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Research Insights: What the Data is Actually Saying about Remote Work - with Kate Lister
Episode 3816th January 2024 • Happy Space Podcast with Clare Kumar • Clare Kumar
00:00:00 00:39:28

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Global Workplace Analytics’ Kate Lister shares her insights on the growth of remote work, the challenges leaders face with the abstract nature of managing virtual teams, and why using data-driven research is important instead of relying on gut-based decision-making at work.

You're listening to episode 38 of the Happy Space Podcast. Today I speak with Kate Lister, founder of Global Workplace Analytics. You'll enjoy her candid take on the future of work.

Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, discusses the shift towards remote work and how organizations have been reacting. Kate shares her insights about the importance of moving from gut-based decisions to research-driven strategies and how remote work dramatically increased because of the pandemic. This conversation also highlights the significance of inclusive work practices for employers to retain their workforce. Kate says that it's an era of transformation for businesses, and leaders need to be more intentional, embrace transparency, and grasp the opportunities presented by the changing world of work.

Kate is a widely-recognized thought leader on workplace, workforce, technological, and other trends that are changing the who, what, when, where, and how of work.

She has been helping public and private sector employers optimize their remote, hybrid, and flexible work strategies for nearly two decades.

Kate’s recent client work includes the development and roll-out of hybrid/remote workplace and return-to-office strategies for a global law firm, an automotive industry giant, a regional insurance company, and a behemoth tech firm.

Kate produces a wide range of primary and secondary research and is a trusted source of insights about the future of work for news outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and dozens of others. She has appeared on NPR, The Today Show, CNBC Nightly News, Voice of America, Fox News, and dozens of other TV and radio news programs.

As a resident of San Diego, Kate charges extra if she has to travel anywhere with temperatures over 75F or less than 65F, humidity greater than 75%, frequent rain, or bugs. She’s willing to make exceptions for Hawaii and New Zealand. She’s over-the-top nuts about dogs and gardening (as long as it’s not too hot out).


00:30 The shift towards remote work

04:15 Leaders tendency towards fear and control in remote work

07:49 The impact of the pandemic on remote work

14:27 How employees experience remote work

21:31 The reality of bias in leaders and the false consensus effect

26:02 #flexibilityisinclusivity and the risks of ignoring equity in remote work

31:24 The importance of data-driven research and avoiding gut decisions

34:27 The role of transparency and accountability in leadership

35:03 The future of distributed and remote work & where we need to go from here


Global Workplace Analytics

Shamrock Organization

U.S. General Services Administration


Kate Lister headshot - Kate Lister

Global Workplace Analytics logo - Global Workplace Analytics

Circling the Wagons - Canva

Tug of War - Canva

Press Rewind - Canva

Factory Workers - Canva

Shamrock graphic - Canva

Hybrid Work, group surrounding talking screen - Canva

Hybrid Work, group sitting around screen - Canva

Stressed-out employee at desk - Canva

Employee packing up things - Canva

Tense employee at desk - Canva

Stressed employee leaning on wall - Canva

Chess game - Canva

Minority female working on laptop - Canva

Walking through gap - Canva

50/50 Wage Gap - Canva

Employee closing down laptop - Canva

Group of employees talking together - Canva

Mom remote working - Canva

Teenagers walking - Canva

Woman leaving office - Canva

Animated leadership pedestal graphic - Canva

Leader walking in front of employees - Canva

Throwing out money - Canva

Flashing lightbulb - Canva

Martha Johson - Wikipedia

Jack Nilles - LinkedIn

The Office, Michael Scott on floor - Giphy/NBC

Learn more about Kate Lister:






Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.

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If you prefer to read, please see the transcript below.

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Audio and Video Editing by: Jaclyn Enchin

Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez

Song Credit: Cali by Wataboi from Pixabay




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