Welcome to the Adaptive Podcast, a podcast that inspires industry leaders to leverage technology and new ideas to learn how to adapt, grow their businesses, and create better organizations! Each episode, host Jeremy Miller, a marketer with GE Appliances and student of business and innovation, talks with technologists, engineers, and business leaders about how their experiences have shaped their mindsets. In this particular episode, he speaks with former colleague and current Google Solutions Manager David White about the future of work.
The conversation begins with a bit of background, as David shares his own “origin story” as a professional in the tech field. A tech support role, work for several UN organizations and startups, and more finally led him to Google in 2019. Now, as a Google employee in a sales role, he works on shifting focus from particular offerings to finding the best solutions to unique customer problems. Much of his recent attention has been centered on Microsoft and virtual desktop as a portion of infrastructure modernization.
Turning to the future of work, David first explains how he sees things changing now. Recent changes, in large part produced by the COVID-19 pandemic, have been a matter of acceleration rather than complete novelty. Specifically focusing on the tech side of things, David works through an example question that he and his colleagues have had to consider - that of how to settle the issue of laptop security so that employees can work from anywhere.
Moving forward, he explains other details of the changing workplace and their implications. Some companies may never bring employees back to an office, and even those that do may never situate them in permanent work stations again. This shift to more remote work has allowed companies to hire the best and the brightest from anywhere, and tends to bring higher employee satisfaction rates. However, it also removes the inherently valuable space for “water cooler” conversations - conversations companies are trying to create space for in new ways.
Not every industry has been impacted by recent workforce changes in the same ways, of course. Returning to the example of extending cloud reliance and securities such that virtual desktop programs aren’t needed, David details how some companies’ rates of change will be affected by their reliance on legacy apps and need for specialized resources. The world of computing is going, in many ways, the same way as the world of phones has gone, but this process is not without its hiccups as different technologies evolve at different rates.
As the conversation moves to a close, David offers thoughts on the social significance of workplace (and tech more broadly) changes, explains how he anticipates more tech integration on the horizon, offers advice to listeners in the business of building living spaces to suit the changing needs of the day, and plugs his future book and insight from kids’ little league.