A Chat with Dee Coakley, CEO and Co-Founder at Remote Employment Platform: Boundless

Dee Coakley

Boundless is a global remote employment platform that helps companies to confidently and compliantly employ anyone globally. It takes on all local employment responsibilities, including running payroll, filing taxes and providing statutory benefits to employees.

It offers vital safeguards for overseas workers, affording them better job protection, full employment rights, a social security safety net – and a host of other benefits – as salaried employees.

And it gives organisations the confidence to know that wherever they employ people, they’ll be acting as a trusted, responsible, desirable employer – going above and beyond minimum compliance measures to create attractive opportunities for local workers.

Ultimately, our goal is to take the pain out of compliance and guide customers along the road to best-practice employment in every country where they have people.
Boundless | LinkedIn

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I started the business in 2019 alongside my co-founders Eamon Leonard and Emily Castles after experiencing first-hand the operational challenges of setting up internationally remote teams. As a former COO, I’ve overseen operations in multiple countries, and found the experience to be painful, slow and expensive. It can be an ops nightmare for any company.

Employment laws, tax requirements and statutory benefits all differ from country to country. Failing to comply with every piece of local legislation could put companies at risk with thousands of organisations currently breaching local employment laws without even realising it. From failing to register workers in the proper jurisdiction through to incorrectly hiring people as contractors to perform permanent roles, these worries are being felt across the entire leadership team – from the CFO and Head of Legal to the COO and Head of HR/People Ops. Overlooking or misunderstanding legislation also makes it more challenging to recruit and retain talent.

Sadly, these knowledge gaps often prove insurmountable for all but the largest multinationals, forcing employers to turn down relocation requests or narrow their recruitment efforts.

We felt there had to be a better way of navigating the challenges of employing people across multiple countries, so set about solving this problem with Boundless.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

The remote working revolution has been gathering momentum for a decade. Employees have been clamouring for more opportunities to work from home, to work overseas, and to live a more flexible and balanced life.

Enter Covid-19 and the size of the remote working market has accelerated by about ten years. In fact, we are now looking at a multi-trillion euro market. Traditional office-based working is on the way out and, according to research from McKinsey, at least 20% of the global workforce has already shifted to remote or hybrid working.

Our vision has remained the same since we started but the opportunity for growth in such a short space of time is far bigger than we could have ever imagined.

More and more employers are recognising the need to offer remote-first jobs if they want to find and retain the best talent. We are now working with organisations of all sizes – from fast-growth startups to large corporates and public companies with tens of thousands of employees. And they don’t just want to do the minimum required by law – they’re aiming to be great employers wherever they hire, and whatever level they’re hiring at.

What can we hope to see from Boundless in the future?

We recently raised €2.5 million in seed funding from Ada Ventures and FYRFLY which will enable us to build a large, stable business over the long term. We are very excited about our next stage of growth and will continue to expand our offering to employers of all sizes, working with them as they expand into new, untapped markets.

We are currently active in 17 countries across four continents – many of which are the world’s most tightly regulated – and we have plans to expand to 35 countries by the end of 2021.

We will also be doubling our team in the coming months (we currently have 19 staff who work remotely in eight countries). We’re focused on hiring people who are deep domain experts in payroll, legal, HR, engineering, marketing and sales, who can take on the toughest employment and local compliance issues. They will have experience working remotely themselves or who have tried to solve this problem before and, most likely, they enjoy the quality of life that remote working offers, and want to help others do the same.