Nearly 135,000 French nationals work permanently in Switzerland, constituting the second-largest group of foreigners, behind the Germans, employed in the country.
Additionally, 85,100 workers commute to their Swiss jobs each day from France.They work in Switzerland because wages are higher here than in their home country.
French citizens, like nationals of other European Union countries, are able work in Swiss companies thanks to an agreement with Brussels, which allows the free movement of people between Switzerland and the EU.
However, not much is known about their working environment or the experiences and challenges they face in their daily work lives.
A new research project launched jointly by the universities of Bern and Strasbourg aims to fill this gap.
The two teams created a survey to find out what French employees think about their professional life and relationships with co-workers in a Swiss workplace.
Swiss people who are working with French colleagues are also invited to participate in the survey.
A summary of the main results will be sent to all participants when the project is finished.
Michel Charrat, president of Groupement Transfrontalier Européen, an association representing French cross-border workers, praised Switzerland’s economy, which makes it possible for employees from France to earn good wages.
He said, however, that over the past 10 years “the rise of populism in Geneva has somewhat strained relations” between the local population and French workers.
But in an interview with Swissinfo, Charrat noted that “it’s mainly the populist parties that launch these kinds of campaigns. Most people in Geneva don’t share these opinions”.