Sheffield boss Christian Nelleman now insists staff aren't expected to work 18-hour days

A Sheffield boss has said he was ‘surprised’ at an outpouring of criticism after he urged people to work 18-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week - and insists he doesn’t expect it from employees.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 8:04 am

Christian Nellemann, founder and executive chairman of XLN, believes he ‘wasn’t saying anything particularly controversial’ and he was talking about entrepreneurs building a business.

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XLN employs 300 at One North Bank on the Wicker. The firm sells bundles of utilities for small businesses.

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Christian Nellemann at the relaunch of the XLN Sheffield office in 2019.

WHAT WERE THE CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS?

Mr Nellemann stated people are ‘not going to achieve much’ if they don’t work 18-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

In a Linkedin post he asked: “Are you guilty of not working hard enough?” - and was criticised for being irresponsible, misleading and dangerous - and some asked if it was a joke.

Mr Nellemann says the post was an extract from his book Raw Business and he put in 12-18 hours a day for six to seven days a week for many years to create XLN.

He responded saying: “To be honest I was really surprised by the reaction to my LinkedIn post because I didn't actually think I was saying anything particularly controversial - hard work has been part of the secret to my own success, and I just wanted to share that.

“The post was an extract from my book Raw Business and I myself put in 12-18 hours a day for six to seven days a week for many years to create XLN.

WHO WERE THE COMMENTS AIMED AT?

“As every successful entrepreneur knows it is really hard work creating a business, with a high chance of failure, particularly in the early years, and I feel really proud that this has led to the creation of XLN - and the creation of more than 300 jobs in Sheffield.

“Obviously I’m talking about the effort that you need to put into creating and building a business as an entrepreneur – I certainly don’t expect my employees to work 12-18 hours a day, and this approach is definitely not for everyone.

“But it is a fact that building a successful business takes hard work and every successful entrepreneur knows that you do have to put a huge amount of effort in if you want to succeed.”

He also said XLN had a ‘really supportive working environment’ with training and development opportunities so staff could advance their careers.

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