Dr Jesse Olsen

Being a Champion for Virtual and Flexible Workers

With the increasing prevalence of flexible work arrangements and virtual work, leaders of today and tomorrow must understand the benefits and challenges associated with such practices. Furthermore, given that the potential benefits can outweigh the challenges of having a more dispersed workforce, leaders will need to champion these practices as they confront pressure to maintain the status quo.

In this presentation, Jesse 1) explores how work flexibility and virtual work impacts individuals and organisations, 2) reflects on lessons learned in history that may apply to this new “industrial revolution,” and 3) applies our knowledge and reflections to think more about the path forward as champions for virtual and flexible workers.

Born and raised in the US, Jesse E. Olsen comes to the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne from Japan, where he was on the faculty at Kwansei Gakuin University for three years. Prior to that, he also filled an academic role in South Korea after earning his PhD in organisational behaviour from the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA.

Jesse’s research focuses on diversity management, cross-cultural management, just plain management, and virtual work and has appeared in academic and professional outlets. Before starting his career as a researcher and academic, Jesse filled roles as the international exchange coordinator at Kwansei Gakuin University and as a business project manager in the Merger Integration Office and Corporate Strategies Group at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta.