Nellie Hayat: Attention, Original, Generalist | Work 20XX Ep21

Jeff Frick
September 22, 2023
Listen this episode on your favorite platform!

Please join me in welcoming Nellie Hayat, Workplace Innovation Lead, Density, and Host of the Beyond Work Conversations Podcast to Work 20XX. What a treat to share the mic with podcast host who has wholeheartedly embraced the good vibes of the workplace ecosystem. And when it comes to positive energy, this guest literally lights up the room on her arrival, in person or online.

We cover a wide range of topics starting with her move to workplace from stops in fashion to aerospace. She's a seasoned traveler, who values experience with cultures all over the world. And since languages, dialects, and accents vary place to place, Nellie has turned this communication challenge into an operating principle of being more aware, and paying more attention, when listening carefully to people speaking. And being aware that people might have a challenge with her accent, and take that into consideration.

She prides herself on being a generalist, able to bring the best of prior experiences into new fields. And she's certainly an original.

Thanks again Nellie.

#Flexibility #agency

Episode Transcript

Nellie Hayat: Attention, Original, Generalist | Work 20XX podcast with Jeff Frick #21

YouTube -

Cold Open: Well, I’ll count us down and we will go then. 


All right. In three, two, one.

Jeff Frick: Hey, welcome back, everybody, for another episode of Work 20XX, coming to you from the home studio and really excited about this next episode. This is a guest who's big in the workplace, hadn't had the chance to meet her. But again, there was this Purposeful Intent event a week or so ago, and I swear it was ground zero for everyone that had anything to do with work and the future of work. And so I was excited to meet her in real life. And now joining us through the power of the Internet, I believe, from the Los Angeles area, she is Nellie Hyatt, Workplace Innovation Lead for Density. And also in the context this conversation, the host for her own podcast called Beyond Work. Nellie, it's great to see you. 

Nellie Hayat: Thank you so much for having us. And I love that we both are podcast hosts. So hopefully that will be a little more original than when you have your regular guests.

Jeff Frick: Well, the nice thing is, the nice thing with interviewing hosts from other shows is you've got such a broad breadth of experience because you get to talk to so many people. And I tell people, you know, how hard is it to have a job where you get to talk to smart people all day? And then the other piece in getting ready for this is you get to learn more about, you know, kind of an extended network when you're doing your homework and doing your investigation. So I've really been enjoying getting into your episodes and listening to some of your guests, some familiar and less familiar.

So before we jump into it, I want to get into the career transition thing. You know, a lot of people are going to be facing career transitions either shortly or in the not-too-distant future. But, you know, the age of having the same job for 30 years is not the way of the world anymore. And in one of the episodes I saw you and you talked about, you know, kind of you were in procurement before I saw you were at Airbus, and then you saw this workplace space and there was something about it that got you excited and you decided to make the move. And now you're an industry leader in this space, so a) Tell us a little bit about that adventure and then 2) How should people think about, you know, trying to approach a new field that looks interesting and is exciting but isn't necessarily something they've done in their past?

Nellie Hayat: It's such an amazing question. Because and maybe going starting from the end, is at the onset of the pandemic, when I saw that a lot of people in our industry where they were losing their job because suddenly companies were closing their offices, they didn't know for how long. And so they let go many people in facilities, workplace, real estate. Also, the people team was heavily impacted at the beginning of the pandemic, and I felt the need to act right away. And so with a partner, we created ‘Workplaced’ and we did two things. First, we were interviewing all those people who were out of job and helping them first, learning about them, making sure they were still interested in the space they wanted to stay in and see what other skills they had in their scope.

That they could bring to something else. So starting to instill the idea that they can do a lot of things and skills are transferable. And I drew that from my own experiment and experience of changing jobs and career often. The other thing that we did is that we started working with companies to write job descriptions that were more inclusive or that would include something that could be used or transferred from other industry. For instance, today it's almost obvious that in a workplace job description, you would have if you have experience in hospitality, that's great. That's what we wanted to do. We wanted to see the jobs looking at the future of work. So either, new ways of working, remote work, employee experience to include. If you have an experience in workplace, if you have an experience designing offices and culture to be included so people could see that these next jobs are actually meant for them, right.

And so going back to my own experience of changing job and career, I always thought that I was an original. Like people didn't do it as much as I do, as I did. And also I also thought that it was kind of like detrimental to my own career progression because I, there was this bias that people would say, Oh, why are you changing jobs so often? Or why are you changing space like from aerospace I went to the workplace and before aerospace I was in the fashion industry and but for me, I think I today we are more aware of the term generalist. And I think I always love being exposed to very different environments. And I implemented this in my career. So I wanted to change industry and learn more of different skills and jobs. But I saw how I could bring value at a time there was a crisis and share my own experience to other people, so they could also reinvent themself, right. So that’s my little answer.

Jeff Frick: Well it's interesting, you know, I had Tracy Hawkins on who's now at Grammarly, and before that she was at Twitter and she talked about being, you know, in the London office and being in Ireland and different offices and then coming to the US and having a perspective from a lot of different international locations. I know it's a big part of who you are. You've worked in a lot of different countries. How does that perspective help you kind of take a, you know, kind of an outside-in look versus, you know, we have the random person who's stuck on the zoom call while the rest of us are in a conference room. 

Nellie Hayat: It's something that I've been saying during the pandemic when we all went home and we started doing these Zoom calls and some people had a real like feeling that now finally, introverts are where were going to do great because we’re all at home behind our laptop. And I disagreed. I said, you know, not true extroverts are still going to win because even if you are at home, you need to reach out to someone on Slack or you need to be that very extravagant person on Zoom and be talkative and take over the mic, so.

I disagreed that we were all again, on a level playing field. You still needed to be outspoken even in the virtual world. And so what you mentioned with Tracy, is that obviously it became natural for me to become more outspoken because I was exposed to different people and different cultures, and I had to pay more attention to people's accent and to be more aware that people needed to pay attention to my own accent. So I began more aware of other people. What is amazing is that now I get to bring my experience to creating amazing culture and allowing people to learn how to be more tolerant and accepting of other cultures. And I think this is why I fell in love with the workplace space. And the workplace industry is that a lot of people who are behind the scenes like myself designing offices, designing culture are people who are exposed to a lot of different cultures and have that learning that they can share to others. And they know how to create a space that would foster connection, collaboration, tolerance, inclusion.

And yeah, I guess it’s the first time I’ve ever been staying in the same industry for so long. It's been ten years and every so often I'm like, Am I going to feel the same kick that I felt before? Like, okay, it's time for a change. And I'm not feeling it because really this industry is very particular in their love, care and compassion that they create in their own job.

Jeff Frick: Yeah, that's a great story. Both on the career change, but also I think it's an illustration that new industries will come up, you know, as things evolve, you know, there was no such thing really as workplace as it is now, kind of tied under the HR (Human Resources). So I want to dig into that a little bit. As you've been through it, you know, it kind of moved from under the CFO and under facilities and really kind of cost-cutting and efficiency conversations to moving now under HR (Human Resources), moving under employee engagement, really being a part of this employee experience. And there was one of your, I think it was a write-up that you were in and you talked about the three things that keep people retained at a company and you said, you know, alignment with the mission, they value their manager, and they have a friend at work. You know, those are not things that you would think about from somebody coming from kind of a facilities real estate piece. But at the end of the day, it's about keeping great people and creating the conditions for them to deliver their best work.

Nellie Hayat: I had been exposed to that notion of having your friend in the company, at the company I was at before the pandemic, at Stripe like in the Culture Amp, so we were using that tool to do employee surveys. We start seeing the question coming up right, Do you have a friend in the company? And when I asked, Why are we asking this question? I've been told that Culture Amp, who's that tool was being used by a lot of companies, have realized that it did matter difference in employees' tenure inside a company. Where I think today we need to go to the next stage.

And that’s something I shared actually recently on stage at a conference was it is great to know that people have a friend because that gives you an indicator of how long they would stay, where it may become detrimental to you as a company or a manager is not knowing who's that friend. Because when you decide to lay off some people, all their friends will be incentivized to also leave the company.

So I think what we're starting to realize as we talk about sub-communities inside organizations or that a company is like a family or it's like a tribe, there are sub-groups that click together and one leaves, other people will follow. Or the positive aspect is if you have an influencer without having the label, but someone that a lot of people love, when that person comes to the office, a lot of people will decide to come on the same day. So we have this complex relationship that is happening inside a company and we cannot play them in our favor unless we know them.

So knowing that people have a friend, who's that friend, telling people who's coming to the office so their friends or followers will also come would play positively for the company. So we need to remain voluntary-based information. You can ask about, do you have a friend? Do you want to tell us, who is that friend?

I would argue that people would naturally say it. I knew that I advocated for colleagues when they were maybe at a time where maybe their performance was not great and I could feel that they might be on the hook to be let go. I advocated on their favor and I said, Actually, I work with that person a lot and I work well. If they were to be let go, I might not see a future for myself in the company. I would like companies to be more aware and taking more action on that item.

Jeff Frick: Yeah, it's interesting and an important one. And the other piece that you've kind of lived through is the evolution excuse me, the evolution of the data, not only getting more data in, but getting, you know, a lot more different data than simply badge swipes and kind of utilization, bodies divided by square footage.

I wonder if you can speak to how, you know, data has enabled you to basically deliver a much better experience to the customers as well as to the company.

Nellie Hayat: Today, exactly, we are all seeing that data is a no-brainer. You need data and any decision should be based on data. I think this is why we all reacted very strongly of the recent headlines when these CEOs of these big companies said, I don't have data, but my gut feeling is telling me that people should come to the office. And so people are going to have to disagree but still come. I wouldn't say it's completely wrong because when you do any research, you have to actually write down your own assumptions.

So that what the CEO was saying was that his assumption, his gut feeling that's great, it starts there. I wish he had said my gut feeling, my assumption is that it's better to be in the office. We are going to run the experiment and collect data to confirm or actually deny what my gut feeling is telling me. And this is what any researcher will tell you is the process. You start with your own assumptions, then you either confirm or deny them. So I think that data is very important today.

Obviously at Density we're very privileged that our companies do come to us. They are already in favor of data. That's why they come to us. They are already convinced that they need data. Now the big road that we have to bridge is to show them that there's value in data that they collect, or we take or we can we can train them on how to read the data and the third thing is what action they can take based on these data. So those are the three elements that we provide to our customers.

To give you some example, we ran our own experiment of return to office. So we encourage people to come on certain days and we're looking at utilization and occupancy of the office. We also used what we what we tell our customers to do is we used a mixed approach. So we couple our the data coming from our technology. We couple it with employee surveys and even Google calendar and a few insights that we found were people showed no resistance of coming to the office. So, yeah, we, implemented, we offered some days and people come on these days.

We also saw for instance that even on these three days that we asked people to come for one day was not natural. So they didn't show resistance, but it was still not their preferred day and they would find ways to not come on that day. And that day is a Monday. So it's interesting to see how data can be read differently, like, Yeah, we could say everybody’s coming on Monday. We ask them to come, and they’re coming, but when we look at Monday vs Wednesday and Thursday, we still see that it's not as high. So yeah, it's in alignment with what is happening around the world is that when people have the liberty to choose their days, they are choosing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And maybe that's how I’m gonna establish the answer: you always need to put your data in context of the environment, the environment is that your employees were the former employees of another company, and are going to be the next employee of another company, so everybody's aware what's happening in a certain other region geographically or certain industry like tech. And if you're not in alignment it's going to create more friction.

Jeff Frick: Any experiences with that, with customers on like the most surprising data set that they just didn't expect, that completely caught them by surprise.

Nellie Hayat: One that I loved that came from an experiment, that Ford (Motors) run. They implemented technology in their offices.

