Building a company that makes your Mondays exciting with Angelique Slob

Angelique Slob is the Founder and CEO of Hello Monday Club, a startup helping companies build an advanced culture, based on their strategy, vision and preferred working style.

While working in senior HR roles in the corporate world for over 15 years, Angelique got frustrated seeing how corporate structures kept people ‘small’. So, she decided to embark on a journey to explore and shape the future of work.

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Luis Magalhaes: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Distant Job podcast. I am your usual host, Luis, and today with me, I have Angelique Slob. She is doing a lot of work. She has many positions. I will ask her to tell me about them in a minute, but what she does is she teaches people and helps how to build culture in their companies, and helps them implement that culture. So, Angelique, why don’t you tell our listeners a bit more about yourself, about what you do, and about the many things that you are involved in?

Angelique Slob: Hi, Luis. Thank you for the invite, first of all. Really happy to be here. Yes, so my name is Angelique Slob. I am from the Netherlands, but I’ve been pretty much location independent for the last three or four years, and I’ve landed in Portugal, where I’m going to be spending a lot more of my time in the future. Yeah, in terms of work, I used to be my first career an interim manager in big multinationals, in the area of human resources and HR projects. It’s a pretty big transition.

Angelique Slob: And one point, I wanted to explore new horizons, and I felt that everything that we saw in corporate had its limits, to say it nicely. So, especially for my position, I always had the feeling that we could do a lot better as an organization to make people thrive, to get more success, be more successful, and to be more effective, but I found it very hard in existing corporate structures.

Angelique Slob: And especially in the Netherlands, we had the new way of working, which was a concept that involves a lot of flexibility, both in terms of place, of location, where people work, but also in working types. A lot of organizations adapt to that concept, but I also saw that they did it more in words and in policies, but in actual management style and internal attitude, I saw that they were behind in that development.

Angelique Slob: That really fascinated me, and I went to a university to study organizational sociology, and focused on modern day organizational concepts, or different organizational concepts, be it like self management teams, a lot of the going towards agile concepts, kaizen, so different concepts that are not fitting in the traditional way of thinking, to focus on innovative professionals, like people you find in the technology and the tech industry. And I studied the most effective organizational context.

Angelique Slob: It’s not just culture, but it’s also structure and management style. The three are intertwined, and it’s very difficult to work on one and not on the other. So, I also work with all those three areas when I work with my clients. And after that, I decided to move on and I kept on reading more about those concepts. I studied companies that had implemented them. I came across startup cultures, I became more involved in that kind of culture, and I decided, at one point, this all led to me founding Hello Monday Club. I was already working as a consultant probably for a lot of those companies and projects.

Luis Magalhaes: So, tell me more about Hello Monday Club.

Angelique Slob: Yeah, what we do, we are a network organization. So, I’m the face of the brand. I make the connections, and I put the vision. What we do, we work for tech companies. It could be startups, it could be bigger, more established companies, but they’re all innovative. They all have a need for talent, and one of the things that I … The starting point is for me to help them translate their strategy and their vision into an organizational design, an organizational development.

Angelique Slob: It could also be an actual intervention, but for example, one of the questions I ask a startup that’s just getting funding, if they would want to have a strategy to build a team in an office, or a remote team. Because it is, especially in the beginning, it’s an essential question, and it’s an essential and strategic question. It’s very important, and it’s very important to have an understanding that if you want to build a culture, a team in an office, it will restrict you in terms of accessible of the labor market and maybe getting the best talent.

Angelique Slob: Or if you have an international client base, you might want to have people in different timezones. This is a very strategic question. I also sometimes find that the people I ask this question to, the founders or the directors, have a fear or are not confident into moving towards a remote scene, that’s holding them back at the moment. If that is the case, I talk to them, because I want to make sure that if you choose to build a team in your office, that it’s because of the right reasons.

