Lieven has given up on Futbol everybody.
Nevertheless, grab your Italian football jersey and enjoy a Guinness, 'cause this Euro show has your name written all over it.
The boys welcome Boundless founder Dee Coakley, a Dubliner, to the show to talk about her company's recent round of funding, as well as chime in on all of this week's topics.
Hungary is starving for immigrant workers,
Iceland is changing the game when it comes to workforce well-being, testing a 4-day work week, but what does that mean for the rest of Europe (and the world)?
Lastly, France is putting a chokehold on Google and Big Tech's inability to play nicely with the country's media properties. Is it a tax Google just pays, or will they really help save journalism? And what European companies pile on next? Gotta listen.
Grab a couple Guinness, this is gonna take a minute :)
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Chad & Cheese Does Europe Intro (6s):
`Some podcasts, do it for the fun. Some do it for the fame, Chad and Cheese they do it for global effin domination. That's why bringing America to its knees was just the beginning. Now they have their eyes set on conquering Europe and they've drafted industry veteran Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze of Belgium to help them navigate the old country and bring HR's most dangerous podcast across the pond to trash-talk like never before. Not safe for work in any language. The Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe.
Oh yeah. There's a big sale on Italian football jerseys at the local outlet mall. That'll meet you there at noon. You were listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost, Joel, "how do you say choke in English" Cheeseman.
And I'm Chad "Italy wins" Sowash.
I'm still just Lieven
And I guess that makes me Dee Coakley?
Joel (1m 1s):
On this episode, startup Boundless finds a little goal at the end of the rainbow. Hungary is starving for workers. You guys see what I did there? and Google fights, France. Who you got on that one everybody? I don't know.
SFX (1m 16s):
Europe has a bunch of countries in it.
Joel (1m 18s):
Who is that mystery woman in our intro?
Dee (1m 21s):
Chad (1m 22s):
Must be Dee so Dee Coakley. Correct? Right. That's how?
Dee (1m 28s):
You've got it right.
Joel (1m 29s):
She sounds on Irish. Do you know Bono?
Dee (1m 32s):
I used to work with his brother. Dublin is that small. True story. Me and my co-founder used to work with his brother.
Joel (1m 42s):
So you've met him.
Dee (1m 43s):
I haven't met him. No.
Joel (1m 44s):
Oh, well that sucks.
Dee (1m 46s):
But I, yeah. I mean, people always joke about Ireland and how small it is and do we all really know each other, but we're all pretty connected as, so my name is Dee I'm co-founder and CEO of Boundless. This is a global employment platform. So I'm here to talk about Europe. Yeah and employment and HR and how all of that is looking in Europe these days.
Chad (2m 8s):
So you heard all of the UEFA Euro 2020 talk. How was it sitting back in Ireland and watch all this happening and knowing that you guys weren't even a part of it?
Joel (2m 19s):
You're all rooting for England. Right?
Dee (2m 23s):
So, you know, I feel really small right now because I actually watched the final. I have no interest in sports of any kind whatsoever. I am never in a position to participate in any conversation about sport. But when the final was on, I thought to myself, you know, everybody's talking about this, they're all going to talk about it tomorrow. I'll have it on, in the background. So I did actually watch the final. And it was, I mean, it wasn't the best football ever but money game that goes to penalties is pretty exciting in Ireland. It's something that should be part of our ancient history.
Dee (3m 4s):
Yeah. We will always root for whoever is playing England. We have a close affinity with the Italians. We were really happy to see them win.
Joel (3m 13s):
You said you liked the shootout?
Dee (3m 15s):
Joel (3m 15s):
I can't stand the shootout.
Dee (3m 17s):
Joel (3m 19s):
Do you like it, Chad? I feel like it's a European thing.
Chad (3m 21s):
No, I love it. I think, I think it's awesome. I hate anything that ends in a tie number one. Number two, you just played, you know, two halves and then you had to, you know, shortened halves. I mean, it's like, get this thing over with.
Joel (3m 37s):
Can I give my solution and you guys can tell me?
Chad (3m 39s):
No, you just want them to play till they die.
Joel (3m 43s):
I haven't, I have a new one. I have a new, and that was my initial thing. I've got a new one now. I'm compromising. I think the shootout should be replaced with 15 minutes of no goalies and just let the score run out, make it like basketball with feet and see what happens.
Dee (4m 1s):
But like how five-year-olds play soccer.
Joel (4m 3s):
Come on. That's not awful. It's not awful.
Chad (4m 6s):
That literally is awful. So Lieven. I've got, got to hear from you because Belgium and Italy, that was a hell of a match. Did you watch that match number one and then did you watch the final?
Lieven (4m 18s):
I don't like soccer anymore. I don't talk about it from now on. I will only talk Tour de France from now on some Belgium guy whose name I forgot won the ride.
Chad (4m 32s):
Oh, Jesus was England's path too easy. I mean, really Denmark was their hardest opponent in the entire tournament. Italy got beaten up by Belgium and Spain and it just seems like they were more ready in that final.
Lieven (4m 49s):
Hmm. I don't like soccer anymore. Did I mention? Today.
Chad (4m 55s):
Moving on. Okay. So, so here's a question for you then Lieven. Is this going to be the worst Olympics ever or what?
Joel (5m 2s):
What's Belgium's best chance at a gold medal?
Lieven (5m 6s):
That's actually a good question. We used to have some decent swimmers, but that's way behind us now. I think judo. How do you call it?
Chad (5m 15s):
Judo. Yeah. Judo.
Joel (5m 16s):
If only brewing beer was a competition, you guys would win the goal every time.
Lieven (5m 21s):
We would take the gold.
Chad (5m 22s):
Like cheating. That's like cheating robots. You Dee what's your favorite Olympic sport?
Dee (5m 27s):
My favorite Olympic sport. I like the track games. This is how much I'm into sports. Track games, the running I like running. Yeah. I did go. I lived in London in 2012, so I went for the Paralympics and watch some of the field and track and it was super cool. Yeah. I had been considering maybe making a trip to Tokyo to catch some of the Olympics, but never got around to booking it and evidently I wouldn't have made it anyhow.
Chad (5m 58s):
Dee (5m 59s):
Some future Olympics.
Joel (6m 0s):
Isn't skateboarding the first time it's going to be featured in the Olympics.
Lieven (6m 5s):
Tony Hawk will still be winning.
Joel (6m 8s):
He's a little up there in age. I don't know if you can do some of the things he used to.
Chad (6m 13s):
Mid fifties. Yeah. He's Mid fifties.
Lieven (6m 15s):
He's mid-fifties. Yeah, but he's still Cool. He was my hero when I was young.
Chad (6m 20s):
Oh yeah. He's pretty, pretty amazing. What's your favorite one? Joel. What's your favorite sport in the Olympics?
Joel (6m 25s):
I tend to be a person guy. So if Michael Phelps is swimming, I liked the swimming best. You know, if we have a track stud, I don't know a track is usually pretty good too. Shit. I go with the flow, man. If gymnastics is hot, great. I mean, basketball's kind of boring cause we usually run over everybody. I'll go with, I'll go with track and field as well.
Chad (6m 48s):
Okay. Yeah. I don't think we're going to run over everybody this year in basketball, by the way. Have you seen how we've been playing?
Joel (6m 54s):
Yeah, we are.
Chad (6m 55s):
I'm going to just say sprinting, whether it's in the pool or on the track. I the fastest in the world. I love watching that. So that's, that's what I'm going to go with. Sprinting.
Joel (7m 6s):
Does Ireland have a basketball team? Dee do you know?
Dee (7m 9s):
Basketball is really popular here.
Joel (7m 10s):
Do they have a team In the Olympics?
Dee (7m 12s):
I mean, I guess so? I'm pretty sure. Yeah. It's big here. It's a big school sports here, much more so than in the UK. It's been big since the eighties.
Joel (7m 22s):
I'm going to keep my eye on the Irish basketball team.
Dee (7m 25s):
We are in not a patch on the Serbians. We're not a very tall nation.
Lieven (7m 31s):
For the first time e-sports will be an official part of the Olympics. Digital competitive gaming.
Joel (7m 37s):
Oh, maybe that's what's making its introduction this year. E-gaming.
Lieven (7m 43s):
Yeah. Yeah. But it's official part. Yeah.
Chad (7m 45s):
You don't have to go to Tokyo for that too. Yeah. I mean, you could do that online anywhere.
Dee (7m 50s):
Maybe they'll all be e-sports after this year.
Joel (7m 53s):
The amount of money in that shit is insane.
Lieven (7m 56s):
Yeah. Good. You're going to sponsor some teams so.
Joel (7m 59s):
Going bigger is VR.
Chad (8m 3s):
Have to fit it into every fucking show. Don't ya?
Joel (8m 6s):
I do. I do.
Chad (8m 7s):
Okay. So big shout out. I'm going to throw a shout out to the Rec Fest crew. They actually had Rec Fest this week in Dreamland, not in London. It was like on the outskirts of London. So a big, big shout out to them. And I've got a question for, for Lieven. This week Lieven we saw that Google came out with some new guidelines for Google for Jobs. Did you see those?
Lieven (8m 33s):
Hardly? I was on holiday. I wasn't Crete.
Chad (8m 36s):
Lieven (8m 39s):
I saw something passing by and I thought, damn, I have to look into this. Once I finished swimming and then I forgot about it.
Joel (8m 47s):
And the guy was served on having a flood for God's sakes. Give him a break.
Chad (8m 51s):
What's the difference between Americans and Europeans? He actually enjoys his fucking vacations. Good job. Good job. I love that.
Joel (8m 58s):
Speaking of that, let me give a shout out to you for giving a shit about global warming slash climate change. I get in trouble when I say global warming. In light of the floods. In light of our Western part of the country, still toasting and burning through crazy ass temperatures. Europe is a shining beacon of a country and continent, a series of countries and a continent that mostly gives a shit about climate change. And I'm curious from our, from our European guests, what they think of when they look at America and climate change, do they think like we don't give a shit? Do they think we do care? Doing something? I'm curious about a European perspective on climate change and what we're doing about it?
Dee (9m 39s):
I think it's interesting that you perceive that Europeans care or that Europe as a block cares. I think it's varying degrees. I think most governments don't and haven't cared anywhere near as much as they should. I mean, certainly here in Ireland and I lived in the UK for years. It's never been as much of a voting issue as it should be, which then implies the public. Maybe really don't care as much as they should. I don't know. I think a lot of European governments are like governments everywhere else. They give it lip service. They do the minimum that they need to do, but they're just not aggressive enough.
Joel (10m 21s):
When you see the US you think, oh, they're just like us. They're just, they don't care like we don't.
Dee (10m 26s):
Don't see a huge Gulf between the U S and Europe. And I think in the U S like in most European countries, there are definitely some European countries like Northern European countries, Scandinavian countries, where I think the general public care a lot more, they take on more individual responsibility, but I think it's isolated to a relatively small number of countries and the rest of the European countries are probably pretty much like the US.
Lieven (10m 51s):
There is kind of changed. I can talk about us. I guess you are a great pretenders. And, but yeah, and Europe at the same feeling about Europe, but now it's changing. Governments actually are doing something like in 2025, you'll have to have an electric car in Belgium. So if you don't have an electric car, you won't be able to put it away from our taxes, our what's it called in English. It's a cost. And if it's not an electric one, you won't be able to bring it in as a cost anymore. So suddenly all those companies will have to change to electric cars. And almost everyone has a company car here. So this will cost a lot of money and we don't have the resources to get everyone the electricity they need I feel.
Joel (11m 34s):
Wait a minute. Everyone there has a company car? Say more about that.
Lieven (11m 37s):
Yeah, almost everyone here.
Joel (11m 40s):
Wait woah, woah, woah.
Lieven (11m 43s):
You don't have in the US?
Joel (11m 44s):
We do, but I would never say most people drive a company car.
Lieven (11m 49s):
But okay. Not most people probably if you're um.
Joel (11m 52s):
If you're a knowledge worker, you have a company car?
Lieven (11m 54s):
Joel (11m 55s):
Lieven (11m 56s):
White collar, you'll have a company car. If you're a blue collar, you'll sometimes have a company car.
Joel (12m 3s):
This is the most revulatory thing that we'll be selling this podcast. Everyone in Europe has a company car.
Chad (12m 8s):
I love it!
Dee (12m 9s):
Not the case under the UK. No, definitely not. We're all on our bikes.
Joel (12m 16s):
Because you're conscious about the environment. We're driving cars as big as the island of Ireland in our state. Should we get the topics?
Chad (12m 28s):
Joel (12m 31s):
All right. This is for our guests. Remote working tech startup Boundless has raised 2.5 million euros in state funding announced, I think last week, the company lets employers hire workers from abroad while being fully and in compliance with all tax employment and regulatory laws. Boundless is funding comes as some large companies begin allowing workers to live abroad. Last month Facebook said that a portion of its Irish staff could live in the UK and seven other EU countries from next year elsewhere. Companies are complaining about the difficulty of getting staff because many potential workers returned to their home countries during the pandemic. Sounds like the right company at the right time luckily we have co-founder Dee Coakley on the show to explain further.
Joel (13m 18s):
Dee tell us more.
Dee (13m 20s):
Yeah. So I founded Boundless two years ago. I started to working on the idea about two and a half years ago. I had been a COO with B2B SAAS companies for many years. And I had dealt with this challenge of workers requesting moves overseas or discovering talent, people that were based in other countries. And I have been through the excruciating task of getting set up for employment and payroll in a total of eight different countries. And it was a nightmare. It was a complete pain in the ass. It doesn't make any sense. Every other COO I talked to was doing the same thing.
Dee (14m 2s):
Everyone was tearing their hair out and having arguments with their CTOs about how long it was taking. And I thought, okay, there has to be a better way of doing this, and that's how Boundless came about. ,
Chad (14m 13s):
So I got to say, this is coming off of news last week, that another startup that helps firms, employe people in different countries, remote, they actually received $150 million in funding, and that sent them to unicorn status. So not only are you seeing validation from the market in giving you seed funding, but you're also seeing the prospect of other platforms becoming unicorns. What does that actually say to you other than we're in the right slot? What do you have to do to amplify and become something the size of a Remote?
Dee (14m 55s):
So we and Remote started at the same time. I know your Job and Marcelo the founders of Remote. We started around the same time. So they also have been going for about two years. So our recently founded company in terms of having achieved unicorn status, I think it is just indicative of the absolute, the enormous size of this market. It's a trillion dollar market, and it's growing at a crazy pace. And it's everything from companies, having these requests for people to move to other countries, people having upped on mass and moved back to home countries and also companies looking to broaden the net when they're hiring the pace of growth is huge, but it's going to continue growing.
Dee (15m 42s):
So there is definitely enough room for a number of companies in this space. I think that the future is bright. And I think international employment and borderless employment is really fast becoming the norm it's it's table stakes now for any company, with knowledge workers that wants to hire the best people in the world,
Chad (16m 3s):
So Liven, House of HR is in how many countries in Europe. I mean, this is something that you guys have to deal with all the time. And I would assume you're expanding out, give us a little insight. What do you think about platforms like Remote and Boundless?
Lieven (16m 17s):
I think timing is perfect. So we are in 11 countries. We just don't have an office in Italy. So we used to be in 10 countries and I still don't like Italy, but we do have an office there, but the timing is perfect. And we just did a big survey and the results were remarkable. We asked 1000 people in Belgium, 1000 in Netherlands, and a few thousand in Germany about why would you change jobs? What would convince you to apply at a different company? And 16% of workers is willing to change jobs if it would allow them to work remote. Now at 16%, doesn't seem a lot. But if you ask the same question three years ago, it was like 50% was doing it for the money 46%, for something else.
Lieven (16m 57s):
Remote was just not an issue. And now suddenly it's 16%. So companies have to be aware of it if you want to hire skill, you have to enable people to work remote. And then I think Boundless can be a great player. So I guess those people who invest it's 2.5 million in it, bet it right.
Joel (17m 16s):
As you mentioned, it's being driven by companies as well as people, but I'm curious your take on it. Is there a percentage breakdown of that? Because I would think it would be mostly people wanting to live either back at home or wanting to move to another country versus a company who would want to move people to a different headquarters or different, different place. Like, do you have a sense of, is this mostly a company driven phenomenon or is it the job seeker, the employee side?
Dee (17m 43s):
That has completely changed in the last 10 months or so. So when we founded Boundless, the customers that we were talking to were customers that had hired in other countries. So or they were considering hiring, considering their expansion plans often, you know, that we weren't seeing customers who had individuals who had requested a move elsewhere. As a, I was saying that was my inspiration for Boundless. That was a challenge that I had dealt with at my last company. So it was happening a lot before the pandemic, but now I would say probably 80% of the customers that we talk to, they're dealing with a combination of things, but the pain point that they're feeling most acutely right now are these requests for moves to other countries and companies that have anything over a few hundred employees they have people coming and saying, they're moving every week.
Dee (18m 41s):
People aren't asking anymore. You know, earlier in the pandemic, people will comments and put in a request or say, how does this sound? What do you think? Now, particularly younger team members are coming and saying, so I'm moving back to Spain, I'm leaving on this date. I'm keeping my job.
Joel (19m 0s):
What does this do for immigration? Do you think in the longterm? Because part of it I'm hearing, I want to go back home. So I don't want to work in a foreign country. I want to go back to where I'm from. Whereas I think as an American, we think maybe like, hell, I'm going to go to Australia and work. I'm going to go to Brussels or whatever. Like, what's your take on immigration long-term and how this trend affects how people move countries. Do they move back or they move to new places?
Dee (19m 23s):
So this has been a really hot topic of discussion. It was a big story in the media in Ireland two weeks ago when Facebook made that announcement because Facebook had their European headquarters here in Dublin. So those people that were being facilitated to move to those seven countries, they were moving, they were to be moving out of Dublin. So the media was in a frenzy and the public were saying, oh my God, you know, all of these well-paid workers are all just going to leave on mass. They're all going to run out of Dublin, we're going to have an empty city. What are we going to do? Everyone ringing their hands. But we see a lot of flow into Dublin, as well as out of Dublin. There are always people that will want to live here.
Dee (20m 3s):
There are people that end up in relationships that mean they want to move and be with partners in the country. There's just a lot of movement right now. We're seeing a lot of Americans, we've seen Americans moving to Ireland, a lot to Portugal, a lot to Germany, a lot of tech people moving to Berlin. But there's just a huge amount of movement and upheaval and I think right now, it is impossible to predict where this will all end up when the dust settles.
Chad (20m 33s):
So Dee I'm going to pivot here real quick, because you are the CEO, you have a female CTO, got to give a shout out to Andrea Wade who actually made this connection for us.
Joel (20m 47s):
Such connector. Yeah. The ex CEO
Chad (20m 49s):
Of opening.io who was acquired by iCIMS. It seems like Ireland is flush with female in the tech space. Is that the case?
Dee (20m 59s):
Yeah. You know, you said this to me the other day and I was thinking, is it? And then I had a realization. I lived in London for 12 years and I used to go to lots of tech events there. And when I moved back to Dublin seven years ago, the first couple of months, when I'd go to events, I kept saying to people, wow, there are loads of women here. And everyone in Dublin was like, what, what are you talking about? Because obviously women are still in the minority very much in the minority. But yeah, I was struck, the tech was more female in Ireland or in Dublin than it had been in London. For sure. Yeah, there are a lot of women running successful tech companies here. The last company I was with <inaudible> McHugh, she's the CEO of Actionista an interactive video tech company selling to a lot of us TV broadcasters.
Dee (21m 47s):
There is Patricia Scanlan with Soapbox Labs, Ashlyn Tara, with tons of HR and HR tech company. Yeah. It's nowhere near good enough, right. Nowhere near good enough. And it is incredibly challenging for women to raise investment in Ireland as it is everywhere in the world. Raising venture funding is difficult. I think we're probably marginally better than a lot of other countries. And I can't tell you why that is. I don't know.
Lieven (22m 13s):
Do you think it's more difficult for a female to get funding than for a man?
Dee (22m 17s):
Lieven? I assume you're joking when you asked me that. If you, if you see my face, when you asked me that question.
Lieven (22m 27s):
Dee (22m 28s):
Women get about anywhere between kind of one and 2% of venture funding anywhere in the world. They start companies at a rate of, I think it's about 30 to 35% of companies founded are founded by women, but they will only secure 2% of venture funding. Oh yeah. In the last couple of years where a venture has exploded and rounds are larger and there is more money being raised than there ever has been historically, the proportion that's going to women has actually decreased slightly in the last two years, which is really depressing.
Lieven (23m 5s):
So it is true? I always thought it was to have some kind of urban legend put into the market by women, but it's true? The founder of Accent Jobs, one of our companies, Conny Vandendriessche, she's the biggest shareholder now of House of HR. And she has launched in funding called We are Jane and it's by women for women. And they have quite a big amount of money just to invest in other women.
Joel (23m 30s):
There you go Dee.
Chad (23m 32s):
Lieven (23m 34s):
Big experience and a big network within HR and HR tech. So,
Joel (23m 38s):
And we're gonna, we're gonna do our part here Dee thanks to coming on the show. If someone wants to know more about Boundless, where would you send them?
Dee (23m 46s):
To www.boundlesshq.com? We will answer all of your international employment questions.
Joel (23m 55s):
Oh, I like that.
SFX (23m 56s):
Europe has a bunch of countries in it.
Joel (23m 58s):
I'm a little hungry. How about you guys? All right. Hungary's in the news.
Chad (24m 2s):
Joel (24m 2s):
Yeah. I know. Sorry. Sorry. We've this is an ongoing topic that will continue, but Hungary will allow temporary workers in from non EU states to alleviate a labor shortage and help the economy recover the foreign minister said last week. The new rules allow agencies to bring in temp workers from countries other then Hungary's non EU neighbors rules for workers from Ukraine and Serbia were eased back in 2017. Hungary's economy has apparently fared better than expected in the first quarter of this year, despite coronavirus lockdown measures, European countries seem to be in a battle for cheaper foreign workers. Guys, how does this thing unfold?
Chad (24m 44s):
That's a good question. It's interesting that, and I don't know what the Hungarian immigration laws are, but they seem to be tighter than most of the rest of Europe is, is that Dee? Lieven you guys have any insights on that?
Lieven (25m 1s):
They are not known for their friendliness towards immigrants. They are pretty right-wing and they are anti Muslim in many statements. So they'll have problems, so they should work on their image, I guess. They're not the country people are running to when they are looking for a job to get a better life. Mostly people from those countries are coming to Western Europe.
Joel (25m 21s):
In the United States, we have our sort of context is, you know, when states want to grow their tax base, when they want people to move there, you know, they create friendlier tax environments, or like for one example is you see people from California moving to Texas and Florida because of the taxation, maybe there's better growth opportunities, et cetera. To me, from what I've seen in the few shows that we've done here is that the countries in Europe seem to be in a similar state where, you know, they have things that are unique to them as countries. And when I read this, I thought, well, Hungary is kind of like nothing to lose. So we're gonna like throw legislation at that makes it more open for immigration, whereas a place like, I don't know, France or Germany, maybe not so much.
Joel (26m 6s):
So from your perspective, guys, do you see a similar competitiveness with countries as we do with states here?
Dee (26m 14s):
Yeah, I think so. And I think there's everything to play for now, particularly with remote work and availability of remote jobs, companies are making and are going to make decisions around local tax systems. I mean, if you, if you are an employer and you employ someone in Denmark, you're a statutory employer or taxes are about 1.2, 5%, somewhere like France or Portugal, you're looking at closer to 30%, its a massive difference. And I think the market varies hugely, right? So if you're talking about on scales work, where people are on low incomes, they're making their decisions based on different things versus knowledge workers on higher salaries.
Dee (27m 2s):
A lot of countries that the digital nomad visa is the, a lot of the countries that have offered digital nomad visas, they see, or they have a special tax rate that goes along with that visa. And I think countries are going to start to get more competitive about this and countries are going to start to market themselves in a very different way. And I've seen it. I've seen it with the US where states will give people cash incentives to move into the state. We could start to see that kind of thing much more in Europe. It's already competitive, but I think how governments handle that competition and take advantage of us is going to change.
Chad (27m 42s):
It seems like so being in being an Ireland, you guys are gaming, the system left and right when it comes to taxes. The big companies over there are slashing taxes, do you think that there's going to be a global standard, that's going to be pressed so that there can't be this gaming of the system when it comes to actual taxes, because knowing that those taxes pay for infrastructure, the long term, it's bad for the country.
Dee (28m 12s):
So corporate tax and individual tax, kind of the mechanics of how they work in terms of how governments can pull lever is, and the impact that has for the country. They're just so different. So corporate tax is a global issue by its very nature. So Ireland is a really good example of this, you know, Ireland says, corporate tax at 12.5% was hoping to keep its head down that nobody would notice. But of course it's a global issue. Of course, the US government have a vested interest in what Ireland is charging to, you know, once the US companies started to move in, it was a US issue.
Dee (28m 54s):
It is different with individual employment taxes. And of course we know that corporate tax paying, of course, despite the Irish government, trying to sit it out, of course, we're headed towards standardization and on this 15% standard minimum it's gonna come.
Joel (29m 11s):
And is Ireland afraid of that future?
Dee (29m 14s):
Joel (29m 16s):
Cause it does impact the individuals if Google and Intel and everybody takes their ball and goes home. Right?
Dee (29m 21s):
Absolutely. It has a huge impact here. Yeah. It will, very, very much so, but I think the average Irish person feels pretty strongly that we need to do the right thing and international relations are so hugely important to us. My personal view is the Irish government are not doing the right thing by sitting this one out. I think they need to play ball and, and get involved and get aligned with everyone else. But with the individual taxes, our employee employment taxes are held so dearly by each country and different much more so outside the US different cultures take their employment rights and their tax systems.
Dee (30m 6s):
They view them as this cultural identity thing. And I don't think we'll see internationalization or any kind of globalization there any time in the next 30, 40 years.
Joel (30m 17s):
What countries are the big winners and who are the losers in this immigration strategy or phenomenon?
Dee (30m 24s):
I don't know. Lieven what do you think?
Lieven (30m 26s):
Historically it's happening all over again? It's constantly the movement from the east to the west and okay. Ireland is extremely west.
Joel (30m 35s):
In scale when we're talking about Iceland after this so we're going way west.
Lieven (30m 39s):
Then we're going to the North. To got back to Hungary the average salary is pretty low compared to the Western European countries. So we had a brain drain and then skeleton workers was drained from those countries to Western Europe. And now they have to do something because they just don't have any wor`kers anymore. So they're getting them from, as you said, Ukraine and to White Russia, et cetera. So they have to open their borders to those people. But point is, they don't really like it. They're extremely nationalistic and they don't like opening their borders and they aren't as politically correct as the other countries are. They just say, we don't want them, but now they have to want them because they need them.
Joel (31m 17s):
Are any countries in Europe, immigrant friendly?
Lieven (31m 19s):
Yeah. Most are I feel, yeah, of course.
Joel (31m 22s):
Why go to Hungary when I can go to France or Germany? Right.
Lieven (31m 27s):
Indeed. And that's how it was problem, exact?
Dee (31m 30s):
You get access. So if you're coming from Russia or from Ukraine, maybe Hungary is going to give you a visa and give you access, but you might not have access to Europe. .
Joel (31m 40s):
Gotcha. Well, moving on from Hungary to Iceland, like I mentioned, by the way, I can't wait to visit Iceland Sunday. They're testing a four day work week to great success. Two large trials were conducted between 2015 and 2019 among public sector employees, about 2,500 people in total, which is roughly 1%. I think of the workforce. These folks were 35 to 36 hours per week with no reduction in pay. Researchers saw worker wellbeing increased dramatically across a range of indicators from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance. Anyone surprised by this or have thoughts?
Chad (32m 19s):
Is this thing, a pipe dream? That's the big question.
Joel (32m 22s):
It's Xanadu. Iceland, by the way, you know, Unilever in New Zealand, following a change in working habits, as a result of COVID announced in December, it would trial a four day work week at full play. And listeners may remember that back in 2019 Microsoft trialed a four day work week in Japan and said compared to the same period, the previous year quote productivity measured by sales per employee went up by almost 40%. So are we looking at a four day workweek in the future everybody?
Dee (32m 55s):
So I have a question about Microsoft in Japan. And I do think we're looking at a four day work week in the future and, yeah, I absolutely think we will head that way. Yes, Microsoft. I have, they not rolled this out elsewhere if they saw such stellar results? Seems like they run this trial and then came to a halt.
Chad (33m 15s):
We did have this thing called the pandemic that happened right after that. So I don't know. I would assume that they would continue to the testing, but there, there was this big wrench in the global machine called COVID that I think really messed some things up.
Joel (33m 33s):
Do you think if workers had to choose between a four day work week or working from home five days a week, which would they choose?
Chad (33m 39s):
I don't know that that has to be a black or white answer. I mean, you could do both.
Joel (33m 44s):
We talked in the show about companies wanting people to come back to HQ. Pronouncing a four day workweek would help, help do that.
Lieven (33m 51s):
It's an interesting question.
Chad (33m 53s):
I don't know that it would, I would rather have my freedom every single day of the week than I would getting a day back.
Joel (34m 1s):
Yeah. Ooh. It's drama. I can feel it.
Chad (34m 4s):
Joel (34m 5s):
Ding, ding, ding employees versus employer. I assume this wave will probably happen in Europe first. Cause it ain't happening in America anytime soon.
Dee (34m 14s):
Yeah. I couldn't imagine US culture and US employer culture of being very, very resistant to this. I mean, I feel it's an inevitability, you know, we've been moving more towards automation for many years now. People are able to, a lot of individuals have a lot of autonomy now in their work. If you're a knowledge worker and more and more environments are flexible work environments where you choose when quite often where you get your work done, there are plenty of people out there. I mean, there are people on my team where I have no idea. I have no method or way of measuring how many hours they work. I just look at their output. I'm happy. Everyone's got a great output.
Dee (34m 55s):
They're doing high quality work. No doubt. Some of them are perhaps more efficient than others, or maybe they're not doing a full, I mean, you know, it's a 40 hour week is standards in Ireland, would be standard in a lot of Europe. A lot of them possibly are not are, you know, they may not be doing that. I'm an output focused manager. I want to know what can you do if you, I want to hire the people that are smart enough, that they can get more efficient and get it done in a shorter period of time. Yeah.
Joel (35m 27s):
So Lieven, has this been a topic that's come up at House of HR?
Lieven (35m 31s):
From time to time.
Joel (35m 32s):
And what happens?
Lieven (35m 34s):
I'm not supposed to talk about this now.
Joel (35m 38s):
We don't, we don't talk about that four day work week topic.
Lieven (35m 41s):
It's coming. Definitely it's coming, but there are some issues, I think. Let's just imagine you're a big corporate company like Microsoft, you can arrange it, no problem. And you can make sure everyone is doing his job in four days and you have automation processes and you're working more efficiently than you did before. So you can manage it. But what let's say, education, schools, those kids go to school five days a week. And you can tell those teachers from all the other school work four days, but your are teacher will have to stay five days, ask those children to only come for four days because they will learn 20% less, I guess. So it's difficult. It will depend on the industry you're working in.
Lieven (36m 23s):
And as a miss we'll have problems where corporate companies probably wont to have problems. So I think it will be hard to get it arranged.
Joel (36m 32s):
Lieven (36m 33s):
It's an influence from the Nordics and Denmark, Sweden, Finland, probably they are thinking about it and they are, they will probably roll it out like Iceland, but it's kind of a running that it was Iceland because Iceland went bankrupt in 2007. Now they're launching a four day workweek, I think European Union, will scratch it's hair again.
Chad (36m 54s):
So roughly 86% of Iceland's entire working population is now working those hours. And for the most part, what we've been able to see from a productivity standpoint is that rest actually helps with productivity. And I say this in, from my years of being an infantry drill Sergeant in the military, we had to give our trainees rest so that they would be productive the next day. Right. They would actually have good output. Is this not the same thing also for schooling and everything else? Are we just trying to do 40 hours a week?
Chad (37m 34s):
Just because that was a standard set by Henry Ford back in, was it 1918 or some shit like that?
Lieven (37m 40s):
It's interesting to us. Why do children come five days a week to school? Because their parents have to work five to
Joel (37m 47s):
Somebody has to babysit those brats.
Lieven (37m 49s):
And maybe you should just offer them two hours of sports a day instead of a one hour a week, which is in most countries, the case, how much sport do you have in the states?
Chad (37m 58s):
How much time do we spend? Like practicing sports? Yeah.
Lieven (38m 3s):
Within the school assistant we have, are you having mathematics? You have French. You have Dutch intelligent
Chad (38m 8s):
Lieven (38m 9s):
Yes. Gym. Okay. Yeah. Yep, yep. I that's going to be an hour and not every kid has to take it, which you can probably see by the American America's obesity number.
Joel (38m 20s):
We used to have it every day, baby. When America was bad-ass every day.
Lieven (38m 23s):
You should had have made it a great again. In Germany, it was two hours a day.
Chad (38m 32s):
Yeah, that's not a bad thing. I have a friend that lives Costa Rica, his kids go to school right across from the beach and they actually, a few days a week, they go surfing. Right. It's a part of, I mean, and to have that kind of experience, to have that kind of experience and then, you know, go the latter part of the day and doing your math and your English or whatever, it might be Spanish or what have you, I mean, we just have to rethink how we do work and how we educate.
Joel (39m 2s):
Well, it sounds like if I'm an American company and I want to hire someone from Iceland, I guess I can only work them four days a week right?
Dee (39m 9s):
I mean, you know, if you hire someone from France, they have the right to disconnect. So they, they can say that they don't want to be contacted in the evenings or at weekends, it's looking like we may get something, some similar legislation brought in, in Ireland. There's been a bit of a consultation around it recently. So yeah. I mean, these are the challenges of having an international workforce, but again, if that Icelandic worker can produce the same outpost as your worker in California, probably on a far lower salary, if they're on Icelandic pay rates.
Joel (39m 43s):
If I'm a company in America, do I want, do I want to have that conversation with my American employees as to why Sven gets to work only four days a week and everybody else that's to work five, like I don't see a lot of American companies jumping at the chance to have that conversation.
Dee (39m 58s):
I do. I think we're going to see a bit of a landslide. It's going to take a few years, you know, maybe it's going to be four or five years and it's going to start in the tech space. And I think we will see a bit of a landslide where it will become there'll be a, it will be used as a carrot on a stick to attract the very best people.
Chad (40m 19s):
Talk about carrots on sticks and then France shows Google the stick.
Joel (40m 25s):
Yeah. This has been a fun story. And we've talked about Australia, smacking down Google for not paying media entities. So Google has been fined nearly $593 million. That's about 500 Euro, 500 million euros after Frances competition authority found that the company violated orders to negotiate pay deals with new subscribers. The regulator said the American tech giant breached a 2020 order that the company negotiate, quote "good faith licensing deals with French news agencies and publishers, the fine, the largest ever by Francis competition. Watchdog Philip comes amid a standing debate over tax obligations to publishers.
Joel (41m 10s):
So it was this fine, fine?
Lieven (41m 13s):
Kind of getting a problem with this kind of alternative taxing. I mean, it's big tech, so you can tax them whatever you want to do on pay because they have great accountants, but then you give them a fine and they'll have to pay. So this is just an alternative taxing and you won't lose any votes. If you're a government by taxing the big tech companies or by fining them, everyone will say, huh, good for them. I'm not sure if it's that fair. And it was wondering where's the money is going to, so they are using the media companies, which are screwed by Google, according to those media companies. And they are using them to fine Google 500 million euros, but then the money should go to those media companies as a compensation. And now it's just a fine so it goes into the pocket of France.
Joel (41m 55s):
Okay? So it's a tax if they pay the country or whatever organization does that. But if they start paying the newspapers and the media outlets in France, then it's a big win for French media companies, correct?
Chad (42m 9s):
Let's put in context what this is. Okay. First off, this is a nudge by the French.
Joel (42m 15s):
The biggest, the biggest ever nudge
Chad (42m 17s):
$500 million is a pittance for Google. I don't know if you know or not, but they actually made $181 billion dollars last year.
Joel (42m 25s):
But it's a million dollars every day they don't pay.
Chad (42m 28s):
This is a nudge by the French government to be able to do what they were supposed to do in the first place was get a deal done. So there's still money that's that's on the table for these news organizations and if France puts that money in their pocket and maybe they fund their roads and, or a watchdog arm to ensure that this shit doesn't happen. Maybe that's a part of it. I don't know. But you've got to see that in context, this is a nudge. They'll continue to nudge them. Like you said, Joel, every single day, but there is money on the table.
Joel (43m 3s):
If you're Google, you just pay the fine and fuck it.
Chad (43m 6s):
You can't just pay the fine. You've got to go. And you've got it. You've got to negotiate.
Joel (43m 11s):
Google's either going to pay the government of France or they're going to pay the media entities outright.
Chad (43m 15s):
They're going to do both.
Dee (43m 16s):
Over what timeframe I wonder? I mean, they are going to do everything that they can to draw this out. And I understand the fine is, is accumulating at a rate of a million a day. But in terms of the, when looking at paying the publishing companies, they will draw out those negotiations around what those payments should be and how it will be structured and how the infrastructure will work. That could be drawn out for years.
Chad (43m 42s):
Lieven (43m 44s):
And I think France gets away with it and they make 500 million the other countries will.
Joel (43m 49s):
Lieven (43m 50s):
And it's true as well we need some money too. And then it's adding up, I mean, 10 countries crushing 500 million makes 5 billion.
Chad (43m 59s):
Yeah. Well, and what that'll do, and hopefully that'll get them to do is actually get Google to start to come to the table faster and just get this taken care of.
Lieven (44m 9s):
But do you think Google is wrong in this case? I'm not sure. Yeah.
Chad (44m 13s):
Yeah, they're using other people's content and they are a lifestyle platform because of everybody else's platform, everybody else's content. So why do they both get a quid pro quo office to some extent, but you have to take a look at all the failing news outlets because Google is taking all that content and they're republishing it.
Joel (44m 35s):
Yeah. I mean, ultimately journalism and truth has had a big, you know, it's been, it has been trending down for the last 20 years since Google's sort of been on the scene. And I, for me, like, I think, I think it's a big win for journalism. If we can get payments into, to media outlets to actually pay journalists, to do work. I subscribe to the New York Times and I find that their advertising is really interesting. Their advertising is not by a subscription. Their advertising is help support journalism or help support thoughtful journalism. And I think that that's something that the world has been missing in our political environment over the last, you know, decade or so. So for me, like it's a win, it's a win for journalism and hopefully the news outlets hire more journalists as a result of more money from Google.
Joel (45m 20s):
I do think, however, like, you know, when I was in journalism school freshman year, that my first professor said, what do you think is the most read section of the newspaper? For those of us who remember newspapers and the answer was the classified section. It's the most, it was the most popular and also the, probably the biggest money generator, depending on the newspaper and Google. I think it's entertaining that while we talk about more money into journalism or media, Google is putting more resources into job postings, which is the classified side. So while they may be giving money to the media side, they'll also be probably taking more out from the classified side and jobs is just a component of that.
Lieven (45m 59s):
But that's economy, that's business.
Joel (46m 1s):
That's business, Baby. And that's from our Belgian.
Lieven (46m 4s):
I feel those newspaper companies could easily block Google and keep the company for himself, but then they wouldn't get the, the visitors to Google. So they want the visitors, but they don't want Google to use the content. Have to choose.
Joel (46m 19s):
The challenge is more and more people aren't going to websites.
Chad (46m 23s):
Joel (46m 23s):
They're just staying on Google and getting the news from there. That's kind of a problem.
Chad (46m 28s):
Same thing with Facebook.
Lieven (46m 30s):
Joel (46m 31s):
And with like, with jobs, I think a component is like, all these, all these job boards are complaining about traffic, partly because no one has to go to their site anymore. They can look at the job directly on Google. That's where it really hurts because no, one's going to the site where they're seeing their banner ads where they're seeing their, Hey, subscribe to our newspaper. Most newspapers in my opinion, if you visit them online, particularly on mobile, you can't even use them there with the amount of pop-ups and op unders and ads. Like, it's just, it's just not worth the trouble and that needs to be fixed. And part of that is how they monetize those sites.
Lieven (47m 3s):
As you just mentioned, New York Times for qualitative journalism, people want to pay for
Joel (47m 12s):
Quality, sure. Sure. Not everyone's the New York Times.
Dee (47m 15s):