And they were looking at how people were using offices. And they could see a behavior that was that was a trend. What was the behavior? It was that even when there were lots of space in the office, even when desk were empty, people would go in conference room on their own and not lock the door but like close the door and run a meeting.

And Ford has the chance to to also hire psychologists and behavioral therapists and start asking employees why and what they realized that people were bringing a new behavior they had from working from home. What happened from working from home is that people had like, I have a huge space, I have my entire backyard for myself, it was hard to go back to being in the office and taking a call in front of other people. We used to do it before the pandemic, but after years, a year, two years, three years for other people of taking calls at home with in a large space, not being heard by anyone else. It was way too difficult for them to go back to how the things were before the pandemic. And so we start noticing this in our own offices, even when desks were empty, phone booths where available, people would go and take a large conference room.

So that's again, how do we read this data? We can say people want private offices. We can see people need to learn a new behavior or re-learn a past behavior or we can say, "And that's the dilemma that we’re taking at Density is we need phone booths that are roomier, cozier, and spacier because people want enclosed space. This is why they go into conference room and they close the door. They don't need that large, but they need something a little larger where you don't feel stuck, right? And that's interesting.

Jeff Frick: It's funny. Those little Those little zoom booths are kind of shaped like old phone booths. But the kids today never took a phone call in a phone booth. And it was not comfortable to take a phone call in a phone booth. And in fact, you have like this little itty-bitty triangle kind of shelf thing, a little bit in the corner that you couldn't quite fit a piece of paper on or your briefcase. It was it was a nightmare. I can tell stories.

So that's great. So, Andrew Farah brings you into Density to be kind of his face of the franchise and really work on your podcast, which is great. And he had you sit down it’s almost two years ago and write down your top ten trends that were happening in remote work, but I do want to concentrate on a couple because I think you just nailed it.

Number Five: Offices in the future will be a mix of the best restaurants, most inspiring learning campuses, engaging hubs and serene retreats. And what you really speaking there to is activity-based different spaces in the corporate environment. And also as as kind of a catchphrase, we hear more and more now is kind of

Earn the commute, you know, what are the things that can be done better in this environment? And I just love that you lead with hospitality. I wonder if you can share some more thoughts and how are we seeing that world evolve since you said this a couple of years ago?

Nellie Hayat : I feel almost embarrassed, but I love that you brought that up because I think I had a partial truth. Yes, today we see that hospitality. We see the best restaurant. We want office to be a club this way. We talk a lot about critical mass or office vibrancy. We want to go to an engaging hub but also we want space for quietness, serenity for the retreat like what I didn't foresee was that company's or maybe that was my hope, but I didn't know if they were able to do it. They would not try to do what we used to do before the pandemic, which is pack everything in one space. So we used to go to a campus and it would be a little bit of everything - the meditation room and the busy coffee shop and the engaging collaborative space and the creative lab and today companies are not expanding as much their footprint, but they repurpose spaces with more intention.

And so if we look at Salesforce, I think like a few years ago, they announced that they they were not going to open a new office. They were going to open a retreat space or you have another company Okta they decided in New York that would become their creative hub. And they will have a customer facing space. And they will have a recording a podcast recording studio, because they saw that in New York you have a lot of creatives and then they need access to different technology and spaces and so I found it even more impactful that now companies are looking at their footprint at large and understanding based on this city, what is going to be the purpose of that space and not try to pack a little bit of everything in each and every one of their locations right.

Jeff Frick: Well, you had that to number four. A lot of companies will drop the word office and rebrand as studios, places, hubs, and collaborative spaces. You're predicting the future, but I think it's great. It goes back to this activity based and it also speaks to a trend that we see everywhere in our lives, which is kind of micro segmentation versus average. And you know, the old open floor plan with a bunch of, a sea of desks, or a sea of workstations even was average. And it didn't really address, you know, the types of activities that people want to do. And the space that we shared at that event, the Genentech space had beautiful, you know, outside spaces for collaboration, which is what we were using them for. So I think you picked that one, I want to, there’s so much good stuff here 

Nellie Hayat: I want to return a question to you.

