Florence Ferreira is a passionate and experienced Brand Strategist and Digital Marketer at Autodesk France - whose mission is to design and create a better world for all. Proud to also be part of the Impact and Diversity councils at Autodesk, Florence strongly believes that human connection (in conjunction with technology) has the power to change the world for good. Her passion for social innovation helps drive digital transformation of global brands, helping them embody their purpose and values to make a true impact.

What does a better world of work look like to you?

As an individual and professional working for a multicultural Tech company, I always try to stay true to my own personal values and also to my own purpose - which is to help companies who truly embody their values make an impact. 

Since I was a child, I always valued a spirit of an open mindset, innovation, creativity, curiosity and empathy. I always believed that those five values could lead me to a meaningful life journey and work environment.

Being authentic is crucial to create confidence and trust at work. Creating open, transparent and sincere conversations as a result helps create more meaningful relationships. I strongly believe these relationships are absolutely key to greater collaboration across teams and common success at work.

My conviction is that a better world of work can be achieved by giving the opportunity for people to be who they are, able to speak their mind and question the status quo.

Whatever our age, career, and position within a company, we should assess the fact that we can’t know everything, that society, technologies and jobs are evolving at a fast pace. To still be relevant to others and to our organisation, we need to nurture our intellectual curiosity and our growth mindset to be in a position of constantly learning and adapting to the world of work.

Organizations which value a “growth mindset”culture will make a difference in creating a better world of work. A work environment where people can always learn new skills (“hard” or “soft”) to constantly grow and adapt to the future of work for more prosperity.

A diversity of backgrounds and profiles will always make the difference and add more value to a whole organization by bringing multiple ideas and catalysing innovation.

What is your business doing to build a better world of work?

Autodesk is changing how the world is designed and made. Our technology spans architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media, and entertainment - empowering innovators everywhere to solve challenges big and small. From greener buildings to smarter products to mesmerizing blockbusters, Autodesk software helps our customers to design and make a better world for all.

In addition to creating technology that helps people make a better world for generations to come, we lead by example in our own operations. The company has reached net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its business and value chain, and all its buildings, data centers and cloud services are powered with 100% renewable energy. In 2021, Autodesk ranked fourth on Barron’s list of the 100 most sustainable companies and received a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index

To build a better world of work and as organizations around the world are navigating the new realities of hybrid work, our company has implemented several programs answering to the new ways of working.

Firstly our Flexible Workplace Program – we believe flexibility in where and how work gets done will better enable our people to thrive and realize their potential. At Autodesk, most jobs are Hybrid-Eligible, meaning people have the choice of working full time in the office, at home or a mix of the two.

From a very personal standpoint, I find this flexibility so valuable, especially at the time of the pandemic where we needed to reduce social interactions to protect ourselves and other people around us. Having all the technology and tools to work from home was a huge facilitator. Of course, working remotely requires you to adapt with less human in-person interactions - and this new way of working can only be successful by creating a trusting work environment.

For those who choose to go into the office, Autodesk is piloting a new office environment titled “office of the future’ - a new workplace design that inspires collaboration, creativity, and innovation. From quiet focus spaces to collaboration areas and fun social zones, the goal of this pilot is to support our Flexible Workplace by enabling in-person collaboration and connection.

Finally, to further support the well being of our people, our Benefits My Way program is an annual expense for employees to support physical, emotional, financial, and sustainable wellness.

This might sound like a simple extra but I used it personally to pay for my treadmill. Sport is highly important in my life and is contributing to my overall well-being. When I could not go outside for a walk or a run during winter, I could at least enjoy running at home. It’s a small thing that can make such a positive impact on your overall well being! 

Wellness is a constant focus for our organization and employees who have access to multiple resources such as:

  • Our Employee Assistance Program provides carefor our employees emotional and mental health
  • Bravely gives employees access to a global community ofon-demand professionally certified coaches
  • The Sanvello app givesour employees and their eligible dependents (13+) access to a free well-beingand stress management app
  • Autodesk Pause is a mindfulness community with weekly meetupsin the AMER and EMEA time zones 
  • Our communities of Employee Resource Groups canhelp provide a space for peer support to our employees

What are your predictions for how work will shift over the next few years?

The world of work in the Tech industry is undergoing profound changes which, until now, were mainly linked to two main factors: Technological innovations and societal upheavals.

The pandemic also had an impact and has shifted the way we think about our work environment and our own priorities and aspirations in life. As many organizations were “forced” to move to remote work to ensure the continuation of their activities, flexible work will now become the norm.

Working in a collaborative manner using multiple digital/virtual platforms will also become a focal point.

In an era where new technologies and innovations are evolving at a very high speed, preparing the next generations for the “future of work” is a must. If we want to better address the challenges of digital transformation and new technologies, it is therefore crucial to adapt the educational system and train our children in the best possible way for future jobs and the challenges they will face.

According to the World Economic Forum: 65% of children entering primary school will have a job that doesn't yet exist!

Hard skills will become more and more obsolete and continued training will be more than necessary to allow the current generations of professionals and also the future ones to enter the world of work in the best possible conditions.

Soft skills like: collaboration with technology, empathy, emotional intelligence, adaptability will become critical human skills to succeed within any organization.

Finally, people now care more than ever about social and environmental concerns.They want meaningful jobs and to feel that they are part of a bigger purpose than the products or services they are providing.People want to have a real impact on today’s most pressing challenges.

What is the biggest challenge you see for companies who want to improve the experience of work?

The world of work is not always evolving at the same pace as technology and society.

With always changing technologies and society, it is crucial for organisations to constantly monitor all macro trends, anticipate changes but also to monitor their employee’s feeling and expectations to adapt their own culture and process.

As the entire world shifts to a hybrid workforce model, the biggest challenge for companies will be creating a virtual experience while still maintaining a level of engagement and quality. Examples from an HR perspective would include onboarding, career fairs, conferences, video shoots, photoshoots, trainings, workshops, etc

What is one piece of advice you would share with businesses that are wanting to build a better world of work?

Getting to hear employees’ feedback and incorporate these learnings to adapt takes courage but will make a difference.

The biggest challenge probably being on how to consider and give equal value to each and every individual’s feedback while making sure to create a common culture and sense of belonging within an organization to make it successful.

Is there an individual you admire who you believe is building a better world of work?

Simon Sinek, is a management specialist and a globally recognized author and speaker. I discovered him while I was studying Marketing and Communications and still continue to attend his online classes and conferences.

In 2009 he published his famous book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and by reading it I discovered the iconic “Golden Circle” concept which remained stuck into my mind and which establishes: “People don’t buy what you do but why you do it”

The same applies to any kind of organisation and to employees and will be key tomorrow to recruit the best talent. I believe that this motto is completely shifting the way we think about work and talent acquisition which is not only about “hard” & “soft” skills but also about common culture and purpose!

Organisations that have a purpose beyond the product or services they provide will win and be more attractive and more importantly will recruit people sharing the same belief.

Know of someone who's building a better world of work?

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