Hybrid Work

Future of Work Pioneers - Jerry DiCola

At AHEAD they call it "work anywhere, gather often." Read more about Jerry Dicola and his role in revolutionizing the workplace experience.

Over the last two years, we have interviewed 2,000+ Future of Work Pioneers who have shared their insights into new work paradigms. Today we are very excited to feature Jerry DiCola, our first guest as part of our series. Enjoy!

Jerry DiCola is the Director, of Workplace Solutions and Real Estate for AHEAD, LLC. AHEAD builds platforms for digital business. Combining cloud-native capabilities in software and data engineering with an unparalleled history of modernizing infrastructure, AHEAD is uniquely positioned to help enterprises accelerate the promise of digital transformation.

Jerry has direct responsibilities for the workplace and real estate management of AHEAD’s 150,000 square-foot domestic real estate portfolio. Prior to joining AHEAD, Jerry managed office spaces in pharmaceutical and legal organizations. In addition to being facilities and real estate professional he is also a certified IFMA and ProFM instructor.

How are you approaching your organization’s new work model (in lieu of 9am-5pm | 5 days a week)?

"We’ve implemented a “work anywhere, gather often” work model that we call Together at AHEAD."

AHEAD has grown rapidly over the past three years, expanding not just the number of employees and the volume of business we do, but also the number of offices and expanse of territory we cover. We reconsidered our work model, driven largely by Covid, but also to meet that rapid growth. The Together at AHEAD model encourages our employees to work from home when needed, come into the office when needed, and gather in groups on a regular basis.

What metrics or other indicators will you be using to measure how your new work model is performing?

Listening to our employees and clients is the first step. Are our employees happy and do they have the resources they need to get the job done and grow in their careers? Are our clients receiving the highest quality of service? If those bases are covered, we consider the new model largely a success.

"On a more practical level, we are monitoring utilization across our offices to understand how they are being used and predict our needs in the future."

What does the purpose and vision for an ‘office’ look like from your perspective in the next five years?

Our offices are still very important. We now see them as collaboration hubs, providing a space for our employees, clients, and partners to gather and exchange ideas. Whether it’s an all-team meeting to plan for the next quarter or that water cooler conversation that spurs the next big project, our offices will always remain a space where we foster ideas and growth.

What were the top three challenges you faced since Covid hit?

The greatest challenge was providing employees with the assurance that, when they returned to the office, it would be a safe work environment. This challenge presented an opportunity to partner with our building facilities and real estate professionals to examine and modify cleaning and maintenance procedures. Relationships with employees, clients, vendors, and even office guests strengthened through this time as we all worked together to creatively and flexibly address the changes underway.

It also spurred us to reexamine our communications plan and ensure we were clearly and effectively sharing information with our employees on a regular basis. As a cloud technology company, we focused on the continued improvement of work-enabling technology to facilitate a new digital experience for employees.

What is one tip you’d give to your peers or have you learned from your peers?

The tip I have received and regularly encourage others to consider is to, “Seek multiple sources and experts before making your final decision.” The workplace environment continues to change, and we must consider other options before proceeding. This is especially true as we turn the corner on a world of work that may look very different than the one of the recent past. It’s important to listen to stakeholders and understand their perspectives.

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