Jeff Frick: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, of course.

Nellie Hayat: Because someone recently told me, like, Can you predict the future or are you building the future?

As you are right because you're building what you're saying. So as a podcast host, sometimes we are called storytellers and we know that stories create reality. Do you find yourself you can predict the future or are you thinking you are telling the future and then creating that reality?

Jeff Frick: You know, I think if you're fortunate enough to get enough signals and I think if you can just open up your receptors to listen to the signals. And then I think if you try to put them together in a slightly different way, I think it's not that hard to see things that are coming. Unfortunately, a danger is being too early, which we could do a whole episode on instances that I've been involved in things too early versus too late. But, you know, 

I think patterns are there and I think people are generally pretty good at pattern matching. I think the trick is to open yourself up to look for new patterns instead of being kind of locked into the patterns that you're familiar with. And I do think that takes a conscious effort and it does it does take, talking to smart people in a variety of fields, with a variety of points of view, which is why I think this is such a cool space. Workspace (& workplace) is a neat industry because it's relatively new in its current configuration. And so you're getting these people coming in from all these different points of view and different perspectives, you know, kind of all adding to their flavor, which ultimately is about helping people do their best work, which is such a noble cause. I know that was part of your motivation to get in the space.

Nellie Hayat: For Sure.

Jeff Frick: That's great. You're now involved with HR (Human Resources) and retention. And we talked about, you know, the diversity and let's speak to that from kind of the real estate point of view. As you just said, everything is not in HQ (Headquarters). Not only is everything, not in HQ, but the company-owned assets now are not necessarily all the assets in which their people are going to use, whether that's flex space or rental space or home space or, you know, there's just a whole kind of optionality that wasn't available in this world before.

Nellie Hayat: That's true. And I think we were - So on that one, I would argue with like Nick Bloom, that we probably back on track, like before the pandemic already WeWork was such a disruptor that a lot of company decided not to build their own offices, but allow WeWork to do it for themselves or they would decide it under a certain threshold. They would offer WeWork until that hub becomes big enough so and therefore, they would give them their own office. So it was already picking up. And I think now three years after WeWork is gone, sadly. But we see a lot of new providers in the space coming up and it's great for employees and it's great for real estate teams who can now partner with amazing providers in the space.

And provide what's best for the employees. And when I say a company can now decide that all their offices are going to become retreat centers, but they’re going to offer the employees co-working space access when they need more of the work, the work environment, so companies now have more options to play with.

I think what we've seen also and that may be different is that companies have a bigger power at the table in front of landlords so they can reduce the time of their lease or renegotiate the condition. And that's also healthy because I remember how difficult it was to work for a fast-growing startup and sign a ten-year lease, whereas we already knew that we were growing so fast that in under two years the space would be small enough. I think now we're going back to a healthier relationship where we want to partner with landlords and have conditions that are fair to them and us and see how we can both invest in one another's future because we still need landlords out there the same way that we need co-working space providers.

I think one of the best examples I've had where I see the beautiful partnership was in San Francisco, the Twitter, you were talking about Tracy Hawkins. The Twitter building took a space on Market Street. Market Street was still rough in a rough area. Not only they had their offices on all the floors, but they turned the ground floor into an amazing coffee space, a grocery store. You had some lounge area where anyone could walk in and sit down and work and do something, talk to someone, so they created vibrancy on the ground floor. And they created a space where anyone from the neighborhood could just come and pop in and buy something or sit. And for me, that was just a beautiful marriage of how a company can have a beautiful, positive impact on their neighborhood and the city at large. That's what I want to see more in the future.

Jeff Frick: That's great. Let's, so you get to talk to a lot of people on the show, and I've watched a couple segments getting ready for this. And the one I want to highlight is Julia Calabrese, I believe is her name from Ford. And, you know, kind of get your take when you're now talking to really big companies. I believe the number that she quoted in the interview was something like 89,000 Ford employees back of House, you know, not factory floor, people that are taking advantage of their 'work from anywhere' program is what it's called. You know, share a little bit about Julia's story and your impressions from the company like Ford. I think it’s like a 126-year-old company, you know, the stock ticker ‘F’ they get one letter, and their experience, and then also how you're seeing that now kind of start to proliferate.

