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Future of Work Hub Podcast Series
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Future of Work Hub Podcast Series

Author: Lucy Lewis

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Welcome to the Future of Work Hub’s In Conversation podcast. In this podcast series, Lucy Lewis will be hosting exclusive discussions with innovators, business leaders and thought leaders, to explore their perspective on the changing world of work. The global pandemic has accelerated longer term societal, economic, and technological trends, giving us a unique opportunity, a once in a generation challenge to rethink who, how, what and where we work.
25 Episodes
In the third episode of our “In Conversation with...” podcast series for 2023, Lucy Lewis, Partner at Lewis Silkin LLP, speaks to Philip Ross, Founder and CEO of UnGroup and Cordless Group and Jeremy Myerson, Director of WORKTECH Academy. Jeremy and Philip recently co-authored the book ‘Unworking: The Reinvention of the Modern Office’ and, in this episode, they share their insights into the future of the office. Philip and Jeremy consider the habits and rituals we will need to ‘unlearn’ in order to reimagine the workplace of the future, with a particular focus on rethinking both learning and leadership, as well as how to make the workplace as inclusive as possible.     Key takeaways from the conversation: Leadership is being reimagined: Leadership will be less focussed on presenteeism and more focussed on outputs and purpose. Leaders must drive a sense of purpose and belonging, and organisations will need to rethink their physical spaces to align with this vision. Space will no longer define status: While workspace does not dictate culture, it reinforces and supports it. Organisations are moving away from the idea of modern efficiency – rectangular spaces in box-like buildings – towards more democratic spaces, such as circular and curvilinear spaces. Workplace experience is key: Companies need to take workplace experience seriously. Many are introducing workplace experience apps to enhance workplace experience and drive a sense of purpose and belonging. Office design should support diversity and inclusion: A diverse workforce has diverse needs, and employees may work best in different conditions and environments. To be truly inclusive, the workplace of the future must be heterogeneous and provide employees with genuine choice and variety. Organisations need to rethink learning: Hybrid working has resulted in a rapid shift away from the ‘eavesdropping’ model of learning, requiring companies to rethink their current practices and invest in new and emerging technologies.     
In the second episode of our “In Conversation with…” podcast series for 2023, Partner Lucy Lewis speaks to Penelope Mantzaris, Senior Vice President at Edelman Data & Intelligence about trust and how it is evolving. “Trust is the foundation that allows an organisation to take responsible risk and to innovate and, if it makes mistakes, to rebound from them”.With the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer hot off the press, Penelope and Lucy consider the role that trust has to play in an increasingly polarised society and what this means for employers. Key takeaways from the conversation: Factors such as distrust in the government, a lack of shared identity in communities and economic pessimism are leading to intense polarisation in society. However, trust in employers remains high. Trust is local. People trust those that they have real interactions with like their neighbours, co-workers and the CEO of their own employer. Consumers and employees are applying pressure to business, buying brands which match their values and choosing to work for companies that have a positive societal impact. CEO behaviour matters.To build trust, leaders must place their trust in employees first, provide information about contentious issues and make employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions. Businesses should use trusted voices at each level of the organisation, particularly if difficult decisions need to be taken. For more on this topic, visit the Future of Work Hub. 
In the first episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2023, Lucy speaks to James Davies, Partner at Lewis Silkin LLP.  James is a leading expert in employment law and speaks widely on issues relating to the future of work. He published his latest report on the future of work, “Eight drivers of change: 2022 and beyond” in November last year. In this episode, James and Lucy explore the impact generational attitudes, particularly those of younger generations, are having on work and society more broadly and how that will influence the world of work in the years ahead.Key takeaways from the conversation: Generational attitudes and values are having a profound impact on the world of workGenerational attitudes, particularly those of younger generations, are impacting employer decision-making around the world. Employers, particularly in the US, must consider their stance on social and political issues as part of their value proposition.Shifting generational values will lead to political changeShifting attitudes are predicted to drive significant political change in the UK which could, in turn, dramatically influence the employment landscape, including in areas such as tax, immigration and labour relations.   Employers must act now to navigate the road ahead To attract and retain the best people, employers will need to look outside traditional demographic and geographic recruitment pools and review their recruitment models. Employers need to recognise the importance of connecting organisational and employee sense of purpose.Focus will shift to climate change and growing inequality  Climate change and inequality are likely to emerge as dominant societal and business critical issues in the years ahead and garner the attention and action they deserve from society, governments and employers.  You can read James’ report here.   
