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The Remote Work Revolution (Ep. 30)

with Tony Jamous, CEO and Founder, Oyster

Remote work is not a trend but a necessity for the future economy.

With a staggering number of jobs going unfilled in the West and a massive influx of knowledge workers from emerging economies, it's obvious that embracing a global talent pool is essential. Remote work breaks down barriers, offering companies access to diverse skills and individuals the freedom to contribute from anywhere.

“I 100% believe that the future of work is remote and distributed. First, there are macroeconomic forces that we cannot fight. Eighty-five million jobs are going unfulfilled in the West, according to BCG. That's an 8.5 trillion economic loss, around 10 percent of the world economy,” says Tony Jamous, CEO and Founder of Oyster.



Tony Jamous CEO of Oyster

In this episode of LEARN, Tony explains why modern companies should seriously consider shifting to remote work to continue operating successfully. He also discusses managing and hiring employees from around the world remotely and determining proper compensation through AI.

Key takeaways:

  • Taking care of yourself as a leader allows you to take care of your team better
  • Working remotely can benefit the health of employees and the environment
  • Understanding how to manage the mental health effects of remote work is key to sustainable leadership

Tune in on your favorite podcast app to understand what your company can gain from going remote.

Timestamps

[01:44] Being a sustainable CEO

[03:11] Aligning personal goals with one’s purpose

[09:07] The environmental benefits of remote work

[14:01] Understanding energy management

[18:58] Dealing with loneliness when working from home

[21:58] Managing employees who prefer other work arrangements

[25:56] Being transparent with remote work in hiring

[30:09] LEARN Rapid-fire round

Transcript

Tony Jamous: I believe 100 percent that the future of work is remote and distributed. First, there are, there are macroeconomical forces that we cannot fight. There are 85 million jobs going unfulfilled in the West. That's according to BCG, that's 8. 5 trillion economical loss, around 10 percent of world economy.

At the same time, you have over a billion knowledge workers coming into the workforce in the next 10 years, mostly from emerging economies. And today with learning and development tools that you know best that we know that this learning can happen anywhere. You don't have to be in a certain place. To learn and grow and collaborate and communicate.

Ted Blosser: Welcome to the LEARN podcast, where we interview top leaders in tech and learn about how they're building the world's most innovative companies. I'm Ted Blosser, CEO and Co-Founder of WorkRamp, the world's first learning cloud platform. Our mission is to help professionals reach their full potential through learning, and the LEARN podcast is where we can learn from the best leaders at the top of their game.

Please subscribe, leave us a rating, and we hope you enjoy the episode.

Hey, what's up, everybody. Welcome back to the LEARN podcast. We have a great guest on today. Tony Jamous Founder and CEO at Oyster. I don't know if you've heard of him. I was excited to have him on. He is prolific online. He writes a lot of great content, leads an amazing company and Tony, we're excited to have you on.

Thanks for coming.

Tony Jamous: Ted, thank you for having me here. I'm excited to be talking to you today.

Ted Blosser: I always like to start off with a quick elevator pitch on both you. And oyster. So go ahead.

Tony Jamous: So, um, myself, I'm originally from Lebanon, moved to France when I was a teenager, studied computer science. 13 years ago, I started my first unicorn company, was an API business, that was sold to Ericsson, uh, a few years ago. and more recently I started Oyster in January 2020. As a mission-driven business, we are a company on a mission to make the world more equal and free by removing the barriers to global employment.

So, uh, that's what we do. We, are an employed global employment platform that helps you or any company to employ with great competitiveness, amazing talent around the world and scale your compliance over 180 countries.

Ted Blosser: You know, we talked in the pre-call, a little bit about your title, sustainable CEO and sustainability, and you just touched upon it a little bit in terms of being mission-driven, explain to the audience what that really means. I even like to learn more myself, about how you approach sustainability, and then we'll jump into the core content.

Tony Jamous: Sure.