I mean, Twitter was a hot tech company, but, you know, we're seeing it in a lot more what would maybe be described as kind of older companies that are the smart ones are actively embracing kind of this new way to work. Methodology and mindset.

Nellie Hayat: You’re spot on. And it's exactly why I was eager to interview them because at the beginning of the pandemic, I was very surprised that big tech companies were some of them were saying, "Oh, we can never give 'work from anywhere' to all of our employees because some of them work in factories or in retail stores." And so there's never going to be equality or equity of experience. Ford, which is seen as this older company with traditional leadership, they came forward and they said, "We are going to do everything we can to ensure that every single one of our employees finds flexibility within their job and finds ways to work from home whenever they can work out of their space whenever they can to every single one of their employees." And for me, that was a game changer. I was like, if they say they're going to do it, how come all these tech companies are not following and why are they saying otherwise? That it's not possible. And so I was very geared to interview them and really meeting Julia and seeing their space. I traveled to the East Coast to see one of their spaces was just, it was just a clarification and confirmation that they were really putting money where their mouth was and they were giving employees the discipline and the learning on how to find flexibility inside your job. They were giving - I think the word I was looking for was they were giving 'Agency' to their employees, because they were trusting each employee knows their job the best and so they can say what can be destruct, dismantle and reconfigure in these new ways of working where everybody wants flexibility because life and work are more integrated than before, than ever before. And so, yeah, Julie was it was an extremely insightful conversation with Julia.

What I can share that can also be helpful for companies is that they didn't do it on their own. Yeah, obviously they are in charge of almost 90,000 human beings. And so they knew that to do that, it couldn't just come from one person or the one team or one leader. So they created a Think Tank with other 50 experts on everything, on behavioral studies, psychotherapy, language, linguists, like lots of different experts. They created a Think Tank. And with Think Tank they conducted experiments. They showed communication internally, and they tried to see why was the case, where we were at, where we want to go, and how do we bring people along on that journey?

Jeff Frick: I think that's super inspiring. Well, and the piece I want to double down on you just said is learning they had to teach them, right? And that's, you know, a kind of a big push back, I think with a lot of the work from home or digital first is people, especially midline managers, their bosses didn't grow up this way, so they don't really have the experience to share. You just said Ford invested a lot in training. If you don't train the middle managers and you don't train people how to manage this way, then they have no chance of being successful, right? You can't just change a policy. You've got to, you've got to help people be successful.

Nellie Hayat: I think where I was very naive at the beginning of the pandemic was that the experience of working from home in the pandemic was our big training workshop for everyone. I was like, okay, we don't need to train. Everybody is learning already because they're stuck at home and they have to create the discipline for themselves. They also learn how to be more compassionate toward the other because we were all in this big difficult moment. And so I thought, Oh, you don't need additional training. People are trained already. I think where, again, I was naive is that you, first you can resist any change, so you can decide to resist the training, the learning, the workshop, and also not everybody learns at the same pace. And so we still need that environment where we can share the peer learning, and where I remain optimistic is that in the most forward-thinking schools. So looking at kids, they are proving that peer learning and peer teaching is a lot more efficient than any teacher can teach a kid. 

So there's a lot in peer learning and so this is why I think and I'm very happy to see that a lot of Gen Z are telling the world like, "Stop telling us that we’re young. Stop telling us that we need to learn from our seniors. We do want to learn from our seniors. We still have some stuff to teach you because the world is changing fast."

And we grew up in a world where a lot of things were natural to us. They weren't as natural to you, so maybe learning comes with some biases, like only people with a certain, I don't know, degree can learn other people. I think we are moving to a world where it's more vertical, and anyone can teach something that they know to someone else. So I think we need to see that transformation inside the workplace where we create peer learning with no judgment of who are the two peers. And once we realize we can all learn from each other, I think this is where we are going to move faster as companies, organizations, and societies.

