Monthly Archives: December 2021

Good Health and Future Work

Dan Smolen believes that good health and future work will be informed by pandemic responses.

As 2021 draws to a close, the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus has spread like wildfire. And clear to many people now is this: because about a one-third of the nation remains unvaccinated, we will, for the foreseeable future, encounter more Covid variant outbreaks.

Good health and future work are inextricably linked. And that is, because, future variants will impact how and where we work.

We all want good health. And it is among our new year’s wishes to loved ones and friends. But, as a nation we lack the resolve of previous generations to respond to pandemics. Once, we mass vaccinated against Polio Militis and other diseases, thus eradicating them. However, with over 100 million Americans unwilling to vaccinate, we are ensured a future in which Covid becomes endemic.

Our guest earlier this year, infectious disease expert Dr. Rob Citronberg, predicted that annual Covid booster shots are most definitely in our future. And that is, because:

“This [Covid-19] is not going away. In fact, there is no doubt that it is going to become endemic.”

To that end, there are implications for our good health and future work.

Workforce professionals who once may have reliably returned to co-locations will now opt for hybrid workplace venues. How people engage during the workday will change as well. And hiring managers now must learn how to adapt and embrace a new way of engaging with, and leading, people.

During 2021, it took a pandemic turned endemic to turn the future of work present. And in 2022, breathtaking work and workplace changes will happen with all deliberate speed.

Whether you rolled up your sleeves to get Covid jabs or if you resisted, know that your choice fully informed the future of work. And, as a result, we are never going back to a pre-pandemic normal.

EPISODE DATE: December 31, 2021

One Tired, Burned Out Workforce

Dan Smolen reflects on the Holiday Season and one tired, burned out workforce.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! Have you arrived at the holiday rested or refreshed? Or are you a burned out mess?

According to a recent post on FortuneDaily:

“The physical and emotional exhaustion that turns into workplace burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of hundreds of microstressors on the job that ultimately lead to employees hitting the wall, mentally checking out, or even quitting their jobs entirely.”

As the Great Resignation extends, millions of people each month do leave their jobs, often with no new ones to replace them. Thus, one tired, burned out workforce reels.

On the podcast this week, we reflect on a recent tweet authored by organizational psychologist and best-selling author Adam Grant:

“The holidays shouldn’t be a time to recharge. They should be a time to celebrate. If work is exhausting people to the point that they’re using their time off to recover, then you might have a burnout culture.”

EPISODE DATE: December 24, 2021

Remote Work Can Work

Dan Smolen discovers from Gitlab’s Darren Murph how remote work can work.

As GitLab’s Director of Remote Work, Darren is “the voice in the room” that evangelizes the trailblazing company’s distributed workforce operating model.

What is more, Darren authored The GitLab Remote Work Playbook, which thousands of people around the globe have downloaded.

As 2021 concludes, positive forces of workplace change mean that people can live and work wherever they please.

And as such, Gitlab supports happier professionals who enjoy doing work that is part of the day and not the day.

A 100 percent distributed workforce is central to GitLab’s success.

In this episode, Darren describes:

  • His role at Gitlab. Starts at 4:52
  • Why GitLab is a 100 percent distributed workforce. Starts at 6:53
  • How he and the company found each other and his role materialized. Starts at 8:32
  • Opportunities and challenges inherent in framing a value proposition for recruited talent. Starts at 9:54
  • The revolutionary aspects of living and working anywhere. Starts at 16:28
  • Reengineering relocation to places where people want to live and work. Starts at 29:10
  • The localistic benefits to livable communities unleashed by Gitlab’s operating model. Starts at 32:59

Amazing outcomes happen when you allow talent to determine where they live and work. Of that, Darren adds:

“For hundreds of years, we have fit life around the rigid confines of work. But, when you achieve remote work at scale, you can live your life and then fit work into it.”

During 2021, Gitlab became a publicly traded company, tracked under the ticker symbol GTLB.

About our guest:

Quite possibly, Darren Murph is the world’s first Director of Remote Work. He received a Bachelor of Science in Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management from NC State and an MBA from Campbell University. He lives and works in North Carolina.

EPISODE DATE: December 17, 2021

Social media:

Darren Murph on LinkedIn

Darren Murph on Twitter

Living the Remote Dream ( book page)

– GitLab Website

The GitLab Remote Playbook


Finding Success in Indepdendent Work

Dan Smolen interviews  Overflow PBC co-founder and CEO Laura Marella on finding success in independent work.

Laura co-founded Overflow PBC to help solo-entrepreneur marketing and strategy professionals succeed.

In 2021, the rise of independent benefitted people who compete for business with large firms and agencies.

As a business accelerator and professional community, Overflow PBC provides independent professionals with specialized tools and resources that they need to compete effectively with big enterprises. What is more, Overflow connects “indies” to a large and growing ecosystem of likeminded people.

Laura describes the brand’s unique value proposition, in people finding success in independent work:

“Instead of being a marketplace of consultants, [we wanted] to create a marketplace for consultants.”

In this episode, Laura:

  • Introduces Overflow PBC. Starts at 4:20
  • Explains how Overflow PBC members may overcome their skill gaps or cavities. Starts at 13:43
  • Describes how a growing sector of independent workers will benefit from the Gig Economy. Starts at 16:16
  • Supports her belief in Stakeholder Capitalism. Starts at 20:38
  • Recalls how experience as a “corporate escapee” informs her current work as an independent strategist. Starts at 25:20

Overflow PBC is a certified public benefit corporation (b corp) chartered in the State of Delaware. Its founding members are located across the globe. 

People finding success in independent work is a breakthrough story of 2021. And it will impact the future of work for years to come.

About our guest:

Laura Marella received a Bachelor of Science in Communications Management from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications. During her years in the agency space, Laura gained a national reputation for excellence in multi-cultural marketing. She lives and works in Southern California.

EPISODE DATE: December 10, 2021

Social media:

Overflow PBC Website

LinkedIn Page

Will Artificial Intelligence Improve Future Work?

Dan Smolen asks Plutoshift’s Prateek Joshi: will artificial intelligence improve future work?

Prateek is the founder and CEO of Plutoshift, a company that uses artificial intelligence or A.I. to make the world a better place.

This we know: artificial intelligence frightens people who fear that robots will take their jobs and paychecks.

And, truth be told, A.I. will soon replace millions of low-skill jobs; it manages many tasks faster and better than people.

But A.I. has no heart; only people can do jobs that require human touch and interaction.

In this episode, Prateek:

  • Describes Plutoshift and his role in the company. Starts at 4:03
  • Defines artificial intelligence and contrasts it with Machine Learning. Starts at 4:51
  • Addresses workforce concerns that A.I. takes jobs away from people. Starts at 9:52
  • Illustrates how Plutoshift helps clients involved with providing clean and potable water. Starts at 14:03
  • Identifies the training and advanced skill that he seeks in hired talent. Starts at 21:25
  • Tells us how, beyond his work, he adds fun and enjoyable activity to each day. Starts at 28:59

In regards to the question, will artificial intelligence will improve future work, Prateek says:

“One of the biggest things that [we look for] is the ability to learn. [Are you] the type of person who has learned how to learn?”

Interview starts at 2:50

About our guest:

Prateek Joshi earned a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka and a Masters of Science in Computer Vision from USC. He is the author of numerous books on Artificial Intelligence. Prateek lives and works in Palo Alto, California.

EPISODE DATE: December 3, 2021

Social media:



Plutoshift Website

Prateek Joshi Website

Amazon Author Page