the same age.

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?

I feel like this is something we’re collectively still figuring out as the aftermath of the pandemic is starting to subside. But what I’ve seen is that employers have made significant strides in their flexibility offerings — which is promising. At 1E, we are a hybrid organization through and through, which gives our employees a lot of personal flexibility in how, where, and when they work. We have leaned into online communities and are providing periodic “wellbeing” sessions that are available to all employees to share how they’re feeling and have open and honest conversations.

From the employee perspective, I see a greater focus and importance on company values. In the past, company values were often just fodder for “About Us” pages, but now they are strong signals for how a company operates. As employees search for jobs, company values will offer a window into the soul of the organization and will serve a greater purpose in recruitment.

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?

These headlines are not going away anytime soon, so it’s important for leaders across industries to find ways to ensure they are not the next victim of The Great Resignation. One of the first and best things business leaders can do in response to these headlines is reevaluate how they are measuring employee success and engagement. This includes leaning on IT and technology to keep track of productivity levels across a company. The data provided by this type of tools allows leaders to see where the holes are in their organization, understand how remote or in-office employees are feeling, and address the issues head on to create a more balanced work environment and culture.

As I mentioned earlier, DEX tools are a great starting point. Companies that prioritize DEX have historically experienced easier transitions for employees working either fully remote or with flexible schedules, which will ultimately provide businesses with reduced costs, improvements in employee satisfaction and overall productivity.

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

  1. Rise in digital empathy. I mentioned this one already but I really think this will be a gamechanger for the future of work. If companies refuse to bridge the expectations gap and embrace digital empathy — by bringing in new technology — they will become obsolete.
  2. The overlap of IT and HR. This is essentially what DEX is all about. In the future of work, companies with poor digital employee experiences will find they have a hard time retaining talent. In order to grow and maintain competitiveness in an increasingly competitive landscape, companies need to bring these two previously siloed departments together.
  3. Employee experience will help slow The Great Resignation. With great experience comes great success — and DEX tools will move to the forefront of digital workplace technology. Companies who invest in DEX tools will see less employee turnover related to IT dissatisfaction.
  4. The rise in office hubs. As we’ve started to see, organizations are forgoing their permanent office space and extending their hiring beyond the traditional 25-mile radius from that space. We’ll see more office hubs emerge for employees to gather for one-off meetings or company get-togethers.
  5. The blending of traditional employment and the gig economy. We’ll start to see knowledge workers become more specialized, and operate in an on-demand, auction-based market. A good example of this opportunity in the marketing world is SEO. Today companies either hire in-house or use an agency. Going forward, an SEO specialist could work individually on demand with multiple companies instead of having to join an agency or go fully in-house.

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 a big Hemingway fan. In The Sun Also Rises, one of the characters states, (the) “Road to hell is paved with unbought stuffed dogs.” Out of context, it makes little sense, but it is about living in the moment and seizing opportunities as they present themselves. This is a philosophy I carry in both my personal and professional life.

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.

This is a tough one. I grew up listening to the Beatles, so my top choice would be Paul McCartney. Watching the recent Get Back documentary reminded me just how creative the Beatles were. On a recent run in London, I searched for the building where they performed the rooftop concert. How I would love to have seen that live!

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?

Readers can connect with me on LinkedIn and follow 1E on LinkedIn and Twitter. They can also check out 1E’s YouTube page for exclusive interviews and the latest product and service announcements.

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

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