The Future of Work Interview with Clare Dillon 

Apr 28th, 2020

To find out more about future trends, innovation, remote working and how the current crisis will impact our future, we recently spoke with this week’s Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet Lockdown your Learnings Webinar guest speaker, technology evangelist Clare Dillon. Read our short interview below with Clare to gain more insights into the future world of work and the challenges that lie ahead.


1. Best practice sharing is at the core of Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, how are you also facilitating this in the current climate?


I predominantly work remotely – I have been delighted to see many of the remote working community reach out to share best practices to help those who are new to the practice. A great example is the Work From Home conference James Snell (one of my ex-colleagues from NearForm) recently hosted. In fact, a lot of developer communities are also taking to virtual conferences like ducks to water. I had another great interactive experience at the recent InnerSource Commons Online Summit. It’s wonderful to see how all these communities are learning so quickly from each other about what works best in the online setting.

Personally, I have been sharing some of my own talks online through the ICT Skillnet Lockdown Your Learnings seminar series – I’m looking forward to learning loads from the other speakers too. There is no end of content and learning opportunities emerging online in these times – the biggest challenge is finding the time to consume it all.


2. Tell us about the innovative ways that some of your members are handling this crisis?


I’ve lost count of the number of times that people have said the current situation is “unprecedented”.  The only thing that seems certain at the moment is that there is no longer a blueprint for what works. The most innovative people I know see this as a perfect time to experiment, specifically with new ways of working. Many of us are being forced into these experiments – but getting used to trying new things is a good experience in itself. I have been working “remote-first” for the past two years, so that’s not new for me – but I have been experimenting with online group engagements and virtual conferences, as mentioned above. I have been pleasantly surprised by the results and have had some interesting learnings when things went wrong!


3. What are the top tips you have for businesses to help keep their staff motivated at this time?


Keep connected, and don’t make everything about work. Some of the best engagements I’ve had over the past few weeks have been social – even through Zoom.


4. In what ways do you think the Covid-19 crisis plan will impact the future of work?


I have spoken in the past about how forward-thinking organisations have for some time been working to become more anti-fragile. In fact, I covered this trend briefly in my talk on April 30th. I think a crisis of this nature highlights the importance of efforts to prepare organisations for the unexpected. The most flexible, adaptive companies will be the ones who best navigate this crisis.


5. There have been many changes as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Which big change do you think will continue long after we recover?


I’d like to think that the trend towards enabling flexible and remote working is one that sticks. So many organisations have accelerated their capabilities in this area because of the current crisis – I hope they continue to reap the benefits of a more flexible working environment when this is all over.


Many of our 70 Skillnet Networks are facilitating online webinars and programmes to support businesses during this time. Read our latest article which highlights some of these online programmes and visit our Networks page to find a suitable Network to support your business.


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