This past summer, Society 2045 had a series of interviews with change makers seeking to improve the way society works. One of our guest speakers was Kimberly Wiefling, Founding Member of Silicon Valley Alliances.
Society 2045 is a community of people from around the world seeking to co-discover a vision for the year 2045. The goal is to connect with leaders of emerging communities and movements across society and come together to co-create a better future.
In an interview with Kimberly, we discussed the future of workplaces.
There are multiple ways in which the workplace environment impacts organizational productivity.
“If an organization fails in providing an ideal workplace environment to its employees, they feel unheard, unburdened, unhappy, and disengaged.”
Due to the pandemic, the remote work culture is on the rise, therefore curating the right workplace environment is essential. Organizations must give encouraging, inspirational, and empathetic virtual and in-office working environments to achieve significant growth. They must do this for their employees and themselves.
Let’s understand what the future workplace will look like and what organizations must do to not only thrive, but to remain in business.
Kimberly Wiefling is a physicist by education. She has worked as an engineering and product developer at Hewlett Packard for 10 years. After which, she had three startups in Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, they failed, but she believes her project didn’t fail due to technical reasons. Instead, team leadership, and organization’s culture played a major role.
Now, she has a new understanding of soft human skills in our world. She is also one of the founding members of Society 2045.
Let’s see how she envisions 2045 for the workplace.
The Essential Organizational Culture and Framework
In the future, there will be a shortage of talent and the places that do not do what’s required to attract and retain talented people will go out of business.
They will simply lack the people to implement their business plans. Therefore, it’s going to be a huge, compelling competitive advantage to have an organizational culture and framework and procedures that are not going to suck your will to live.
Work as a Means of Gratification
We envision people in 2045 will not work during the day, and only have fun at night or on the weekends. Fun and work will be an integral part of a gratifying life.
“For people to thrive in every way, work will need to be decoupled from a survivalist mindset and become an integrated fun and gratifying way to live.”
Therefore, if people will come to know the ways through which they can pay their mortgage, get food, ensure that their kids get a decent education, they will likely work to contribute to our world in ways that are important for the world and gratifying for them.
How do we make this vision a reality?
Fulfill the Basic Survival Needs
Today, most people work as wage slaves according to Kimberly. They aim to fulfil their basic survival needs like food, water, shelter. However, there’s plenty on planet earth for everybody to have enough to eat, drink, and live a decent life — that includes good healthcare, access to clean water, and decent education.
If we make a commitment to ensure that everybody has these basic human needs, then work would be a contribution, and no longer remain a task. Ultimately, work will become a means of gratification for people.
Empathic Organizational Culture
We are on a path where the population within the current operating system, could drive us to scarcity. So, we need to be concerned about limits to growth. It is time to recognize that a tech mindset without appropriate empathy and organizational culture, and human skills, is a sociological disaster.
“Conscious businesses can be a great vehicle for social change and human change and make positive contributions to the planet.”
Be Open to Possibilities
Kimberly believes that when somebody says that something is impossible, 1% can’t imagine how to do it, but 99% simply don’t know if they could. Therefore, be open to the possibility that something outside of your experience and knowledge can be possible.
It is important to accept our limitations as our problems grow faster than our ability to deal with them.
Kimberly’s vision for work in 2045 is groundbreaking. It will be amazing if we are able to achieve her vision in the coming years. Check out the interview here: