Welcome to the new normal
Your weekly tech podcast where we explore the stories, ideas, and research around the megatrends shaping the future of work and life.
Discover the Audio Series
Our relationship with physical space
May 19th, 2021
How is our relationship with physical spaces changing? Cinemas are hiring their spaces out to gamers, and the humble telephone booth may have an augmented future. We also celebrate the 5Oth birthday of the email, and ask if there’s still life in the old dog.
Reskilling for the future of work, is it necessary?
May 19th, 2021
The upheaval of 2020 has accelerated changes in the way we work and the way we live. What impact has this had on employment, and how many of us are going to have to retrain to stay relevant in a changing jobs market?
Fear of missing out, mental health and a huge amount of money
May 19th, 2021
Is fear of Missing Out (FOMO) going to drive us back from home comforts to the hustle and bustle of the office? What’s certain is that a return to the shared workplace means a return to the commute, and whether this has a positive or negative impact on our mental health and creativity.
Happiness in the workplace, and why 150 is a magic number
May 19th, 2021
Machine learning and AI are increasingly present in the workplace. Will it make us more productive, safer, or happier? And as we start coming back to the office, what’s the maximum number of people we can relate to on a human level?
US Federal employees look set for permanent hybrid work
June 16th, 2021
The US government looks set to make hybrid working permanent for many federal employees and contractors. But research shows that if the hybrid model is going to be a success, it needs to be organized in a “human-centric” way to protect both the well-being and productivity of workers.
What happened to entry-level jobs and middle managers?
June 23rd, 2021
The number of entry-level positions has been declining rapidly over the last decade, a trend that has accelerated in the last 12 months. The demand for tech skills has never been higher, something higher education will have to factor in. At the same time, technology is changing the game for middle managers, who will get squeezed out if they can’t reinvent themselves for the New Normal.
Salesforce wants its employees out on the ranch
June 30th, 2021
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff wants to buy a ranch as a new location for meetings and team building, and apparently he’s taken his inspiration from Disney. As office workers shudder at the idea of returning to their desks in city offices, the allure of the great outdoors is a tantalising bet.
Welcome to the YOLO Economy
July 7th, 2021
More and More workers are going YOLO – the philosophy that You Only Live Once – and ditching their jobs for new adventures. But is Freelancing the best way to achieve dreams of independence? More than a third of the 26 million jobs in ‘non-tech industries’ in the U.S. could be done by remote freelancers.
What the stock market reveals about the future of work
July 21st, 2021
The stock market may be the best indicator of the future of work, as investors bet for (and against) tech companies that are trying to make remote work as easy as possible. Research shows that there’s a lot at stake for CEOs, who need employees to be present to justify their positions, and managers, who are in growing competition with robots.
Home workers head back to the office for free air conditioning
July 28th, 2021
Workers have been heading back to the office, but is it just for the air conditioning? Many others are running for the hills, looking for new jobs because their companies failed to invest in the right technology to facilitate hybrid work. Indeed, in April, way before the heatwave, a record 4 million workers in the US decided to quit their jobs.
Horizons broaden for digital nomads
August 11th, 2021
Digital nomadism is increasingly popular, with workers, some earning very nicely, taking to the open road, or the high seas, in camper vans, sailing yachts, or simply cruising from city to city to get a taste of a different culture while making sure the pay cheques continue to get paid.
Working holidays – “workcations” – are not recommended
August 18th, 2021
What is a “workcation”? And why is it a terrible idea? A workcation is a holiday where you take your work with you, and apparently, it’s less rare than you’d imagine. Research shows, unsurprisingly, that real vacations, where the stresses of the office are left well behind you, are food for the soul and essential for wellbeing.
Leadership and imagination needed to fight Burnout and “Boreout” at work
September 1st, 2021
What is ”boreout” and is it as dangerous as the infamous ”burnout”? Employees’ mental and digital wellbeing is more important than ever but overworking isn’t the only issue. Lack of stimulation is leading to disengaged, bored employees.
