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.


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.


“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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