Jeff Frick: Yeah. You had Brian Elliott on from Future Forum, who's a great guest. And one of the things he talked about doing large scale rollouts of these types of organizations, to your point, is like it's not going to go smooth. It's, you know, everyone is not going to put the same effort. Some people are going to lean in, some people are going to shirk it. So it's not simple. And the other thing that he talks about is to your point on the peer learning, look for the islands of success within the organization and help those people be more successful and then let them be your champions rather than some top-down mandate, which to close on we're filming this and it is, as Brian would say, mandate season Labor Day 4.0. As we're in the U.S., it's Labor Day weekend. So school officially kicks off and we've seen the mandate. So as you see kind of this next round of mandates from people to you, what you said earlier, I just know it even though I don't have the data, which is pretty sad. That's a pretty data-centric firm for the CEO that said that. What goes through your mind where do you expect we're going to be a month from now when we see kind of what really happened with the return to office 4.0 as Brian would say.

Nellie Hayat: I think on that one I definitely want to quote Nick Bloom who showed us at that event that the headlines or the big CEO might ask people to return to the office or we might call it the big RTO (Return to Office), but in large scale data actually there's almost very little movement between August and September. And why is that? Is that it’s the third round, as you say, so it's actually not a new round. It's not even a round. We are already back in going to the office once in a while and between August and September we're not going to change much what we're doing. The other thing is and I love that you revealed that, is that there is a blind spot between what leaders are asking people to do and what people are actually doing, and this is one going back to my point earlier is that today people will act as good citizens. And I've heard that from people, employees at a big company, a big tech, saying like, "We are good citizens, so we..." Following back the guidelines that have been given to us, we cannot force ourselves into a rhythm that is not natural anymore or that is detrimental to our own productivity because at the end of the day, we are good citizens. We are being paid a fair price for our work. So we want to provide our work so unless you tell me tomorrow that it's more important to become a social creature versus a worker, so producing work, I'm happy to come to the office every day and being this amazing person, having fun chatting, but you're asking me actually to work and you're paying me for that work, so allow me to be treated as a grown-up and find how I can divide my work so I can be part of a community and be a good community member. But I also have space and time to do the work I’m paid for. And that's where we need to have better conversation, is we are hiring others. We are hiring them for a certain purpose. Give them the agency and advocacy to tell us how they can work.

Jeff Frick: Right.

Nellie Hayat: And maybe if I were to finish on this and that I'm reading an episode I just recorded with Annie Dean, who is Head of New Ways of Working or Head of Team Anywhere at Atlassian. She's the Head of Team Anywhere at Atlassian. She said that with data they are proving that these new ways of working, of giving flexibility to employees is actually best for the business. I think for me that's a game changer because we're not hearing this in the big headlines.

Jeff Frick: Right, right.

You know, that's great and like Darren would say, you know, then people are going to be more if you're in a good space, right. You're going to give more when you do work and the output's going to be better and the production's going to be better. So, you know, let people do it, and I think that's a great way to close, and really excited to finally get to meet you in person. Really love the show and your work, and I’m sure paths will cross again in the not too distant future.

Nellie Hayat: Thank you so much, Jeff.

Jeff Frick: All right.

She’s Nellie, I’m Jeff.

You're watching Work 20XX. Thanks for watching and listening on the podcast. We'll see you next time. Take care.

Cold Close: Boom, all right.

Amazing, but I do want to return all the questions.

All right.

Nellie Hayat 

Workplace Innovation Lead, Density

Density Blog Page

Expert Voices 

Beyond Work Conversations, Podcast with your Host Nellie Hayat, brought to you by Density 

—- Select Episodes from Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat — 

Darren Murph, GitLab | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Dec-2022 

Guy Trerotola, Google | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Dec-02 

Julia Calabrese, Ford | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Nov-22

Dror Poleg, Author | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Nov-09

Lara Owen, NetApp | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Sept-29

Brian Elliott, Slack | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Aug30

Kent Frederiksen & Anne Sofie Fedders, Lego |  | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Aug-03

Brett Hautop, LinkedIn | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Jul-13

Lewis Barker, ServiceNow | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat. 2022-Jun-22 

Daaf Serné, Miro  | Beyond Work Conversations Podcast with Nellie Hayat, 2022-Jun-02

— Episodes, Articles, and Items mentioned during the show — 

Culture Amp, Empoyee Experience platform  

Amazon CEO’s Ultimatum to Remote Staff: “It’s Probably Not Going to Work”, Isobel O’Sullivan,, 2023-Aug-29

Remove vs In-Person Event, Purposeful Intent, San Francisco, 2023-Aug-17

Nick Bloom, William Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University. Professor of Economics, Sr Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Founder WFH Research 

Annie Dean, VP Team Anywhere, Atlassian

2023 Workplace Precitions from 7 Industry Innovators, Nellie Hayat, Density Blog, 2023-Jan-05,

The Evolving Role of Workplace Leaders, Nellie Hayat, Work Design Magazine, 2022-Nov-23

Measuring what matters most about your workplace, Rob Blair, TravelPerk, 2022-Oct-03, Darren Graver, Chantal Wirekoh, Webinar

The New Real Estate Portfolio of Hybrid Companies, Nellie Hayat, Work Design Magazine, 2022-Mar-10

The Future of Work and Workplace Culture with Nellie Hayat, with Nina Quist, Elective, 2021-Dec-13 

Density, Inc. Taps Former Stripe Workplace Strategist, Nellie Hayat, as First-Ever Workplace Innovation Lead, PRNewswire, 2021-Oct-20 

10 Predictions about the Future of Work with Nellie Hayat, Workplace Innovation Lead, Density, Density Blog, 2021-Oct-20 

Meet Nellie Hayat, Silicon Valley engineer turned workplace leader, Tiffany Fowell, Envoy 2021-Sept-28 

PHOTOS: We Took A Tour Inside Twitter’s Stylish New San Francisco Headquarters, Insider India, 2021-Jul-26 

Inside Twitter’s San Francisco Headquarters, Office Snapshots, 2014-Jan-21 

Twitter's headquarters in an Art Deco tower by IA Architects and Lundberg Design, Alyn Griffiths, Dezeen, 2013-Dec-20

 —------ Referenced Work 20XX episodes —----

Phil Kirschner: Real Estate, Futures, Workplace | Work 20XX Ep17

Julie Whelan: Mixed-Use Community, Healthy Submarket | Work 20XX Ep16 2023-June-28 - 

Brian Elliott: Connected, Effective, Workplace Future | Work 20XX #15 2023-June-23 -

Kate Lister: Research, People, Trust | Work 20XX #12 2023-Apr-08 

Tracy Hawkins: Talent, Twitter, People Perching | Work 20XX #09 2023-Jan-19 

Adrienne Rowe: Crossing the workplace rubicon, practice purposeful presence | Work 20XX #07 2022-Sept-21 

Ryan Anderson: Bürolandschaft, Activity-Based, Design, Neighborhoods | Work 20XX #03 - 2022-March-09 -

Darren Murph: Remote-First, Asynch Communications, Operating Manual | Work 20XX #01 - 2021-Dec-22 - 

Back to the Future, Universal Pictures, 1985


Disclaimer and Discloser 

All products, product names, companies, logos, names, brands, service names, trademarks, registered trademarks, and registered trademarks (collectively, *identifiers) are the property of their respective owners. All *identifiers used are for identification purposes only. Use of these *identifiers does not imply endorsement. Other trademarks are trade names that may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and/or names of their products and are the property of their respective owners. 

We disclaim proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content. The user assumes all risks of use.

 © Copyright 2023 Menlo Creek Media, LLC, All Rights Reserved 

Jeff Frick
Founder and Principal,
Menlo Creek Media

Jeff Frick has helped literally tens of thousands of executives share their stories. In his latest show, Work 20XX, Jeff is sharpening the focus on the future of work, and all that it entails.