Why remote work is the new signing bonus
September 8th, 2021
Remote work options are becoming more important to employees than a raise. Why have flexible working options become more of a draw to potential candidates and current employees?
Facebook experiments with virtual reality meetings
September 22nd, 2021
How would you like to join a meeting in virtual reality, where your boss has chosen their look and outfit from a 3D gallery, and where colleagues and clients make artificial gestures and smiles? Could this be any less stressful than back-to-back video conferences, with an added touch of nausea?
The paradox of big tech’s call for a return to the office
November 3rd, 2021
Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest players want employees back at their desks. But what does this say about the very companies that have made millions giving us the tools to work remotely?
Is there a future for TikTok’s video resumes?
October 13th, 2021
Will TikTok resumés become the norm? Probably not, given warnings about diversity and inclusion, and the advantages of text-based applications. But how do Gen-Zers feel about this new trend for applying for jobs?
The ‘Big Quit’ goes global
November 3rd, 2021
The number of people quitting their jobs has hit record numbers in the US. The so-called “Big Resignation”, or the “Big Quit”, is impacting all industries and it’s going global. In this episode we discuss the causes, why it’s affecting jobs across the economy, and what it means for the future as wages climb competitively, and may well push inflation higher.
Discover the Video Series
June 1st, 2021
Odile Roujol, formerly CEO of Lancôme and Chief Strategy & Data Officer at Orange, is the founder of FaB, the Fashion & BeautyTech community of 7,000 founders and funders with 15 chapters in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. She’s the founding partner of FAB Co-Creation Studio (Ventures), which focuses on the early stage Direct-to-Consumer beauty industry. Odile discusses the importance of communities for D2C beauty brands, how the last 12 months have impacted D2C business models, and what this means for diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry.
June 15th, 2021
Lukas Neckermann is a mobility expert who’s written a number of books, including “The Mobility Revolution”. He’s now Chief Operating Officer at Splyt.com, the world’s leading mobility network. In this episode of Powell Software’s Welcome to the New Normal, Lukas discusses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on cities and explores why some cities have fared better than others. He also explores the impact of teleworking, and how it has unveiled new mobility challenges, and mobility solutions that will change the way we interact with the urban environment.
June 29th, 2021
Living up to responsibilities to employees in a changing world is a matter of survival
There has been a clear shift in the last 12 months in the adoption of new technologies that help companies fulfill the expectations of their employees in a rapidly changing world, Checkr Chief Business Officer Marc Diouane outlines in this latest episode of Powell Software’s Welcome to the New Normal. Finding the right technology to make the future success for their employees, with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, will be a matter of survival as the world forges a new future of work.
Rita Gunther McGrath
July 13th, 2021
Rita Gunther McGrath, innovation and growth expert. In this episode of Welcome to the New Normal, Rita McGrath, a globally recognized expert on strategy and transformative innovation, and author of the best-selling “Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen”, explains how the inflection point of the Covid 19 experience has accelerated the migration of value towards the data from human interactions.
Hélène Deckx van Ruys
August 4th, 2021
Hélène Deckx van Ruys, co-leader of the Women in AI thinktank, explains why there is a huge under-representation of women in tech, and its negative consequences for society and efforts to improve diversity and inclusion for everyone. There needs to be a massive effort, she explains, to get girls more involved in science, technology, engineering and maths education. Our future depends on it!
August 25th, 2021
Scott Findlater, Chief Information Officer at Anord Mardix, the global leader in critical power distribution and protection, speaks about managing the move to remote work in an industry where ”work from home” is a new & challenging concept – manufacturing! What’s the secret to making remote work? Putting ”employees at the center of our core decisions” according to Scott.
Jeffrey Sanchez Burks
September 15th, 2021
How can organizations respond to employees’ fundamental need to belong? In this episode of Welcome to the New NormalJeffrey Sanchez Burks, Author, Behavioral Scientist, and Professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business explains how relationships at work have been torn apart by the Covid-19 crisis, how a more design-oriented and creative approach is needed to restore that sense of belonging and togetherness, and why it’s critical for success in a post-Covid world.
October 6th, 2021
We’ve all heard of burnout, but what about “bore out”? Lotta Harju, a professor at the Emlyon business school in Lyon, France, is one of the world’s few experts in this phenomenon, where employees are chronically bored and lack any sense of meaning in their work. As she explains in this interview, “bore out” can be every bit as damaging to individuals and businesses as burnout. What should companies be on the lookout for, and what remedies can they put in place?
October 27th, 2021
Business leaders need to embrace radical changes in the way their companies are organized. Wharton Business School Professor of Management Peter Cappelli’s new book “The Future of the Office: Work from Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face,” explores these challenges. Is hybrid work a panacea or a brake on personal development? Do we need to embrace a level of flexibility in the employer-employee relationship we’ve never seen before?
November 17th, 2021
Reasons to be hopeful for our economic future. Should we be optimistic about the future of the economy as the world recovers from the Covid crisis? Callum Williams, Senior Economics Writer at The Economist certainly thinks so. In this episode of Welcome to the New Normal, he outlines why he’s hopeful for the future, and how accelerated trends will permanently – and positively – impact the economy and the way we work.
December 8th, 2021
Henry Peyret, CEO and Founder of Wassati, explains how his company’s technology uses Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing to help companies align their narratives to the evolving concerns of their customers, their employees, and their ecosystems. Among the insights is the growing sense among employees that they need to find greater meaning in their work, and why understanding this need helps companies align more closely with the concerns of the wider population.
December 29th, 2021
Getting more women working in tech is essential if companies are to thrive in the New Normal. Karima Moudoub, Business Development Manager for global cybersecurity company Fortinet, Diversity, and Inclusion lead for the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, and founder of the Women in Technology (WIT) Network France explains why the stakes have never been so high, and what companies must do to make tech a more attractive career proposition for the 52% of the world that isn’t male.
January 18th, 2022
Employees must learn to improvise “like jazz musicians”. Improvisation and resourcefulness are skills that need to be learned, and are essential to business success in an ever-changing work environment, says Amiel Kornel, the Founding partner of Venture Craft Studio, and author of “Spinning into Control – Improvising the Sustainable Startup”. But how can managers foster improvisation and resourcefulness, and does it mean that the traditional workplace control and planning structures should be consigned to history?
March 2nd, 2022
There is no single template for the future of work. Companies devising their strategies for adapting to the New Normal should avoid “belief-based” discussions, and opt instead for detailed analysis of data, according to this week’s speaker Sylvain Newton. Newton, who heads a consulting firm in Munich, Germany, that supports the development of leaders, teams, and organizations, explains how companies can benefit from detailed qualitative and quantitative analyses to design and develop resilient hybrid strategies that work for all employees.
Dr. Lauren Keating
March 23rd, 2022
Should we change our attitude to stress? And can it be a good thing if it is channeled in the light of past successes? In this episode, Dr Lauren Keating, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Management at the emlyon business school in Lyon, France, explains how we can change our “implicit beliefs”, or mindsets, concerning stress, how we can channel it properly, and what managers need to understand about a phenomenon, which has amplified during the pandemic, to improve their leadership of happy, motivated, and more productive teams.
April 13th, 2022
Employees left their jobs in droves amid the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on our working lives, a phenomenon known as the “Great Resignation” that started in the US and is fast going global. Annabelle Roberts, founder and CEO of Paris-based training company Present Perfect, says she has been able to recruit and retain the best talent by letting them set their own salaries and writing their own job descriptions. In this episode of “Welcome to the New Normal”, she explains the logic behind the move, why it’s the “best decision she’s ever made”, and how it’s improved company morale and productivity.