Eurofound Talks - A podcast series

Image to represent Eurofound Talks - A podcast series

Welcome to Eurofound Talks:
A podcast series tackling key topics related to living and working in Europe today

Drawing on the insight of experts, the series explores critical social rights issues on the EU and national agenda, how they affect our individual lives and work, and what can be done to shape a better future for us all.

Eurofound Talks to you about topics such as sustainable work, the future of Europe, the impact of COVID-19 on living and working conditions, and more. The podcast series is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and, as well as on Eurofound’s website.

Each podcast is a production of Eurofound – the tripartite EU Agency mandated to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies – and is hosted by Head of Information and Communication, Mary McCaughey.




Latest episodes

Episode 13 - The work-life challenges of women and men

08 March 2023 - 30m 20s - In this episode of Eurofound Talks, recorded for International Women's Day 2023, Mary McCaughey speaks with Eurofound Working Life researchers Jorge Cabrita and Viginta Ivaškaitė-Tamošiūnė about how, when paid and unpaid work are combined, women do eight full-time weeks more work than men per year, and the broader implications of this for society. They also discuss how indicators of work-life balance and work-life conflict differ for women and men, as well as the policy action that can be taken to improve gender equality in Europe

Episode 12 - Job quality

08 February 2023 - 22m 17s - The COVID-19 pandemic had profound implications on the labour market and job quality in Europe, with some workers, particularly those providing frontline services, continuing to work from the workplace under heavy restrictions, while others worked from home also in radically different environments from which they were accustomed. Eurofound has been closely monitoring working conditions in Europe for over 30 years via the European Working Conditions Survey; in 2021, the Agency conducted the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS), providing a detailed picture of the working lives of Europeans at an exceptional time. In this episode of Eurofound Talks, Eurofound Head of Unit for Working Life Barbara Gerstenberger discusses what the EWCTS reveals about job quality, the implications of poor-quality jobs on well-being and broader society, and what policymakers can do to improve the working lives of people in Europe. 

Episode 11 - Telework

02 December 2022 - 30m 43s - Now that Europe moves beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, it is faced with a dilemma. Telework has worked well for many over the past few years, helped them reconcile work and family life, and brought greater autonomy and flexibility; but for others almost the opposite has been the case, with greater work intensification, longer working hours, and greater exposure to psychosocial risks. Is it time to get back to the office? Is telework here to stay? Is hybrid work the solution? In this episode of Eurofound Talks Oscar Vargas and Mary McCaughey use results from the Living, working and COVID-19 online surveys, the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey, and other analyses from Eurofound to investigate what the future holds for telework in Europe, whether the mass rollout of telework has been to the benefit of workers and businesses, and whether the teleworkability of jobs will become the key issue on the labour market in years to come.

Episode 10 - Care

24 October 2022 - 28m 55s - This episode of Eurofound Talks looks at care: care for children, care for older people, care for those who are frail or with disabilities, access to care, the quality of care, and the working conditions of care workers. Mary McCaughey speaks with Senior Research Manager Hans Dubois about how care policy has received more attention post-pandemic in the context of the European Commission’s new European Care Strategy on quality, affordable and accessible care services across the EU, as well as the European Parliament’s resolution Towards a common European action on care. They also discuss the impact of care on related areas such as gender equality, Europe's long-term economic development, and ensuring greater social cohesion.

Episode 9 - Platform work

23 September 2022 - 19m 41s - In this episode of Eurofound Talks Mary McCaughey speaks with researcher Dragoș Adăscăliței about how platform work has developed over the past two decades, the profile of platform workers in Europe, how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the development of platform work, the opportunities and risks platform work presents for workers, and how to protect platform workers while preserving the opportunities and benefits that are generated by the platform economy.

Episode 8 - Living in a new era of uncertainty

11 July 2022 - 37m 06s - The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may have passed, but in households across Europe its effects linger longer. Add today’s cost of living crisis, rising inflation and the war in Ukraine to the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 and a distressing picture emerges: of mental health issues – especially among young people – of job loss and job insecurity, and of persistent uncertainty about the future. In this episode of Eurofound Talks, we speak with Daphne Ahrendt, expert on Eurofound’s unique Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey, on these very issues. As Daphne explains, the latest round of the survey reveals many insights that could help policymakers respond to the extraordinary circumstances of day-to-day living and working in Europe.

Episode 7 – Minimum wages

9 June 2022 - 15m 31s – Minimum wages and minimum wage setting processes are not just issues of high political importance in Europe, but also everyday concerns for low-wage earners throughout the EU. In this episode of Eurofound Talks we speak with Senior Research Manager Christine Aumayr-Pintar on the importance of minimum wages in the EU, different processes in place, the latest EU developments in ensuring adequate minimum wages, and the growing issue of inflation for low-wage earners.

Episode 6 – Living and working in Europe: Past, present and future

9 May 2022 - 19m 09s – This podcast focuses on our annual update on the state of ‘Living and working in Europe’. It highlights trends and changes – both positive and negative – in the way citizens across the EU work today, and serves as a guide to policymakers at EU and Member State level. Our experts detail these with useful examples and insights which might also help face into the challenges raised by the most recent results from Eurofound’s unique pan-European Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey.

Episode 5 – Social Europe more urgent than ever, with Nicolas Schmit

29 March 2022 - 23m 27s – During his visit to Dublin, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit talks about using the European Pillar of Social Rights to make Europe a better, fairer, greener and more digital place to live and work. War had just commenced in Ukraine but we were hopeful of a solution. In the intervening period, however, things have deteriorated across a range of areas as revealed by the most recent results from Eurofound’s unique pan-European Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey. 

Episode 4 – Gender equality

7 March 2022 - 39m 41s – Women were just beginning to see the fruits of progress in gender equality over many years when the Great Recession hit, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the most recent results from Eurofound’s unique pan-European Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey reveal women again among the top losers as a result. This podcast, launched on International Women’s Day this year in conjunction with the European Institute for Gender Equality, debates issues related to closing the gender gaps across pay, employment and caring, and explores innovative options to promote change.    

Episode 3 – The impact of COVID-19 on young people in the EU

16 December 2021 - 13m 57s – New day, new data highlighting the devastating impact of COVID-19 on young people across the European Union – most recently Eurofound’s unique pan-European Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey. We know this has taken an unprecedented toll on young people particularly – their mental well-being, their independence and more broadly, inter-generational solidarity as a whole. This podcast drills down to what it means to be a young person in Europe today, their lives, work, opportunities and challenges in the European Year of Youth.

Episode 2 – The future of living and working in Europe

8 December 2021 – 15m 07s – If you ever wondered what it means to be European today, to live and work in Europe, across 27 countries, young and old, urban, rural, rich and poor, this is the podcast for you. Most recent results from Eurofound’s unique pan-European Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey reveal ongoing challenges for Europeans as they seek to move out of the shadow of the pandemic while facing into the impact of the war in Ukraine. This podcast looks at how these challenges will shape the future of Europe.

Episode 1 – Sustainable work

1 December 2021 – 15m 25s – Never before have we had so much discussion about the way we work, the future of work and how this will impact our lives and those of the next generation. COVID-19 turned everything upside down as we have seen from the results of our unique pan-European Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey and we are still striving to make sense of the new hybrid, blended work experience. Will this in fact mean we can finally work longer and better while still maintaining a good quality of life? This podcast takes a deep dive into the opportunities and challenges associated with what we call ‘sustainable work’.

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