Angelique Slob: It could be there are very successful startups like Typeform, that very deliberately chose to have an office, where they actually create a very good, strong office culture. But they also choose to put in Barcelona, that office, where they know that a lot of international young people want to come and work. So, it’s not a strategy, and there’s nothing wrong, one is not necessarily better than the other, because it depends on your company. It depends on your whole strategy of your business, the context of your organization, but also on your personal vision as founders.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, yeah, of course, of course. So, there are a couple of things that I wanted to ask. I guess, first of all, what’s the usual size of companies that you work with? And I asked because you mentioned startups, and startups are usually very small and nimble. But I was wondering about effecting culture in bigger companies, where I assume you find a lot more inertia, right?

Angelique Slob: Yeah. I am not really active anymore in the big multinationals. In fact, yesterday, I got an email from a senior executive from a big company, a big innovative tech company, and he actually told me, he said, “Well, I’ve been finding really interesting what you do, but our CEO doesn’t believe in flexible working.” And it’s like, I was like, okay, I understand this, because I know that this is the case, and I know his struggle, because for my position, I was in multinationals, I came across the same, the resistance that you sometimes have, because in a bigger company, people in certain position will have a personal preference or view on things that is keeping the company from moving towards a certain direction.

Angelique Slob: I find that really hard also because I have a small business, so the sales cycle in this kind of companies would be very long for me, and it would be a lot of slow transition than I would be working with them. Unless there are some companies that would say, okay, we’re just going to go through a transition to remote, and we have a specific team or a specific department that we’re going to be working on in a pilot.

Angelique Slob: So, in general, it’s not my audience. The smaller startups that are three, four, five people, that have a first team, and I think it’s important for them to think about culture and to put their foundations. Actually, I have developed a download that is called, it’s an organizational compass, that would be very helpful for those kind of startups. And I have developed that because they are not usually the ones hiring me, but I still want to help them. It could be they encounter certain problems and bottlenecks that could’ve been tackled in the early stages.

Angelique Slob: So, I also do mentorships for this group. So, I offer, through a few channels, I offer mentorships, to have a talk and to get them some strategic insight about hiring the first team, building that culture, thinking about some strategic structuring issues. But the companies that I start to work with, usually they start to hire me from 15, 20 people up, when there’s a bigger need for coordination. And obviously, their culture is not something that just happens organically. And from the very beginning, the culture could be very strong, and you don’t even have to do anything deliberately to create it.

Angelique Slob: So, at one point, you need to start to cultivate your culture, and to strengthen it, and to reinforce it, especially when you get more than 20 people. And that’s also there you get structure, there you get coordination, and coordination means thinking about who is making decisions, how are we coordinating, who is managing what, what is the scope of the management, are we going to be pretty much self governance teams, or do we have a hierarchy in place, are we moving towards squads, are we moving towards classical departments?

Angelique Slob: So, there’s a lot of those strategic questions. And then, I would work with them usually as a strategic advisor, going up to, as a part time CHRO. And what I see with a lot of startups that start to scale up to 50, 60, 70 people, they got funding, they grow, they hire one or two persons in the HR department, and they start 50, 60, 70% of the time in hiring, and the other 30% in other operational issues. They’re also usually first or second jobs in the people world, so there is a gap between that world and the founders having strategies to talk to. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Angelique Slob: And then, we offer also more a bigger programs to manage throughputs, cultures, and trainers if we have a specific program.

Luis Magalhaes: I see. Okay. So, we’ll link to all of that in the show notes, the links to all the things that you offer. I’m interested in the organizational compass. I would like to know a bit more about that. But before that, I was talking with a couple of friends the other day. They all own companies. I’m the only one who doesn’t own a company, maybe I should. But anyway, we were talking about the culture, the culture problem, where both of them grew their companies, they’re both on their first companies, they didn’t know what they were doing, they were just hiring as they needed.

Luis Magalhaes: And their culture, they have an idea of what they wanted their culture to be, but it’s not totally defined, and both of them have very different ideas of what they want their culture to be. So we were discussing what were the best ways to start to put some structure into place, to getting people in tune with the cultures that they have envisioned.

Luis Magalhaes: And something that came up was one of them said, “Well, I think that the starting point is that I should write a document about how I envision the culture of the company to be.” I couldn’t explain why, but that didn’t sit right with me. It just felt right if his company culture wasn’t where he envisioned it to be, it would feel a bit hollow for him to write a document and put it in view of everyone now.

Luis Magalhaes: Maybe I’m being a bit too cynical, but I feel like you need to do stuff, and then, you know, write about the things that are happening in the company, rather than write about the things that you want the company to be eventually. How do you feel about this? It’s kind of a chicken and the egg problem, right? How do you feel about this?

Angelique Slob: Yeah, I love the question. It’s really good, because it’s something that many people struggle with. So, yeah, if culture, it’s what you are or what you want to be. That’s basically the question, and I think it’s both. So, in this case, I think as a founder, it’s obviously your vision is important, because it’s your company and your personal values and ideas about culture will be reflected in the company culture. It’s also important that as a founder, that you build something, you have a white canvas, so you have to build something that makes you happy. It’s, you know, the company that you dreamt of.

Angelique Slob: On the other hand, you are not alone. Culture will be not the same as when you would be working for yourself, as one person, because you have all the people. So, in this case I would say it would be very good for this person to maybe do the exercise, writing it down, to get clarity on his vision. The contrast could be really good, because that’s actually giving in different areas ideas about what’s the culture, depending on how big you are as a company. So, if you are five, six, seven people, it would definitely be worth it to either take the leadership team or the core team with the founders, or involve the whole team, to say, let’s take an afternoon and do this session.

Angelique Slob: We can also provide support with that, because it sometimes needs to be holistic. It needs to be generally structured. It needs to be reflected in your, your management style needs to reflect your values. So, you cannot have like a very different management style in place if you have certain values in place. So, I love companies like Buffer, who really take their values as a starting point, and that’s also in the compass, the purpose and the values are the starting point, and then you reflect, everything else needs to be derived from that or aligned with it.

Angelique Slob: I wouldn’t say that you have to take a photo of your current culture, and that that is your culture, and that that shouldn’t be changing. I think it would be very good to, but to acknowledge that this is who we are right now. We find honesty very important. That is in our DNA, because this is of value. It doesn’t mean we are always honest, not necessarily, because it’s very, even if you have a strong value, nobody is living up to their values all the time.

Angelique Slob: So, if we say we want to build a culture that is based on like, brutal honesty, but we find that we are not doing that, then we put mechanisms in place to start working on that, because we have to find it. It means that if we have a problem towards our clients, we call them and we just say, “Okay, we fucked up this time. Sorry about that.” You know, it’s our fault, you be brutal honest, and then that would be scary-

Luis Magalhaes: Are you still brutally honest?

Angelique Slob: Sorry?

Luis Magalhaes: What if it’s the client’s fault. Are you still brutally honest?

Angelique Slob: Honestly, if you want to live up your values, yeah. But definitely, you can do that in a friendly way. Obviously, you can say, “Look, we tried the best, we did, but we just found this to be the bottleneck, and we want to share that with you to have like, it’s like …” I think it’s a really effective strategy. It’s probably helping you as a company forward.

Angelique Slob: But it needs to fit you. Obviously, there’s like lots of different values to identify. I think to look inside what is important for us, who are we, and what do we want to grow, that is already there in our DNA, what do we want to develop, I think that is the base to start with the culture.

Luis Magalhaes: How do you feel the relationship between culture and benefits? Because you talked about Buffer. I’ve interviewed a couple of people from Buffer on the podcast, and I love them. And I love studying Buffer, but Buffer wasn’t always a very profitable business, but now it is. And when people think about Buffer’s culture, a lot of times, people are thinking about the benefits, because they give a lot, a huge amount of benefits to their remote team.

Luis Magalhaes: They have a great make your own office stipend, they give unlimited time off, et cetera, et cetera, things that your typical bootstrap startup can’t afford, you know? I mean, usually these companies, especially while they’re very small, and they’re starting up, and they’re still building their MVP, they are strapped for cash. So, I guess, how much of culture is you being able to treat your employees well, versus the way you communicate, I guess?

Angelique Slob: I do think you should always treat your employees well, and you can in turn benefit. You can look at different things. I think benefits could reflect a lot of your values without, it doesn’t mean that you lose a lot of cash in that. I think salary, basic salary, which is a good salary that people stay, you don’t have to pay like 50% more than anybody else, because it’s not the way of how it works. It’s not a core motivator.

