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Chad & Cheese Does Europe

Some podcasters do it for the fun. Chad & Cheese? Global domination. That's why we've set our sites on Europe after conquering America and have enlisted the help of some locals to make sense of the Old Country. In this episode, the first-ever from the new 'Does Europe' show, the boys discuss gig platform Malt, it's newest round of funding, the labor crunch and ongoing work-from-home issues plaguing European employers and workers. Then they throw-in some Facebook bullsh!t for good measure.


INTRO (5s):

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 it's 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 most dangerous podcast across the pond to trash-talk like never before non-safe for work in any language. The Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe.

Joel (40s):

And that's how you do an intro boys and girls. You are listening to the first ever episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel Cheesman.

Chad (53s):

I'm Chad "he had a heart attack!" Sowash

Joel (57s):

And on this episode Lieven , you're supposed to say, this Lieven Van whatever.

Lieven (1m 2s):

Okay. I'm going to say myself, because if you do it, I'm Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze

Joel (1m 7s):

Right? And on this episode, how do you say gig and French? So that's why I can't get a decent fish and chips anymore. And Facebook doesn't care about your old world privacy laws. Sending a whole continent back to the dark ages this is the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. It's gotta be better than Disneyland Paris. Right?

Lieven (1m 28s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (1m 31s):

So excited! Europe. Let's do this Chad.

Chad (1m 33s):

Show number one and we're going to get, and we're going to give the people what they want. Goddammit. They don't want us to talk about NFL football. So my first shout out goes to UAEFA 2020.

Joel (1m 47s):

This is a soccer free podcast. We cannot say soccer on this show. Football. So this is a big deal, right? Yeah. I like the world cup. This feels like, I don't know, world cup, JV or light. I don't, I don't quite understand what's going on with this tournament.

Lieven (2m 2s):

That's sort of the countries actually knowing how to play football. Okay. You have argued. Well, I could argue for Argentina.

Chad (2m 9s):


Lieven (2m 10s):

But US shouldn't be part of any tournament, I guess.

Joel (2m 15s):

So it's like world cup with just European countries. And it's like a primer for the world cup, which is next year, right? Is that next year of the world cup?

Lieven (2m 24s):

Yeah, maybe it is normally it's two a year. The okay. You're being tournament and then there's the world cup and then it's Euro each two years, but now we lost a year. So maybe it's next year. It could be

Joel (2m 33s):

Okay. I know England won or what else is going on? What are the updates?

Chad (2m 38s):

Here's here's the big update. Christian Eriksen of Denmark. His fucking heart stopped. Kid's 29 years old heart stopped on the fucking field.

Joel (2m 48s):

I did see that.

Chad (2m 49s):

Yeah. One of his teammates actually came over, started doing CPR on him. They had to use fucking defibrillator paddles. I mean, Denmark. They were a heavy favorite over Finland. And obviously that outcome didn't work. But I mean, this, I mean just took over all of the new streams and it was, it was ridiculous.

Joel (3m 10s):

Did the dude live?

Chad (3m 11s):

Yeah. Yeah. He lived luckily, he's 29 in good shape. And they had, you know, they had defibrillator paddles there, but Denmark had 22 shots on goal. Finland had one! And Finland won the match one-nil.

Lieven (3m 29s):

Efficiency. Yeah.

Joel (3m 30s):

I guess it's a win for socialized medicine that they saved the guy. America would have, I guess, thrown him into a grave and said a nice knowing you.

Chad (3m 39s):

I don't know. He's the guy has money.

Joel (3m 41s):

Where's your insurance card? Where's your insurance card? No. All right. Sorry.

Lieven (3m 46s):

I saw have sponsors will be happy. A lot of attention.

Joel (3m 50s):

Sponsors what a European thing to say. The sponsors will be happy that it got so much attention.

Chad (3m 55s):

I have to say that probably not the greatest day since Adam Gordon is always wanting us to talk about football and Scotland just got fucking trounced! Two-nil by the Czech Republic.

Joel (4m 11s):

My man let his whole company off today. I think to watch the game. That was.

Chad (4m 16s):

No, that's the England game on Friday. That's the one that really matters.

Joel (4m 23s):

Who's favored to win this thing? Who's favored to win? Who's the best?

Chad (4m 28s):

Belgium and Italy really kicked ass and took names, but Lieven I mean, who are you putting your chips on?

Lieven (4m 34s):

Do you know who is actually number one at this point in world ranking of the national teams as Belgium. Belgium is number one, this is weird, but it is. So if we are ever going to win a big tournament, it will be this time. And we are always humble and applied, et cetera. But now I feel we might actually have a chance with this team.

Joel (4m 52s):

Where's Scotland in the rankings?

Scotsman (4m 55s):

Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is if it's no Scottish it's crap!

Joel (5m 1s):

Are they, are they gonna, are they gonna, are they gonna compete in this thing or what? No.

Chad (5m 6s):

Lieven said he, he didn't even know Czech Republic had a football team!

Joel (5m 11s):

Adam Gordon is on suicide watch as we speak so we shouldn't be too mean. He was really offended. We did a show recently Lieven, I don't know if you heard, but it's one of our UK friends said that HR tech in Europe is about five years behind America, too, which we talked about on that podcast, well Adam chimed in and said that was bullshit. And that in some cases, Europe is ahead of America in terms of HR technology. Where do you stand on Europe versus the U S in terms of where we are with HR tech?

Lieven (5m 42s):

Years ago, I would have agreed. 10 years ago we did have something of a lag, but now we don't anymore.

Joel (5m 48s):

So you say equal?

Lieven (5m 49s):

Probably, and I think we shouldn't watch Asia and not the US

Joel (5m 55s):

Did you say Asia? Not the US.

6 (5m 57s):

Oh, hell no.

Lieven (5m 60s):

No. I guess, yeah. The middle east, maybe Israel for example, is doing great. They are innovative. We used to look up at US for a HR tech, but I don't think big innovations are coming from US at this point, but I could be wrong of course.

Joel (6m 15s):

We're going to come together on this show and figure that all out. Just like the G7 meeting that's going on over in Europe. I'm sure you guys miss Trump pushing away everybody to get in front of the line and in front of the picture, the cameras.

Lieven (6m 26s):

Right? We have Joe Biden now in Belgium. He's in Brussels today.

Joel (6m 29s):

Yeah. What's the mood there, in Brussels with our new president visiting?

Lieven (6m 34s):

Everyone agrees. It's improvment. Yes!

Chad (6m 37s):

That's not saying much. I mean seriously.

Lieven (6m 40s):

No, but okay. He's he's far too old to be of any use, but he's your president. So we should be all right.

Chad (6m 48s):

Get off the age-ism already. Jesus Christ Lieven

Lieven (6m 51s):

No of course he's experienced.

Joel (6m 53s):

You're a continent of old people and museums like really you're bringing up ageism.

Lieven (6m 60s):

No, you're right. We are the old continent, right?

Joel (7m 2s):

The old world is a bunch of ages who knew?

Chad (7m 6s):

Are ou kidding me? They're all bias. Somebody who's not biased though, is a Djokovic who beat Tsitsipas in the French open to win his second career grand slam. So that was pretty fricking amazing. That was an awesome match. Djokovich was down two sets was pretty much getting his ass handed to him, but he's a machine and came back and won the next three sets, knocked him out. So a big props to Djokovic on that. That dude is a machine. I thought back in the day, McEnroe, Connors, Borg, Becker, those guys were like machines.

Chad (7m 52s):

Lendl right? Not even close to this dude.

Joel (7m 56s):

I mean, if, if, if we're going back in time, Chad, with, with our, our generation, I mean, that was sort of my first taste of what Europe was! Growing up like Wimbledon, was it like the first thing I saw sporting in Europe, I think. Bjorn Borg was this like Nordic God with long blonde hair taken on this scrappy, you know, New York, New York McEnroe. So, and, even on the women's side as well. So Europe, my first taste of Europe was really through, I think, tennis day still today. It's the epicenter of all things, tennis in those days.

Chad (8m 31s):

Steffi Graf just fucking annihilated people, man. She just killed people. Now her and Agassi have kids. I want to see what's going to happen with them.

Joel (8m 42s):

Yeah. Let's bring them the mullet back. The Agassi mullet. That's when I want to see these kids with some long ass mullets playing tennis.

Chad (8m 49s):

None of those guys, really, they weren't as Federer and Djokovich these two are just, I mean, they've just blown everybody out of the water. And again, there are no Americans to be seen, at all on the men's side. On the women's side, we got plenty, but nothing on the men's side,

Joel (9m 12s):

Which is a little surprising. Speaking of a football, European football, if we can't say soccer, I'm not sure what I'm going to call it. A football. Yeah. Americans are lagging in quite a few sporting areas. Tennis being another one.

Lieven (9m 26s):

Yeah. You did have two sisters.

Joel (9m 28s):

The Williams sisters. They're not too shabby. You mentioned two grand slams. What? Serena have like seven?

Lieven (9m 35s):

We lost Anna Kournikova. I stopped watching the moment she stopped playing.

Joel (9m 40s):

I can't imagine why. I can't imagine why.

Lieven (9m 43s):

Do you know the biggest Belgium tennis players like Kim Clijsters, for example?

Chad (9m 48s):

Oh yeah. Kim Clijsters. Yeah, she was Anna Kournikova before Anna Kournikova.

Lieven (9m 54s):

Whatever. I'm not going to talk tennis. Find myself useful. And I was going to talk about HR tech. So.

Joel (10m 1s):

Let's do that. All right.

Chad (10m 4s):


Joel (10m 4s):

Topics. So let's start with Malt. The marketplace for freelance developer services has raised 97 million in a series C led by Goldman Sachs and Euro Zio. I don't know if I'm saying that correctly? Reportedly at a now $489 million valuation. The Parisian, that's Paris for those Americans listening, the Parisian firm plans to use the funding to fuel expansion across Europe and to the U S. It claims 250,000 registered freelancers and 30,000 businesses using its service. So let's talk gig economy from a European perspective, Lieven. Do you know Malt? Are you using it?

Joel (10m 45s):

What's your take on the whole freelancer nation over there Europe?

Lieven (10m 49s):

I do not Malt. We never used it. I can't say have, but I do know it. And I checked their website. The moment I heard about the raising of the 97 million, it's about 80 million in euros. We talk euros, this as a European show. I'm not sure at them, they're focused on data, scientists, developers, designers, et cetera. And that's perfect. I guess those are the profiles who you'll be able to place, but I feel their approach is just like a digital version of an original, basic temping agency. They put some profiles online and then as a recruiter, you can say, I have a project I'm going to propose it to one of those profiles, but basically they don't do much more than what LinkedIn is doing. And then I feel those kinds of companies will have a problem the moment LinkedIn is going to launch their workplace, or what's this going to be called, in November?

Lieven (11m 37s):

Because LinkedIn has 750 million users. And of course not, all of them are freelancers, but 750 million and Malt claims they have about 250,000 users, which is a lot, of course, it's lots. And, they only launched in France and in Germany and in Spain, I feel, yep, but it's still only 250,000. So if companies like LinkedIn are going to launch something similar, it's just easier to use a big player. I think.

Joel (12m 5s):

I'm surprised you didn't say Upwork or Fiverr in your comments. Are they established in Europe and used well or not?

Lieven (12m 13s):

Yes. And they are a different approach. I feel Fiverr. Or for example, I kind of love Fiverr. They offer something totally different. They sell projects that don't sell people, they sell projects. And if you are a designer, you can say, I'm going to build your logo for $5. And that's where Fiverr comes from and the name Fiverr. But that's, was a great approach. It was something new to us refreshing, but I feel in this case, that's just core websites offering people. And those people charge an hour. And our daily rate, sorry, not an hourly rate, a daily rate, about 500 euros for a developer, something like that. And that's the same thing that's been happening for ages, but I've never used them so maybe they are extremely efficient.

Lieven (12m 55s):

I dunno it could be, but they should have a reason for existence. If they don't find something new, they probably be forgotten within a few years.

Chad (13m 4s):

What I'm hearing is if you have the same people, pretty much categorically that LinkedIn does, you might as well just go ahead and just cut bait now. Instead of like Fiverr, cause Fiverr is more on the lower end for the most part, they do a couple of things. Yeah. Yeah. They're trying to, but they still have this race to the bottom kind of methodology where people don't get paid shit to do anything. So I don't see LinkedIn going that way. I see Fiverr's still's being, you know, kind of like the bottom feeder of the group. What should companies do? I mean, you guys actually have a remote platform or actually a gig platform yourself.

Chad (13m 45s):

What are you guys doing differently to wall off against and create moats against LinkedIn?

Lieven (13m 52s):

Just for one second, going back to Malt. And I was thinking they launch in countries and it's normal, we are European. We think in countries, but Fiverr launched globally. They started in Israel, I think. But a few years later they were in San Francisco and Germany and everywhere. But it's basically, it's just a global concept. It's a website and you can answer it or you can sell your projects. And the projects are made by someone in Pakistan or India or whatever, but you don't really care, you just get your project delivered. And here they sell people, which is okay, it's great. But then if you want to make it succeed, you have to do something different than the big players like LinkedIn will do. We also have some, some digital platforms within our group and I will launch them ourself.

Lieven (14m 37s):

He didn't buy them and some are actually getting really successful, but building them ourselves, we have to launch them gradually. We have to launch them, starting in Belgium and to Netherlands and down France and Germany, et cetera, just pulling up. And sometimes I feel, I'm not sure how Fiverr did it, but they launched like globally at once.

Joel (14m 55s):


Chad (14m 56s):

That's because there was a huge gap. I mean, that was, and they did it. How many years ago to the Fiverr launch? I mean, being, being, they weren't first to market, but they were pretty early to market. What about the companies like Adeco who are not building, they are buying? They bought Vettery and then they bought What about that segment? Because again, you kind of have this, we see what's working or we see what's on the clearance rack. Let's go buy that and try to use that in our space.

Lieven (15m 25s):

Yeah. Yeah. It's a problem and it's an advantage. Randstad they are a huge, they have about a $28 million, a billion dollar revenue so they can buy, I guess, basically whatever they want. And sometimes I feel it's like killing their innovation spirits because they're so big. Whenever some youngster comes up with a great idea, he has to ask his boss and his boss says, that's a good idea, talk with that one. And he's going to talk to someone else. And after talking to a lot of people and our company has done it. So I feel the moment you get too big, you are going to kill your innovational spirit. So those companies they buy and they look in the markets and whoever has proven to be successful can be bought. If you pay enough, you'll buy them like Vettery.

Lieven (16m 7s):

I don't know whether they got paid a hundred million. I don't know. What I do know is around that, for example, Randstad buying in 2015 Monster, for example, Monster bought, 327 million euros, if I'm correctly, 2015. And at that time I taught what does Randstad that know that I don't, why do they pay so much for something dated, and apparently they didn't know anything. They're just paid a lot for a business, which has been losing money ever since, I believe, but that's a problem. You never get fired for hiring IBM. They say, and it's true. If you buy a company which has been proven to be successful, they can't blame you if it goes broke afterwards.

Lieven (16m 50s):

But I think you should buy a company whenever it's going to start growing or you have to launch it yourself. And that's something, we are a $2 billion company instead of $28 billion so there still is a big gap, but we have the leverage to launch our own projects and to fund them well and to have them promote it. But we still do it ourself. We have a do-it-yourself spirit and sometimes it pays off. We launch a lot of projects, which never will be huge. But from time to time, we have a great, great something. And for example, I was talking about Monster. Monster was a one set as a project from TMP worldwide.

Lieven (17m 31s):

And then it outgrew the mother company.

Chad (17m 33s):


Lieven (17m 34s):

Randstad bought it too late. And that's the whole thing. You have to buy it at the right time, which is obvious. Or you have to launch it yourself and sell it at the right time. And so we, it, I'm going to give you an example. Last week we launched a company in France, NowJobs, it was already existing a few years in Belgium. We launched it in the Netherlands, now, also in France. And it's a platform, totally smartphone-based to match people, looking for a job right now, students, for example, who say, I want to go out tonight. I need a job right now because I don't have any money left. That is the whole point. So where can I wash some dishes at what restaurant in my region? Or you can just check the jobs which become vacant now and you apply and everything is arranged automatically, but mostly back in the days when students worked at some small restaurants, it was just too much of a hassle for the restaurant owner if you want to hire someone for one day to replace your bartender, who was ill, you just don't fill in the paper.

Lieven (18m 36s):

You don't even know how to do it. Right now the app relaunched, everything was done automatically. So those people are glanced to pay their taxes. They don't care about paying taxes. They just don't want to hassle.

Chad (18m 47s):

I mean, it's totally on demand talent is what you're saying, you don't have to go through all the back office bullshit administration.

Lieven (18m 53s):

Exactly. And that's the whole point. You have to offer some convenience and that's, in my opinion, what a successful labor platform should offer, is convenience. It has to be easy to use. It has to be sure as a worker, you have to be sure you'll get your money. And then they offer something different. But not just the matchmaking which every company has been doing for years, then it's just translating all business into a new way of explaining it, I guess.

Joel (19m 22s):

Let me, yeah ask a question. You mentioned the rollout of this product. And I think that Americans don't have a real sense of how you guys sort of prioritize where you grow as a company. In the U S obviously you can be in the US and you, conquer you're in multiple states, right? But if you're growing a company, you know, our route is usually, well, you got to be in New York, you gotta be in San Francisco. Then we're going to go to Chicago, like big cities. To me, it would seem logical if you were launching in Europe, like, okay, well, UK is huge. Germany's huge. But the rollouts tend to be, you know, we're in Belgium and then we're in France. And then we went to Spain, like, what is, what is typically the rollout for companies in Europe in contrast to what the U S sort of sees as a normal rollout plan?

Lieven (20m 7s):

Huh? I think it depends on where you launch from. For example, if you are a French company and you are Paris based, it's probably easy for you to go to Belgium, to the Belgium markets and to Luxembourg, because of the same languages.

Joel (20m 21s):

Language-based okay.

Lieven (20m 22s):

Yeah. Language is sometimes it's a problem. I mean, we have 27 countries within the European Union with 25 official languages. And if you're an American company and you're launch in Europe, it's perfectly okay to launch your English websites because you're American. But if we would launch a project in Belgium and we do not do it in Dutch and French, then people would be offended. So it's the same thing, if you launch in Denmark or in Scandinavia or wherever and Finland, you have to use the language of the country you are launching. And language, it's still a different thing.

Joel (20m 56s):

Spring boarding off of that, part of the Malt capital raise is to come to America. What are your thoughts on that? The success rate isn't very high. You mentioned Randstad buying Monster. That seems to be the only route that works. If you were giving Malt advice on coming to America, what advice would you give them?

Lieven (21m 14s):

Hm. Talk to you guys, I guess. Surrounded by specialists in all the markets, because it's, it's all, it sounds nice. And we're going to buy an office in a Silicon Valley and we're going to launch a bakery and then we'll take the American market. And it's huge, but it's a different markets. You have to work with local people, knowing the local legislation, the local way of work, even the local language. And we all speak English, but we don't speak it as well as you do. And it's a different kind of English. You learned it at school and you speak sometimes your business language which is different. So you have to work with local people I feel, in most cases.

SFX (21m 51s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (21m 54s):

Let's talk about the talent crunch going on, and I guess all over the world, but certainly in Europe as well. So this is a story out of the UK. So as the UK economy emerges from the effects of the pandemic, various sectors are reporting shortages of staff. The lockdown easing has prompted employers to start recruiting. UK job vacancies have hit their highest level since the start of the pandemic. Yet puzzlingly the latest employment figures show one in 20 people who want a job can't find one. Hospitality, for example, is struggling to find staff. And there is a shortage of lorry drivers, which I guess are truck drivers? In the words of Kate Nichols, chief executive of Trade Body at UK Hospitality, the sector has quote the wrong workers in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Joel (22m 41s):

So what's going on with the talent crunch in Europe?

Lieven (22m 45s):

And by talent crunch. You mean what we call war for talent? Is it the same thing?

Chad (22m 49s):

Pretty much.

Lieven (22m 50s):

Okay. Okay. So for those not American listeners today, talent crunch is something like.

Chad (22m 56s):

Well, it's funny because you guys are about five years behind us in terms, we stopped using that about five years ago.

Lieven (23m 5s):

Okay. So maybe in that case, you are five years behind, but of course we only use our own languages. So we don't speak about talents, whatever. Okay. And your Cape, my joke of course has a different problem today. That's the, Brexits, let's say you're a truck driver or a lottery driver as they call it in the UK? Then you have to say, you've come from Poland. Because most truck drivers are from the east European countries, they still are. And then suddenly there was Brexit. So you have to leave the country or you didn't have to leave the country, but you have to fill in so many documents. You might as well think, okay, I'm going to work in Germany, France, or Italy or wherever because everyone is looking for truck drivers.

Lieven (23m 49s):

So I think those fancy talent crush thing is getting bigger in the UK and in the rest of Europe because of the combination of COVID and Brexit.

Joel (23m 59s):

Well, it sounds like immigration is a huge part of the shortfall and you and I have talked about it sort of offline, and it sounds like that's affecting a lot of European countries with COVID and, you know, borders, closing what countries in Europe are going to come out best in terms of immigration and where immigrants going to move to, to sort of fill in these voids of a job openings?

Lieven (24m 22s):

People move from the east to the west, because basically in the west, people still make more money. Even though in central European countries, it's almost the same as in Western Europe, but definitely five years ago, you could make more money in Belgium than in Poland, for example. So people who are skilled, skilled workers were hired in Poland and in Romania and <inaudible> et cetera. And they were brought to Belgium where they got a contract from a Belgian or a Dutch company. And they worked for a Dutch or French or German companies. And that's okay, there's no problem because for those people, it was a good thing, they made more money, they saved a bit and then they went home, in some cases or they stayed whatever.

Lieven (25m 7s):

But of course the problem was just moving because those people in Poland are losing their skilled workers and they had to search for new skilled workers. So they had to look even more to the east. And migration, it's not a thing from the past that will always stay, but I feel in the U S you have one legislation. And I think, I might be wrong, but there's not a big difference in salary between the north and the south. I guess maybe if you work in New York or in Silicon Valley, you'll make more for the same jobs, but basically it's about the same thing. But in Europe, it isn't the case. And definitely in Eastern Europe, which used to be, before the fall of the Soviet Union, it's a totally different way of working.

Joel (25m 52s):

So it's more about, it's more about money than it is border sort of openness. Like you mentioned the U S and once you're in the U S you can go to any state pretty easily, and each state competes, you know, on various levels. But I think there's the impression that in Europe, you know, there's a border on every country, but you're saying it's, anyone can go pretty much anywhere. It's just a matter of money and where they want to get the most.

Lieven (26m 12s):

And within the European Union It is, of course, if you have Shanghai, I'm not sure if you know the deal, the Shanghai agreement.

Joel (26m 19s):

So the UK is proper fucked for their immigration policy is what you're saying?

Chad (26m 23s):

Or royally, fucked.

Lieven (26m 27s):

I think they really are fucked. I'm sure the Scottish guy, you were talking about Adam what's his name, had a good reason to vote for the Brexit. If you did so I'm sure.

Scotsman (26m 38s):

Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is if it's no Scottish it's crap!

Joel (26m 43s):

So how much do you, how much? So in the U S obviously we talk a lot about unemployment benefits and a lot of, you know, COVID and healthcare childcare. It sounds like from some of the articles, I read that furloughs workers being furloughed and staying home was still an issue? That ends in September. What are your thoughts on sort of the furloughs ending and how that will impact people going back to work?

Scotsman (27m 3s):

And what's the furlough.

Joel (27m 4s):

So for others, when you're paid to stop work, like you go home, you know, you're furloughed, so you can go home and you're still paid by the government in this case.

Lieven (27m 12s):

No, of course. Well, we have people making a career out of it. For example, turnkey generation furloughs, how do you say it's? Our social security is dead goods that some people can make the most out of it, which is a problem. Yeah. Once again, I love our social security. We need it, and that's a good thing, but in some cases, people take advantage from it and they shouldn't.

Chad (27m 36s):

Well let's transition over into remote workers real quick, because, you know, obviously there's a huge shift in all these jobs that we were told for years that you could never do from home. And guess what COVID came and everybody could magically do them from home. And now they don't want to go back to the office. Is anyone surprised? And how big of an issue is this going to be for Europe? Are companies going to force people back into the office or are they going to focus on more hybrid and autonomy?

Lieven (28m 12s):

Well, I can't speak for the whole of Europe here and I can't speak for every company, but my impression is that's companies, as well as employees are discovering the benefits. Because for example, there's a major telecom company in Belgium, and they announced they're going to close down half of their offices because it turned out people could actually work from home. And they liked working from home and they were as productive as before. So they're just are going to stop renting all those offices, which is a good thing for both parties. So I think in many cases, people will, it will be hybrids. It's a cliche, but people will work a few days from home and a few days at the office. They'll be at the office when needed.

Lieven (28m 52s):

They work from home home when possible. I, for myself, used to have a commute of four hours a day, which is totally ridiculous.

Chad (29m 1s):


Lieven (29m 3s):

Yeah. And it was the only moment when I was able to listen to your podcast so I don't do it anymore. I made the most out of it. I was sitting in my car, listening to Chad and Cheese, and I learned a lot really along the routes, but I'm positive about it. It's going to be good thing.

Joel (29m 22s):

It's definitely going to have a European flavor, right? So the right to disconnect is now a thing and in the news as well. So the pandemic has left workers, especially burnt out. So addressing the problem has never been more critical. Ireland is trying to do just that with what they're calling the right to disconnect legislation. As of April 7th, Irish workers have the right to not routinely perform work outside normal working hours, will not be penalized for refusing to attend to work matters out of hours and they'll have a duty to respect another person's right to disconnect. This is unfathomable, found unfathomable in America.

Joel (30m 5s):

What's up with right to disconnect? Are we into this?

Lieven (30m 8s):

I think it's obvious. You're right to disconnect. The moment you step into your car. Let's I don't see the difference really before COVID If you were at the office, you were connected and then you left the office, you got your car, we drove home, and then you were disconnected. And now you just start working from home and during office hours, you're connected. And after office hours, you'll just stop being connected. And if you're swimming, well you won't answer your phone.

Joel (30m 35s):

What a European mentality. That would not fly here.

Lieven (30m 39s):

They're talking about the four days a week working week, and then we'll get there. In Belgium people are asking for it as well. Yeah. So I guess not being connected as a, yeah,

Joel (30m 51s):

Certainly first appeared in France in 2016, Italy in '17 in Spain in '18. So this is a concept that's definitely taking hold of the continent.