In our 2022 ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series Lucy Lewis asked ten leading experts and thinkers to share their insights into what the future of work could hold.In this final episode of 2022, Lucy reflects on the conversations she has had this year and draws together many of the insightful perspectives shared by her guests.Lucy explores the key themes that emerged across her conversations. These touched on the role of trust in the workplace, the impact of shifting employee values across generations at work, the Great Resignation and the employee value proposition, the significant challenges of building skills for the future, and the continuing importance of diversity and inclusion.Importantly Lucy considers what we’ve learned from these insights and explores what action we, collectively and as individuals, need to take as societies and businesses adjust to the rapidly changing world.  Finally, Lucy reflects on some of the fascinating responses she received to the question we asked all of our podcast guests this year: ‘If you had the power to ensure one change for the workplace of 2032, what would this be?’ Tune in to hear what they had to say!
In the tenth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Partner Lucy Lewis speaks to Elizabeth Bieniek, Director of Innovation at Cisco and an internal start-up founder. Elizabeth’s particular focus is on the interface between people and emerging technology, developing technologies that will help build a bridge between our experiences today and the experiences that might be possible as technology advances. In this fascinating discussion, Elizabeth and Lucy consider how technology can be used to build trust and a sense of belonging to make hybrid and remote working more ‘human’. Elizabeth explains the important focus that is needed on the underlying human motivations driving societal trends when anticipating future technology that will successfully enable human interaction when people can’t be together physically.  Finally, with growing discussion on the impact of the metaverse and other emerging technologies on work, Elizabeth lays to rest any confusion we might have had about the differences between augmented and virtual reality and their role in the future world of work.
In the ninth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy speaks to Ritu Mohanka, Managing Director and Head of EMEA at Syndio, a leading workplace equity platform.  In this episode, Ritu shares her fascinating insights into how data can be used to drive workplace and pay equity and how businesses are responding to increasing pressure from stakeholders, employees and legislators to address systematic bias in the workplace. Ritu discusses the important role that communication and transparency have to play in building and creating high workplace trust and considers some of the key factors driving the creation of pay gaps, including the ‘opportunity gap’. She goes on to explain why data driven decision-making is one of the most important components for future strategic decisions, pushing it to the top of HR’s agenda.Turning to intersectionality, Ritu explores how this poses particular challenges when assessing and tackling pay gaps and illustrates the different approaches employers are taking to address these. Finally, Ritu and Lucy discuss the role that pay transparency legislation has to play in driving change, and how multi-national companies can navigate their global obligations from a cultural and regulatory perspective.
In the eighth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy speaks to Dr Grace Lordan, an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics and the Founding Director of The Inclusion Initiative which supports firms to build more inclusive workplace cultures. Dr Lordan discusses the importance of leveraging under-represented talent in the workplace and the practical steps that businesses can take, particularly in light of the challenges presented by hybrid working. She questions the concept of the four-day work week, arguing that employers could instead increase productivity by reducing presenteeism and offering greater flexibility. Moving on to technology, Dr Lordan touches on her recent research which finds that AI is actually less biased than humans when used in recruitment, and discusses the value AI can bring to employers. She also considers her research findings on automation, including the prospect of widening inequalities, and reflects on how the skills agenda needs to shift to accommodate the changing needs of businesses.”
In the seventh episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy Lewis speaks to Harriet Molyneaux, Managing Director at HSM Advisory.As a future of work expert, Harriet shares her practical expertise on the big future of work trends of the moment. Harriet explores how organisations can embrace hybrid working to create sustainable high performance environments with productive and happy employees before turning to how employee voice can be harnessed as a check and balance mechanism for organisations. Moving onto demographics, Harriet explains how the three stage life of education, work and retirement isn’t fit for purpose in technical high speed change environments, suggesting that it might be time to retire the word ‘retirement’. Finally, Harriet concludes with her thoughts on what the future holds for HR and how HR professionals need to evolve. 
In the sixth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy Lewis speaks to David Liddle, founder and CEO of TCM Group and best selling author.David is passionate about reforming organisational culture and HR conflict resolution processes, believing we need to move away from the retributive systems of blame, shame and punishment within workplaces. David explains how managing conflict needs to become a strategic priority, with dialogue having primacy rather than retribution. Ultimately, HR will need to decide if they want to focus on people, culture and values or simply governance, rules and processes. David finishes by talking about the clear business benefits of shifting to a people centred, purpose led and values based leadership system. After listening to David’s conversation, you won’t feel the same way about the grievance process found in every employee handbook.
In the fifth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy Lewis speaks to Kevin Cook, CEO and co-founder of TreasurySpring, a fintech company launched in 2016. Kevin discusses the ESG demands that are at play in the market as well as exploring how awareness and focus on ESG has shifted over the past few years. Kevin explains that pressure doesn’t only come from investors, but also employees who want to understand company views on fostering an ESG agenda, with a clear warning not to fall into the trap of greenwashing or lip service. Lucy and Kevin also discuss why TreasurySpring took the decision to become remote first with Kevin sharing some practical tips to avoid two tier culture. To find out more about TreasurySpring, please visit 
In the fourth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy speaks to Dr Eliza Filby, a generational expert helping businesses understand workplace dynamics and demographic trends through the prism of age and generations. Dr Filby shares her fascinating insights into the impact of four generations in the workplace, how technology has accelerated generational differences and her views on what motivates people to work and how that has changed over the decades. Turning to hybrid working, Dr Filby goes on to consider the dangers of a ‘hierarchy of needs’ approach and how this could potentially disadvantage women and ethnic minorities.  To find out more, please visit where you can sign up for Dr Filby’s fortnightly newsletter or follow her on twitter.
In the third episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy speaks to Kit Krugman, Managing Director and Derek Newberry, Senior Director co:collective's Org + Culture Design practice.In this episode, Kit and Derek discuss their approach to gender parity and what companies can do to create greater diversity, both inside and outside of their companies. Derek shares his view that the ‘Great Resignation’ is really the ‘Great Re-calibration’ meaning employers should be re-defining their relationship with their staff to architect their value proposition. With offices re-opening again, Kit and Derek share practical insights into the drivers of culture and relationship building that can help businesses navigate this new transition. Derek leaves us with his thought-provoking hope that the office of the future will see a revival, not because staff feel they have to be there, but because they want to be there. If you would like to find out more about co:collective you can visit their website here:
In the second episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series for 2022, Lucy speaks to Dr Carl Benedikt Frey, Director, Future of Work, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. In this episode, Carl revisits the landmark study he co-authored in 2013 “The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerisation” and discusses their conclusions - that 47% of jobs in the US, and 40% of jobs in Europe, would be vulnerable to technological displacement in the next 20 years. As well as exploring the types of work that are at risk of being easily automated, Carl also identifies three areas of work that aren’t readily susceptible to technological displacement.Carl explores the impact of current labour shortages on driving automation and the importance of focussing on skills to allow people to better transition into new jobs and industries. Finally Carl shares his thoughts on the importance of our physical in-person networks and communities for innovation, and the crucial role communication has to play in overcoming automation fears in the workplace.For further information about Carl, Carl is active on Twitter @carlbfrey or you can visit Carl’s website where you can also find details of his latest book “The Technology Trap: capital labor and power in the age of automation”.
Our first  ‘In conversation with…’ podcast for 2022, features Claire Haidar, technology entrepreneur, future thinker and Founder and CEO of Wndyr and Pattyrn.Claire explains how the future of work is chaos, why we should all be embracing it and how companies can build resilience to adapt.  Claire shares her view that hybrid working doesn’t work and explores what clashes of cultures can happen in trying to maintain a hybrid workplace. The conversation ends with some lessons learnt from building culture in virtual organisations and Claire’s one wish for the workplace of 2032 – hologram technology.
In our final ‘In conversation with…’ podcast for 2021, our host, Lucy Lewis, reflects on the perspectives shared by our ten guest speakers on what the future of work could hold. Our conversations have covered a lot of ground, reflecting the dynamic landscape of the world of work. Highlights include how the role of trust between people and business is changing, the rise of hybrid working and the future of the office and how the workforce is shaping the sustainability agenda. Lucy concludes with a look back at what some of our ten leading experts and thinkers consider will be the biggest and most radical change for the future of work that we’ll see coming out of the pandemic.
Our tenth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ podcast series features Andrew Magowan, Director of Sustainability and General Counsel at Berry Bros. & Rudd. In this episode, Andrew explores the significant impact on businesses, both as employers and brands, of the expectation to “do the right thing” in terms of sustainability. Andrew shares his thoughts on the government’s role in driving change in relation to sustainability issues, noting the value and impact government intervention has made in other areas. However, believing business must take the lead, Andrew shares his perspectives on approaching sustainability as a risk management issue and offers some practical advice on how to take those first steps to meaningful sustainable change. For further information about Andrew, you can follow him on LinkedIn here, or if you’re headed to Northern Ireland, check out the Inside Track.  
James discusses his new report, the Eight Drivers of Change, analysing that whilst the pandemic has been a leading catalyst for change in the future of work, it is only one of many drivers of change. James talks through the emerging themes he has identified as a result of the drivers of changes, in particular exploring how changes to the labour market will see ongoing skills shortages and the pandemic meaning employers will be striving to restore a sense of belonging at work.  Finally, James makes some thought-provoking predictions for the future, predicting we will all work less hours yet work for longer.
Neta explains how the creation of Vault Platform came about, how being able to ‘speak up’ and report goes hand in hand with creating or breaking trust in organisations and how companies should be striving for high reporting rates. Neta explores how trust tech has the ability to create bonds between a company and it’s people as well as recognising the growing importance of employees having an active voice within their organisation. Finally Neta shares some insight into what companies should be doing to tackle misconduct in light of the impact of the pandemic meaning that open door policies are no longer fit for purpose. For more information about Vault Platform, please see their website. 
Our seventh episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ series features Philippa Wagner, creative strategist and thought leader with over 20 years’ experience in strategic trend forecasting and shaping the future of some of the world’s leading brands. Philippa explores the rise of the sustainability agenda and the response of businesses, together with their role in helping consumers make better choices.  Philippa shares her thoughts on brand activism and the increasing convergence between what employees and consumers want and expect from businesses today and in the future. Philippa also shares advice on creating an environmental strategy and redesigning office space, post pandemic, through the prism of wellbeing and our carbon footprint.For more information about Philippa’s work, please visit her website. 
Our sixth episode of our ‘In Conversation with…’ series features Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of 20-first, one of the world's leading global consultancies focussed on gender balance. Avivah highlights the business opportunities of gender balance for organisations, the focus on female leadership traits as a result of the pandemic, the rise of “conscious capitalism” and the role government and policy have to play in shaping demographic change. We are encouraged to change the way we think about gender balance and think beyond the unsuccessful gender inclusion strategies of the past. Avivah also shares her thoughts on what companies can be doing now to bring about lasting change.   
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