Think of France, and you probably think of the country’s quality of life. Food, wine, romance, culture...everything points to it being a great place to live. A phrase that probably doesn’t come to mind is ‘business destination’ - and yet France is the 6th biggest country in the world by GDP, one of its top exporters, and a haven for everything from tourism to chemical manufacturing.
What’s perhaps most remarkable is that France has achieved this success without compromising on its traditional values. While America and other western nations make sacrifices for the sake of productivity, France has been successful while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. With the merits of long hours and short holidays being put under the microscope, now is a perfect time to learn a few lessons from French working culture.
1. Job security
France is notorious for the protections it affords to workers - a reputation that is occasionally seen as an impediment to business. Employees are more difficult to fire than in many other countries, but especially compared to the United States. Many firings go to tribunal and some can be costly to the business involved. As a result, businesses are generally reluctant to remove people; instead they take greater diligence in hiring and look to improve the assets they have.