The Interview: Newrow CEO, Ofir Zukovsky, Discusses Remote Work
Sam: Welcome everyone. I’m Sam VP of Product at Newrow
Danny: And I’m Danny Customer Success Manager here at Newrow.
Sam: And this is “In The Newrow”, a show, sort of like a podcast on video where we talk shop around modern learning experience in the workplace and in the classroom.
Danny: And most importantly we want to be engaged with all of you so definitely please comment and share like or dislike, if need be. How’s that for an intro?
Sam: Solid. So let’s get into it. Here we are, today we have an absolute treat for you.
Danny: That’s right. We have Newrow CEO, Ofir Zukovsky, joining us today. Ofir, so for those of us on LinkedIn regularly or following trends in the workplace, we see more and more workers are working remotely. Remote work is becoming a viable option for many employees and companies. So what’s your view on the workplace of tomorrow or the workforce of tomorrow?
Ofir: So first of all thank you very much Sam and Danny for inviting me to this great episode.
You talked about the workforce of tomorrow and definitely there are major changes in the way that workforce is being conducted. Mainly because there’s a change within the individuals that actually join the workforce.
We’re talking about Millennials and Generation Z entering the workforce and they’re bringing with them a lot of different views. Different values. A different set of priorities with regards to work-life balance and we need to understand and accommodate those changes in order to make the best out of working together
In such kind of a change environment we also know that Generation Z and Millennials are what we call digital natives. This means that they live in the digital space. They live in the virtual space and social networks.
And if you think about it, what has changed in the workplace over the past 50 years? You see that the pace of change was slower than the pace of the change and the adoption of technology that we see with Millennials with generation Z.
Some statistics that I would like to share with you about changes within the workforce and to kind of provoke some of the questions that you may have around these changes. So let’s talk a little bit about statistics.
We know today that 36% of U.S. workers are freelancers. That’s almost 60 million individuals which are freelancers and the majority of them are Millennials and Generation Z. So moving forward knowing that these segments of Generation Z and Millennials will take more percentage of the future workforce we need to understand. What does it imply?
We also see that this trend is increasing since 2016 and is expected to increase even further towards 2020. We’re talking about over 40% of the workforce being freelancers.
Another interesting point that I think is very valid is that 63% of freelancers are expected to work from home. So they don’t expect to go to the office and come to the office every day. Rather work as a virtual team especially when we are talking about the freelancers community. You’re talking about teams that are there to deliver a project. And many times you would have individuals sitting in different locations working on a project. How do you make this work together effectively?
Some of the questions I would like to leave the audience with relate to the changes that we’ve just talked about. So think about what would the impact of our ability to work together given that so many people are working in remote locations. How would we build a successful business culture where so many of these individuals actually reside in different locations? How do you actually create a culture of working together to work around brand values etc? What is the meaning of teamwork in that aspect?
Another thing which is very important relates to the new entrants into the workforce like Gen Z and Millennials. How do you retain them given that they are expected to change careers over their lifetime, change works every two or three years? What kind of toolkits do you provide these individuals to be able to do all that within a reasonable delivery method.
Now just to recap on a very a shocking fact that I came across as I prepared for this video podcast, something to leave the audience with, to think about.
In 2014, a research showed that Americans spent 29 almost 30 billion hours commuting to work. That’s almost 3.7 billion workdays of individuals being thrown away just due to the fact that we are commuting to work.
Now when talking about paradigm shift and talking about the changes in the workforce I want you to keep that in mind. Is it necessary to spend so much time which definitely translates into a loss, only in the U.S., of six hundred eighty billion dollars in GDP loss due to the commuting time. That’s not including the fuel costs and all the other elements. I want you to keep that question in mind. Is it really necessary for everyone to arrive in the morning to an office? Is it really necessary for us to sit in the same place to manage projects? And that’s it, that’s my two cents on on the subject.
Sam: Ofir, I mean, that is really fascinating and I think the thing that really jumps to my mind, especially about these statistics, is any of us that are following the tech world, we know that the cost of living in these cities that you’re commuting to, you’re living in the suburbs of San Francisco, you’re living in the suburbs of New York, you’re still spending a fortune. Not only is this a detriment to the employees, where they have to spend an incredible amount on rent, even if they can afford that, but also you have a limited pool of talent for these companies that are in these technology hubs.
When you’re moving to this paradigm shift of remote work you’re really opening up a huge talent pool for companies. You’re also opening amazing opportunities for people that are living in the middle of nowhere, not next to these tech hubs. So I think it’s incredibly exciting.
Ofir: I totally agree with you, Sam. I think that you’re looking in different countries in the world. The tech industry is always concentrated in certain geographic locations and you know talents have to fly and change their position and their placement into a different area.
I think that if we omit the paradigm that people have to arrive into one physical location every morning we open up to a great opportunity of working globally with talents all around the world, building teams on the spot for specific projects, utilizing talent in a more effective and forward-thinking way.
So definitely I think that it’s inevitable. I think that the generation Z and the Millennials, what’s nice about these individuals is that they don’t take the historical paradigms as facts. They challenge everything that they encounter and I think that we already see people thinking twice before taking a flight to meet a customer when they actually can meet him online. They do a lot of things that we used to do physically online.
It will not replace the face-to-face in its entirety, but I think it will reduce the amount of effort, time spent on many actions that are done today face to face. It will allow us to meet more simply and have each individual be able to easily complete these tasks in a more effective way.
Danny: Ofir thank you so much for joining us.
Ofir: And thank you very much and good show guys. It’s an amazing initiative and I look forward to the next guests we’re gonna have here thank you.
Danny: So I’m Danny and this has been “In The Newrow” Episode #1 where Newrow CEO, Ofir Zukovsky, discussed remote work. Please don’t forget to like, comment, and share.