Chad (31m 0s):

Trying to stay in the normal context of office hours is kind of like where we have the issue because many individuals work better at different times. And the kids come home, maybe the kids come home, you know, like at three, 3:00 PM. I don't want to take any email at that time. I want to take them after six. Right. As long as I'm getting my project done and I'm doing my work, I should, you shouldn't have to tell me what time to get it done, unless I have to obviously be on the zoom call. So I think it's the autonomy and the flexibility that is the issue here.

Joel (31m 35s):

It's also your, your level of level, whatever your title is, right? Like, I'm sure, you know, if you're a manager or developer, you know, you're not going to be expected to answer a text or a message at nine o'clock at night. Whereas if you're an SVP or a President, I think you're expected to be there in most cases. I mean, I've been on vacation and been hit up in the past and expected to answer and have a conversation.

Lieven (31m 59s):

I'm going on holidays, the fourth of July, and I will bring my laptop, of course. And if someone needs me, I will, they will be able to reach me. But it's normal. I mean, if you're very ambitious, you work hard and your work more than you strictly shoot, just to make a difference. We have other people working less hard, and that is the basis of your career. I guess I always tell my students, it's the first five years, which will make the difference when you have to work much harder. And then you stick out of the crowds and you'll get recognized and you'll be promoted probably and then you'll grow. I still remember an interview with a top manager from a big bank. And they asked him, you are the CEO of a major bank or financial institution.

Lieven (32m 42s):

You'll probably be work day and night. He said, no, I don't hell no. I used to work day and night when I was just graduating. But no, I'm the CEO no one tells me what to do whatever is right. And I'm sure they have many meetings, probably, if there is a big problem, they have to be there and they take responsibility.

Joel (33m 1s):

It's really hard to tell your boss, I'm not going to answer you because I am practicing my right to disconnect.

Lieven (33m 9s):

You don't have to call it the right to disconnect. It's just nonsense. If your boss is an asshole, he's going to call you each five times at 11 o'clock in the night. Change bosses. But my boss, for example, I think she's been my boss now for five years, she may be called me five times in those five years after let's say 8:00 and there was really a problem. It's not more and I know if she calls, I will answer because it will be important. But she won't call when it's not necessary. And it's a matter of respect. You just respect your colleagues, your employees, your boss, whatever you don't, you don't call them.

Joel (33m 46s):

That's the difference Europeans have a respect for each other. Americans not so much.

Chad (33m 51s):

Question is will Europeans respect Facebook's new watch. That's the Question.

5 (33m 57s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Chad (33m 59s):

Facebook is trying their damnedest to get into the hardware game again. Remember the Facebook phone?

Lieven (34m 5s):


Chad (34m 6s):

Me neither.

Joel (34m 7s):

Do you remember the HTC Facebook button where you just pushed a button and you got on, right.

Chad (34m 12s):

It was so fucking bad.

Joel (34m 13s):

And portal. Who's got a portal in their house?

Chad (34m 16s):

Oh, this looks cool. I mean, if you're into Fortnight, Celibacy and Cheeto dust, it looks off awesome. Wearables with cameras?

Joel (34m 23s):

And Vertigo apparently is a thing with Oculus.

Chad (34m 27s):

That's a spyware catastrophe waiting to happen.

Lieven (34m 29s):

Exactly. Why would you need a watch with a camera on it's? I mean, it's looking for trouble.

Chad (34m 35s):

To take selfies.

Lieven (34m 36s):

You've got your iPhone with two or three cameras on it already. So whenever someone is doing something stupid, you'll be able to film it. No worries. Why do you need a watch?

Chad (34m 45s):

Face book is doing everything they can to get into hardware because they're afraid. I mean, th they don't own quote unquote, the hardware side of the house, right? So anybody can do whatever they want to their app whenever they need whenever they want to. Right? Right.

Joel (34m 58s):

Apple is an existential threat, as well as Google with Android to Facebook. And I think that we're seeing that in two ways. One is the percentage of money that Apple takes from apps. And the other is Apple saying, you know what, if you don't want to be tracked by an app, then you can, you can deny that in our phone. And let's be honest that Facebook exists because they can track your behavior and what you do online. If they can't do that, their ability to make money is challenged to say the least. So they are trying desperately to get into hardware. They'd much rather you wear the Facebook watch and be able to take pictures and upload directly to Instagram.

Joel (35m 41s):

Then you use an iPhone. Yeah. That's just the battle they're fighting.

Lieven (35m 44s):

If that's the case, then they are probably right. And I will never, ever allow such a watch in my home.

Joel (35m 52s):

Why wouldn't they call it the Instagram phone? Because at least that's a relatively cool brand, as opposed to Facebook, which nobody younger than 20 wants to be a part of.

Lieven (36m 1s):

True maybe.

Chad (36m 2s):

I still think you can see through that pretty easily. Not to mention, I mean, Instagram doesn't quite have, the traction that Facebook has had, but overall, I think anything coming out of Facebook right now is toxic. It doesn't matter what it is. It is toxic. Other than again, if you like playing Fortnite, Celibacy and Cheeto dust, you want an Oculus? Right. So other than that, I think you're good.

Joel (36m 28s):

Facebook and privacy in Europe is a huge deal though. I mean, we talk about in the U S but I don't think we act particularly from a government standpoint as you guys do. I mean, it's a huge issue there.

Lieven (36m 37s):

Yeah, you still don't have a GDPR in the U S.

Chad (36m 40s):

We do not.

Lieven (36m 41s):

None at all. Nothing at all.

Joel (36m 42s):

Probably never will.

Lieven (36m 44s):

Okay. And that's the way it was actually executed. It was terrible. I mean, GDPR it's a terrible law in my opinion. And, and it's made many consultants, very rich and it's deadened and the least influenced the amount of spam I get. So people are now constantly having to push the button. I consent to accept cookies or bla bla bla, and yet they do so nothing's changed, but at least the government's rights to make those big companies behave. And I was having a conversation with my boss to see, oh, how's a big picture about probably privacy will be a luxury. You have to pay for privacy. And it's already the case. If you want to accept commercials done, Spotify is free.

Lieven (37m 28s):

If you don't want commercials, you have to pay. So it's not only about accepting commercials, it's about not selling your own data. So if you want to keep your own data to yourself, you'll have to pay. You'll have to buy a brand like an iPhone, which will block it. And maybe the Facebook watch will be cheaper and they will constantly follow you around and weave stuff like TikTok on it. I think it's terrible. It's possible.

Chad (37m 51s):

You still have to trust the company. And that is just, that's a bridge too far. And we're in a paradox right now, unfortunately, because we have a bunch of politicians who don't even know how to spell AI, let alone what the fuck it does. Right? So overall, overall, we are screwed because we know that the, we can't trust the organizations, we can't trust Facebook to actually manage itself, to be able to regulate itself. We can't trust them. There's no fucking way I will ever trust them to do that. But I can't also think of Louis Goldberg or whatever the fuck that dude's name is here in our edge of the world who even know how to spell AI.

Chad (38m 37s):

I mean, that's kind of like the paradoxical situation that we're in right now and it sucks.

Joel (38m 40s):

And it's as a general idea, how do you guys feel about wearables? I mean, smart glasses, ear phones, watches, does anything work? It feels like the ear thing could, will be a thing. Like, you know, we'll be talking to a virtual girlfriends, like Joaquin Phoenix in the movie, Her. I mean, VR, AR ears, eyes, wrists. Does it, does any of it work for you guys or not? I don't have a watch. I use headphones, of course. I don't have smart glasses.

Lieven (39m 7s):

I do have an apple watch and I never use it, never, because the bloody thing keeps telling me stuff I don't want to know. And it it's intrusive and it's basically it's ugly, but I bought it because of the hype one day but it was it about those wearables, like Google glasses, maybe, in specific surroundings, if you're a mechanic and you're looking at a difficult machine, or you can use glasses to see the manual why not? There's a case.

Chad (39m 37s):


Lieven (39m 38s):

Yeah. But just in my home, watching the wall, from Google glasses, seeing something, nobody else can see. Why should I?

Joel (39m 45s):

So it sounds like until we get our Elon Musk brain chip, all these wearables are going to fail.

Lieven (39m 51s):

I'll do guys feel about the Elon Musk, I mean in Europe we think he should be our president, but yeah.

Chad (39m 58s):

Yeah. That is a one crazy motherfucker.

Joel (40m 2s):

President of Europe. That sounds about right.

Chad (40m 4s):

You know, if you guys actually had him as a, you know, like president of the EU or something like that, you guys could actually catch up to those three to five years you're behind.

Joel (40m 15s):

I think Facebook wristwatches will be a thing before Europe becomes unified. And with that, the first one is in the books. Chad, Lieven thanks for joining us.

Chad, Joel and Lieven (40m 26s):

We out

OUTRO (41m 22s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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