Sustainable leadership for me is an approach to leadership that first and foremost, you lead yourself. You take care of yourself as a leader, you are in good physical, mental health, uh, you're in good state in your life, and then from there, you can take care of others, uh, you can take care of your team, you can take care of your business, and then you can take care of the planet.

And in our case, uh, we have designed the culture at Oyster to be flexible, fully distributed. We are hyper diverse organization from 80 countries. We have 600 people from 80 countries. All coming together to build this amazing, uh, mission-driven business. and part of sustainable work is actually remote work.

Just think about the environmental impact of commuting to the office. Remote workers working from home. they consume half of the CO2 emission of people commuting to the office. So if you really wanna be a sustainable business, you need to. Think seriously about creating more flexible options and creating work that works for people, but also doesn't hurt the planet.

Ted Blosser: I know I'm going a little, little off track here, but I'm really curious. Was that something that hit you while you were at Nexmo where you were maybe the opposite in an unsustainable pattern and then it hit you towards the end of that time with after you're acquired? Or when was the realization, what was the aha moment for you?

Or have you always had that, personally?

Tony Jamous: you got it right, Ted. Uh, my previous CEO, hyper-growth startup experience was, uh, was extremely difficult on me personally. I was burned out for years. I wasn't even aware of it. I had the opportunity and, uh, the chance to take one year off between these two jobs. And I was committed to address some of these emotional challenges I was facing.

And, uh, and that led me to my purpose. That led me to realize that I am, uh, here on this planet to build oyster and, uh, I had to go through, mental health treatment. I had to go through, uh, lots of. self searching retreats and, uh, uh, remember when I finished one of the retreats in November 2019, uh, uh, my guide told me, you know, don't take any important decision next day.

I went next day at an incorporated oyster and I knew that this is what my path is. and over time I realized that actually, this tool, this method of clarifying on purpose is something infinite. It's something that every time I, every, every period of my life, every six months, I get insights about why I'm here and fine tune, uh, the reason why I exist as an entrepreneur and I go after it.

I really actively, try and move towards that direction, that insight that I got. And, uh, one of my latest insights was, well, it's about sustainable leadership. this is why I'm doing what I'm doing. And that's why I went, you know, a few weeks later and relaunched my social media platform from remote work CEO to sustainable CEO.

Ted Blosser: You rarely see such strong alignment of personal interest and, company, business objectives. And even, even me personally, I actually admit that we have a learning company here at WorkRamp. I didn't come from a lineage of teachers. I was never really involved in education.

I was more of a SaaS expert looking for opportunities. And I've grown to love it and grown to love the customers, but I love where you're coming from, where you have such a strong tie of kind of your personal desire to your company mission. And I think those are the founders who have, um, and you see the most famous ones, right?

The Elons and Jeff Bezos of the world. Like that's where the strong alignment, can create the best outcome. So I'm excited that we have a founder like you out in the market, doing something they really love. I want to talk about. Remote work. We're going to spend the most, most of our time helping the audience understand how to do remote work in the best and most sustainable way possible.

So I'll start with a broad question and you can take it where you want. Give us your high-level views on remote work, your philosophy around it.

Tony Jamous: I believe 100 percent that the future of work is remote and distributed. first there are, there are macroeconomical forces that we cannot fight. 85 million jobs are going unfulfilled in the West. That's according to BCG, that's 8. a 5 trillion economic loss, around 10 percent of world economy.

At the same time, you have over a billion knowledge workers coming into the workforce in the next 10 years, mostly from emerging economies. And today with learning and development tools that you know best that we know that this learning can happen anywhere. You don't have to be in a certain place. To learn and grow and collaborate and communicate.

These are the forces that are driving, this adoption of global hiring today and remote work. so it is better for business because businesses can, can find better talent and, much faster talent. Uh, because they're not hiring only in 20-mile radius from their office.

They're hiring globally. The world is their oyster when they're looking for best talent. it is also great for business because it enables a massive amount of diversity. I mean, at Oyster, we are in 80 countries from over a hundred nationalities. we are gender equal in the business, so we have this.

The planetary level diversity, we know how much diversity is critical for your productivity, financial performance and great culture. so it is great for business, but it's also amazing for people. It's amazing for people because it gives them freedom and flexibility to live where they want to live.

First and foremost, if you don't want to live in crowded, expensive cities, like you don't have to. I had the opportunity to move to the island of Cyprus two and a half years ago, after living 25 years in Paris, London, and San Francisco, could call Cyprus home and, and it's just different, amazing lifestyle.

it gives them the freedom to do, to, to actually integrate better their life with their work. I when I used to, in my previous company, when I used to commute to the office, uh, the CEO, uh, I could. Never see my, I had a small child back then, uh, Sarah, she was very, you know, zero and three and I could only see her over the weekend and, uh, I committed to myself, that's not what I want.

I don't know, I have three children and, uh, like you, Ted, it's a commitment for me to them that I want to be there for them. I want to be able to pick them from school. I want to be able to have them in the afternoon after school if I, if I want to, so it's great for people, the freedom and flexibility, which leads to higher level of engagement, uh, at Oyster, we, uh, we measure engagement on, on a quarterly basis, twice a quarter, Uh, despite the fact that we had to do two painful reorganization this year, uh, Glassdoor voted as one of the top 25 companies in technology to work for.

So, so it's great for business because it's great higher engagement. And finally, as you discussed earlier, it's great for the planet. And not only remote workers, consume half of CO2 emission of what a, uh, office worker would consume. but secondly, think about this opportunity of dispersing people around the planet.

The more you spread these nine, soon 10 billion people on this, uh, scarce, piece of land called earth, the less you reduce their, their impact, on the planet. And you kind of dilute their impact on the planet. And that's also really important, as we think about the future of work, mean, moving to the office, it might be needed in certain cases, like, you know, let's, let's not be extremist here.

you know, if you, if you have to go to the office for a specific reason, sure, why not? Uh, it is also important for social connection to meet in person. Uh, like we, we have to accept that, uh, uh, remote work is different kind of work that has a lot of advantages, but also has some, some, some challenges, such as isolation, such as social connection.

So you have to find ways to address this. there is no reason why today to get stuff done, uh, you have to commute two hours a day to congested city. and be even less productive in the office.

Ted Blosser: you get a chance to listen to that? Uh, I don't know if you listen a lot of podcasts, but that new Jeff Bezos interview, the, uh, that he just did.

Tony Jamous: I skipped this one. Can you remind

Ted Blosser: So he had, so this was just last week. So it's pretty new, but he talks a lot about one population growth, which is exactly what you talked about, except he said a trillion people, not nine to 10 We will soon be at hopefully a trillion people in the future, but he just made a great point is that the, it's a fact that the earth will continue to degrade as population increases.

You hit the nail on the head as like, Hey, with remote work, you fix the job opening problem, labor shortage problem while making the world more sustainable. And it's in the short term, we're going to hit nine to 10 billion. Right. and you're, you're doing your part to say, Hey, how can we have a more sustainable.

Uh, future while driving great business results. thanks for, uh, enumerating through the benefits of remote work, but I actually want to get your tips on. How to realize those benefits as well. Cause I think that's the hardest part for people is like, all right, I bought in on the benefits.

I know it's great for. employee morale, great for the, for the world, um, from a sustainability perspective, but I'm struggling with how to do it. And one of the questions I want to ask you about is actually you did a post. I looked it up this morning. Um, again, you had up to 14, 000 likes on this post on LinkedIn.

So it's a popular one and you talked a lot about schedules and I even struggle with this, um, with our own team, which is fully remote, what's your viewpoint on the tactics around schedules? And how do you balance schedules with, with essentially every company wants max productivity. How do you, how do you balance those two together?

Tony Jamous: uh, great question that max productivity also depends on optimal energy levels, right? So if you are overworked and you don't take frequent breaks and you are, reactive and stressed emotionally at work, and that's what happens in office situations. then even though you're present in person, you're not at peak productivity.

Remote work does give you the opportunity, uh, I call it flexible work, does give you the opportunity to address these inefficiencies at work, right? So you can manage your energy better. At Oyster, on Friday, we don't have internal meetings, we call it Focus Friday. And, and that enabled us to, catch up on the week, go into the weekend and not work.

So that Monday we are fresh and excited to go back to work. we default to asynchronous communication and collaboration so that in when I'm in meeting, I already have consumed the content ahead of time. I have reacted to bad news. I have processed the reaction and I come calm and run reactive. I put my supportive mindset instead of snapping on people in the middle of the meeting, And we've seen many CEOs do that, and that creates a culture of fear, as a result, start, start creating impact on engagement. and I have to, I have to say, lastly, is you have to make it work for you as a leader, right? So you need to be the biggest advocate for remote work because It's okay to be selfish on these things.

If your productivity is the same, why not you as a leader enjoy the benefit of living where you want to live and be able to go to the doctor without feeling guilty and spend more time with your children at the moment that matters to them. So, so there shouldn't be any shame or guilt from taking care of yourself as a leader because going back to sustainable leadership, if you take care of yourself as a leader, then your team is going to feel better.

If I burn out, my team is going to burn out. If I send them an email at 2 a.m. in the morning, they're going to, every time I send them a Slack message, they're going to get anxious, right? Their stress level is going to go up completely unnecessarily doesn't help nobody.

Ted Blosser: I want to dive into this concept. You, you, you remind me of something, uh, uh, fellow entrepreneur told me, he said, Ted, I don't, I was asking about time management at a personal level. He's like, I don't manage my time. I manage my energy. And you said, you just said something really, really important about energy management.

Can you tell us about like. Even at a personal level or more visceral level, what's energy management for you as a CEO of a 600 plus person company. Now, what's that look like? Because I want people to learn, like, Hey, can we apply this to ourselves? Um, as well,

Tony Jamous: Yeah, so energy management for me is a lot about emotional management, right? So I don't want to feel, I want to manage my anxiety levels and I want to be aware of what triggers that anxiety level and build a system around it. So it's not as triggered as, as before. So let me give you examples. I have frequent breaks in my calendar, where I, I do whatever I need to do, check emails, respond to Slack, so that when the next meeting comes, I'm not like, uh, back to back and losing, uh, uh, losing my energy there.

Another example is I do play, uh, music in between Zoom calls to help me Recharge. I tend to go for walks doing calls as well. There's some calls. I do them walking here near the sea in Cyprus. but also I think for me personally, I am unusual in a way that time stresses me out. Just looking at my calendar, you know, And being pressured by time, uh, feeling that I'm late, uh, is, is something that stresses me out.

So actually I have outsourced my time management to my assistant and my chief of staff. I just follow what is on my calendar, uh, and, uh, I tend to live, uh, maximize my time in the moment. I do have at the end of the day, uh, or early in the morning to To, to, to check what is coming up in a day, but, uh, I don't have to worry too much about my schedule, uh, because, uh, my relationship to my time is a bit, uh, is a bit, uh, complicated.

Ted Blosser:

Hey, everyone. I want to take a quick commercial break and tell you about the company that produces this podcast. I co-founded WorkRamp back in 2015, and our mission has always been the same, to help professionals reach their full potential through learning. As part of that mission, we built the world's first learning cloud, an all in one platform for your employee, partner, and customer learning needs.

If your company is looking for a learning management system, also known in the industry as an LMS, We'd love to talk to you. You can reach us at our website, workramp.com, or you can even email me directly at Ted at WorkRamp. com and I'll get you in touch with our team. Hope you're enjoying the episode and back to the show.

Out of all the things you just mentioned, I think the resounding thing is you have strong awareness. Of your energy levels. I think that's what a lot of us, especially when we didn't have the concept of flexible work, it was like, I'm just going to the office. I'm just doing the grind again. And you don't get the chance to step back and have that awareness because it's, it's so rigid, it's fixed for you, but it sounds like you have created such flexibility in your schedule.

That you give yourself the awareness that you could do these things. And is that playing music yourself or listening music? What were you referencing?

Tony Jamous: Playing music.

Ted Blosser: Oh, play music. Well, what's the, what's the instrument,

Tony Jamous: I play the guitar, I'm learning the guitar since, uh, March this year and I'm obsessed

Ted Blosser: but the kids love it. I bet the kids love it. Okay. So, uh, an activity to express creativity. That's, that's so great to hear.

Tony Jamous: Yeah. And I have to say, Ted, I just want to add here that, uh, Look, we, we know that, uh, there are, mental health burnout challenges in office or in remote work. They are different from why they trigger us to a certain extent. But what is unique about remote work is the feeling of isolation. You're not in the office.

So essentially you're not getting this emotional, physical signals, even at a hormonal level that you are supported. So, so sometimes you start, you start feeling that you are alone in this. and that increases the chances of burnout. So that's why at Oyster, we have a, a culture that is supporting the mental health of our teams.

We have a mental, ch mental health cha, uh, channel. Uh, we have a therapist option for people. We have meditation, uh, weekly meditation classes, what I realized myself is working remotely for the last four years now, fully remotely, uh, had led me to, to accelerate my emotional growth, uh, because I had to deal with this emotion on my own and, uh, that enabled me to really have to take a step back and, and, and reflect on why I'm having these feelings and help me to really accelerate my emotional growth.

Ted Blosser: Up a really good topic. I, and I'll, I'll be vulnerable here for a second too, is The thing that I've, I'm a remote, remote work convert or flexible work convert where we used to be in the office and then we went remote first after the pandemic and the number one thing I struggle with is loneliness, during the work week weekends are fine.

Cause I got the family running. I got too much to do on the weekends, but during the work week, I get lonely in the sense that like, I get really stir crazy being in my office here. And I was having this debate with an executive internally, just, just last week. I was like, is this on the employer to solve?

Like how far can an employer actually help with that problem? Cause it's really a PR like everyone gets lonely in a different way. Like if I go do a lunch with a friend on a week, on a, during a week, I'm fine. The rest of the week is like, I need one hour outlet. I'm good, but everyone is different.

Some people might need a happy hour. Some people might need constant engagement. the question I want to ask you is. What role, and you gave some examples there, but how far do you think employers should go? in terms of battling loneliness, which is a side effect of all these great benefits of flexible work.

So where should an employer, instill themselves?

Tony Jamous: I don't think there's a limit to that. It depends on each company and how much this, how much you care about how people feel working in this organization is a question. and I believe companies, organizations should do everything they can to make sure people feel great being here. think for me though, it was, it was.

A forcing function to learn how to be with myself. And as I used to go to the office, you know, always from meeting to meeting, to after work events, uh, breakfast meetings, uh, you know, all these things that we used to do when we used to meet the office, like I didn't, I didn't have time for myself and now I have, I'm like, sometimes I'm alone.

So I have to spend time with myself. So what do I do? So I start learning how to appreciate. being alone, playing music helped, uh, uh, having other hobbies on the side. Uh, I live here near a natural reserve called the Akamas, uh, where I just go in nature. I would say remote work has, again, has accelerated my, my emotional growth.

[00:21:59] Ted Blosser: Yeah, that's a great point. Learn how to be with yourself. And As I'm getting close to 40 here, you realize as you get older, you're probably spending more and more time alone, especially as your kids grow up. But it's a, it's a interesting skill to learn. And even, even here at, when I get stir crazy, I'm turning on the TV just to make it feel like I'll put on Bloomberg just to make it feel like someone's in the room, but it's a hard skill to learn, especially for.

The younger generation as well, which they, they grew up in such a social environment and they're, they're kind of forced to do this earlier in their career. Whereas, um, you and I probably have a lot more, um, experience to kind of learn from, um, as well. let me ask you, um, a tough question.

This, this kind of goes a little bit more in this transitory period right now. And I'm curious how, what you suggest to. Uh, CXOs and people leaders, and we even struggle with this at WorkRamp where during the pandemic, you had a lot of companies who are now bought in on flexible work and they move full time there.

And they're probably not going to go in the return to office or RTO format, but they have a subset of their employees now who are, I would call caught stuck in no man's land. Like they like the company. But they don't necessarily prefer flexible work full time. So you have this group of employees that didn't opt in into, into flexible work and maybe prefer the, the other ways of working.

This is a hard question to answer, but I'm curious to get your take. Do you think this is going to be a long-term problem? And if so, how would you recommend to, to solve it?

Tony Jamous: So you start with the principle of discriminating nobody, and you want to make everybody feel included. So if you have two population, one population that want to work from the office, one population want to work outside the office, then you want to default to the common denominator that makes everybody feel like equal, and you're not getting an advantage from going to the office. for instance, you have to adopt remote work best practices, even if you are, if you have some part of the population going to the office. So we have to default to a sink. You have to prepare the meeting, you have to be intentional about the culture, you have to make sure that people take care of themselves.

So we have to be clear about, uh, uh, how do you set goals and what does success look like? Uh, you have to intentionally build trust. So these are the foundation of a strong remote work culture. And it is a common denominator that makes everybody successful, whether you're in the office or not. But at least you have a common way of working that works for everybody.

My recommendation, to create that system that supports everybody and default to the common denominator of collaboration and communication.

Ted Blosser: Have you ever had people who opt in into flexible work? Let's say it's their first time saying, Hey, I think I want this, right? They opt in and they do it for a little while and they say, this is not for me. That happened to you? How do you approach those conversations with, uh, team members like that?

Um, I'm curious if that, if that's something that has, has happened to you personally.

Tony Jamous: Yeah, it has happened to us. I do have, uh, full respect to individual preferences and, uh, the world is very diverse. We are unique human beings like to, to a very, very accurate degree. Um, so I do believe in these, in these, uh, massive differences of preferences and opinion. what I would just question, is that the real reason or there's other reasons that could biases of view of the person and not let them try to adopt a new way of working effectively, right?

So, uh, we do tend to, we do that. We all do that. I do that. We tend to sometimes externalize the issues that we're experiencing internally. And if I say we are, we missed our targets. We started in a job first quarter missile target. This happened to be a food remote company. at the same time, I'm trying to hit my target.

I'm trying to learn this new way of working.

And so it becomes confusing. What led to what? And it would be really hard. Correlation in that case does not necessarily mean causality. but our mind tend to, justify and, and, uh, uh, and, and find, uh, Ways to make things rational for us, uh, and be able to communicate it.

but there are cases where it is absolutely a personal preference. and I do a hundred percent respect that.

Ted Blosser: You know, at the top of the call, you talked about hiring and one thing, one thing we've learned is be very explicit about the culture and the processes. And it sounds like you guys have a very good, uh, opinion of how you want to run your workplace. But I think a good tip is bring that in, into the interview and hiring process.

Make it explicit so that people opt in. I think the last thing you want to do is, is make it opaque and they're not sure what they're opting in for. Uh, but what's great is you have so much content online. They could just do a little bit of research and they'll figure out what they're doing, uh, if they join Oyster.

Tony Jamous: And actually, Ted, I want to say, I want to say that, uh, uh, because we adopted this open source approach to how we work. Uh, we have, uh, content online called The Reef, which describe how our own operating system, the tools and the rules, how do we build trust, how do we take care of ourself, why we are remote, it's been adopted by other companies as well, uh, feel free to copy paste that it's, it's, uh, free resources for everybody and what we, what we've seen because we have promoted ourself and really we're clear and open about how we work.

We became a talent magnet when we used to, when we used to hire a lot of people. Uh, a couple of years ago, we used to receive 15,000 job application per month for a company that is barely eight, two years old. people from all around the world, they're looking for companies, not not only remote companies, but companies that can make them successful.

No matter what they are. And by showing this is how we work. This is how we're going to make you successful no matter where you live. Boom. We became a talent magnet.

Ted Blosser: I love that. And, and, uh, you've seen other companies try to adopt that approach, like the get labs of the world, and, uh, Zapier. And I love how you guys are leading the charge. And, and even with your Oyster university, which is super cool to teach people how to do that. I want to go to the rapid-fire round in a second, but I do want to ask a question, which is a technology question, which is usually top of mind for, we talked to similar customers is the tech stack is confusing in this, in your category for a lot of our, our personal customers and buyers.

There's a lot of technology at play that can enable flexible and sustainable work. Tell us why Oyster Is different in the focus you want to have over three, the next three to five years to be differentiated from a technology standpoint to people leaders and CXOs

Tony Jamous: Yeah, so we are 100 percent committed to our mission to make the world more equal and free, which means that, any product we launch is going to fall in, uh, in these two strategic dimensions. One is about enabling company to be talent competitive around the world. So not because you are Mohamed in Morocco that you don't deserve a great employee experience, a fair employment contract, a fair compensation, equity, localized benefits that are meaningful to you.

And secondly, uh, the second dimension is how can we scale your HR compliance so that the world that you look at looks like one country for you and not 180 countries. that's through software automation, more increasingly AI. We were the first to launch AI in August. Uh, this year, and we have a patent pending technology, uh, that we use to take all these employment compliance stuff around the world and integrate them into the way we scale our, our platform.

Ted Blosser: As reading your posts about AI and employment law. Could you imagine asking Oyster? Hey, I'm about to hire in this country. What do I need to do? It's just, it's just, I don't know if that's exactly how the new product works, Tony, but is that, is that almost how it works? Just, you ask the questions and it tells you exactly what you need to do.

[00:30:25] Tony Jamous: Yeah. It guides you through the process and it asks you the right questions. You know, uh, Uh, we have tools that we are, uh, we are increasingly launching that guides you towards, you know, uh, how do you pay somebody fairly? What is, what is fair pay for Mary in Athens? She's five years experience, upper developer.

this is the kind of tool that we're bringing to market increasingly.

Ted Blosser: And you save us 1, 100 with our employment lawyer, uh, right there with that question. All right. Learn rapid-fire round. This is where I'm going to go through three questions. There'll be, uh, learning related as the name of this podcast goes. First question I'll ask you, and these will just be short answers, uh, that we're looking for.

What's one podcast book or blog that's top of mind for you right now that you could share with the audience?

Tony Jamous: A book that I read in 2009 when I was at business school was called Leadership and Self Deception. It is a book that I give to everyone I work with, to read because it transforms the way you relate to your co-workers.

Ted Blosser: Great recommendation. Next question. I have, we talked a lot about flexible work, but I'm going to put that to, to the side for a second. What's another big HR trend that you were super excited about outside of flexible work?

Tony Jamous: Well, I, I cannot not say global employment, uh, is what I'm excited about. We, we have 85 million jobs going unfulfilled in the West, and there are a billion old workers in emerging economies ready to jump on them. So, your next hire is, is outside of your country.

Ted Blosser: Love that. Love that. And yeah, I encourage everyone, especially, uh, and you have really great economics there as well, too. And especially as people are pushing for efficiency, take, take Tony's advice. There's is a higher globally. All right. Last tip. This is for our heads of HR aspiring. People leaders, what's one tip you would give to people leaders as they're growing in their career?

Tony Jamous: Remember why you're here. You're, you're, you're here not to, address. Administrative taxes are important, but you're here to take care of the people and make sure that, uh, whatever processes and system you place are in the service of your team members.

Ted Blosser: That's great to hear. And that's exactly when you're talking about your, uh, engagement surveys is you have such a strong focus on your employees and it definitely shows. Tony, thanks so much for being here today. This is an amazing conversation. I think the audience is going to learn a ton from you. Best of luck with all things, uh, Oyster.

And I'm looking forward to connecting again soon.

Tony Jamous: Thank you, Ted, for having me. That was a fun conversation.