Culture & core values. More and more this will impact how global companies operate. Is the only way to really bring talents that act based on similar values and are aligned no matter what their background is.
When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.
As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Massimiliano Tirocchi.
Massimiliano Tirocchi, is the co-founder and CMO of Trafilea Group, a leading ecommerce Group that builds global purpose-driven brands. Trafilea is a remote-first company since its beginnings, now with almost 400 employees across 18 countries. He is a strong believer in remote work as part of the future of work.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?
I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 16, 13 years ago, reading a lot about new internet businesses (wasn’t that mainstream at that moment) and Internet Marketing. I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing, so I started a network of blogs around topics that I was interested in. I had to learn about SEO, Google Ads, copywriting, coding, everything. That really shaped how I worked in the future, by learning and doing. This helped me gain knowledge on multiple topics regarding what was then my career.
The second one is when I’ve actually met my partners. I was studying at that moment at university and they required me to show work experience, they didn’t accept what I was doing with my blog network so I had to actually find a part-time job. I sent my CV to a Media Agency. I got a call the same day, they knew me from one of my websites and they invited me to an interview. There I met my partner, and in the end we decided to start a project together instead of the job I sent my CV about. My other actual partner was the owner of the agency. And this was one of the beginnings of Trafilea.
Let’s zoom out. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?
I believe that most of the changes we will see in 10 years have already started, we are just not seeing their full potential right now. I think that certain work structures will continue to exist, same as for some management principles.
I prefer to see it more from a lens of how it will evolve and change. Technology for sure will surprise us, as always. I think we will try to emulate physical situations through a digital environment. They are testing it now through the usage of immersive experiences or Virtual Reality. I think that even the biggest advocates of remote work still don’t enjoy being in meetings and seeing faces through a normal screen for hours.
Access to global talents will change for sure. We are seeing this now and this is generating a change in the economies of different countries, as companies try to find great talent abroad, this will generate a positive impact in the countries that are being selected as great sources. This will increase competition, with global access there is a salary competition to get similar or even better results.
We have been remote since the beginning. It has a positive impact in people’s lives when you think about the time that they don’t invest in a car and most importantly, when they connect and create deep relationships with people from other countries and cultures.
What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
Changes will happen, there is not just one future-proof technique. Is about being flexible in an environment that is always changing. You need to adapt, and adapt fast. Great talents will go after companies that can fulfill their needs.
My advice would be to really ensure you have a strong culture, with clear core values and to take care of the hiring efforts. Global talent is great, but you are looking for a diverse group of people in terms of backgrounds and countries, but not in terms of values. Shared core values no matter where they are coming from are important to ensuring a strong company culture that attracts talent.
What do you predict will be the biggest gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect as we move forward? And what strategies would you offer about how to reconcile those gaps?
There are going to be differences in expectations for sure. Talent will have access to a global pool of opportunities with companies that operate in different ways. Employers will have to position themselves regarding what they can truly offer, being real. There is always going to be a counterpart looking for something similar. It’s always about finding the right fit and having the match between the talent and the company. The main difference here is that both the employer and employees will have more options and opportunities.
From my perspective it is not about reconciling those gaps alone but it’s mainly about how you develop what makes you different. We cannot think that every employee is looking for the same thing and it won’t happen in the future, so who you are targeting and what you will offer that group is what really matters.
We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?
It has influenced work because it accelerated a change that was already there. So now you have a bigger percentage of people that are expecting their companies to do something about it.
I still think that this was a forced one, companies weren’t that prepared so in many cases, talent didn’t have the right experience of working from home. To really take advantage of it, companies should be ready and create the dynamics and systems to make it work, and that takes time.
We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?
As remote work is opening the doors to global teams, even within the same divisions, society will need to learn how to live with that. Being open to learning about other cultures, ways of doing things and even language barriers. For every country, there are many paradigms and that is something that you must break when thinking about the future of work and with who you will be working with.
What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?
Being a believer since the beginning of remote work, the positive feedback coming from millions of people about what has been their experience working from home. Most importantly, how people have tried to stay positive and work together to move forward in a difficult, and new, situation for everyone.
Our collective mental health and wellbeing are now considered collateral as we consider the future of work. What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?
I believe in putting talents into their unique ability and finding ways for them to work on what they are passionate about. The biggest change should come from the understanding that this wellbeing can be completely different considering the situation of a person. And is a leader’s responsibility to understand what makes its team happy. It is also a leader’s responsibility to support their teams in moments of stress that can come due to work or even personal situations.
Companies should help shape better leaders for the future.
It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?
The most important message leaders need to take away is that now there are much more options for talents. That it is time for companies to adapt and change. And most importantly, to not stop adapting. Because that great reevaluation is going to be constant.
This means that you need to listen more to your talent, the ones you see aligned to your values and what they are looking for.
To ensure your structure offers what talent you are attracting are looking for.
That talent’s happiness and its performance depends a lot on how leaders and coworkers operate together, and you have to build the right culture for that to happen in a proper way.
Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”
- New cities and countries as hubs. Companies already have identified certain cities and countries to access talent that is specialized in a specific sector or category.
- Culture & core values. More and more this will impact how global companies operate. Is the only way to really bring talents that act based on similar values and are aligned no matter what their background is.
- Global organizational designs. Organization structures and internal systems have to change in the future.
- Meeting improvements. Not sure why but meetings when done online take more time to be set up, get done and are usually longer. It will be interesting to see how we workaround this. Meetings are important, when they are productive and effective.
- Cowork spaces. This is happening. People that work in remote companies still sometimes go to the cowork, you can get a lot of benefits through networking with it, and a coworking not necessarily with people from the same company working together.
I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?
“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment.”
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.
Elon Musk. I’ve always been interested in understanding how his mind operates in a normal conversation.
Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?
I’m not that active, but to connect I think Linkedin is the best way.
Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.