Angelique Slob: But what you could do, for example, I love this company, it’s called Cockroach Labs, and they’re from a New York based startup, and the founders are ex-Google. And for them, one of the values is work-life balance. I find that it’s very important. So, how does it reflect in their benefits is that you get a day off on your birthday, and also they have paternal leave and maternal leave, so they have both for the fathers and mothers, so they get leave, and they have the baby, which is longer than is required than the law.

Angelique Slob: And also, they have a free Friday. They also have unlimited holidays, because unlimited holidays is not so much a thing that is going to cost you a lot. It’s just basically giving your people a lot of ownership, which would pay off in terms of the results. The free Friday is something that a lot of people think, okay, but it means that I’m losing a lot of money because people are free. But what you see is that people, they take their time as they need it. So, if some person needs that extra day to refresh, ready to work on Monday, and maybe the other four days of the week, they work pretty long hours to deliver their results.

Angelique Slob: Some other people would work on a project that is related to their job, and come up with something innovative, onsite project. Some other people would take the time to study, which is, all those things are actually paying off on the long term in your company. This is thinking about what is the return on not the cost, how this is going to cost me, but what is the return on investment that I get?

Angelique Slob: And if you think about that, and also, if you say, okay, these are our values, we find this important, we say that, so we need to show that, because if you just say it, it’s hollow. And a lot of the things that we know from bigger companies from a few decades ago are not the right mechanisms to stimulate this. So, for example, if you want to make sure the people stay onboard, it would be very good to have a stock option plan in place. It would be very good to, if you need to hit certain milestones as a startup, to have a team bonus in place. That will help people to focus on the specific objective, but also to create a team spirit.

Angelique Slob: So, there’s a lot. Instead of, like rather that team bonus, then the individual bonus, for example. So, it’s about, all those choices are strategies. In the compass, they’re all there. Those areas will all be mentioned in the compass, and the idea is to turn that into a strategy document.

Luis Magalhaes: I see. So, would you share this document initially just only with the managers and leadership, or is it a public thing for the whole company?

Angelique Slob: Obviously, I would work on it with a core team, and that could be a leadership team, but you could also involve an intern. If you’re a company with 100 people, it’s not the right tool to use with the whole, you’re not going to fill it in with 100 people. But you can get some people, you can say, “We want somebody that represents our future employee, so we take the 17 year old intern to give their opinion and to be actively involved.”

Angelique Slob: So, I think that would be very healthy. Get people from different backgrounds involved. But also, if you say, “We are the strong founding team and we feel very responsible for this area. We just create this with our own vision,” you can do that in the early stage, and then if you grow, you can do it again. Because all those areas will change a little bit as you grow. So then, you do it again with inputs from different people.

Angelique Slob: So, it depends a little bit what is the smartest thing, but I would say you fill it in, and the results are going to be obviously shared with the people. And also, maybe get their inputs, get their feedback, refine, adjust. It’s an ongoing, it’s an ongoing work.

Luis Magalhaes: Hey there, it’s Luis. Welcome to the intermission of the Distant Job podcast. If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a very big chance that you’re interested in building a great remote team. And to build a great remote team, you need great remote employees. That’s where Distant Job comes in.

Luis Magalhaes: So, here’s how it works. You tell us the kind of position that you need to fill. We talk to you, we try to figure out not only what are the exact requirements that the person should have, but also we try to figure out who would be a perfect fit for your company culture, because we really believe that that matters. Then, once we have an exact picture of what we’re looking for, we’re off to the races. Our recruiters tap into their global network, and we filter people very well, so that you don’t waste your time interviewing people that are never going to be of interest to you. We make sure, because we are techies, and our recruiters are techies as well. So, when people get to you, they are already pre-selected, and you just have to decide between the cream of the crop.

Luis Magalhaes: And once you make your selection, we handle all the paperwork, we handle HR for you, we handle payments, and you get a full time remote employee that’s among the best of the world, and managed entirely by you, by your processes, and following your culture. If this sounds good, visit us as www.distantjob.com. And without further ado, let’s get back to the show. Thank you for listening.

Luis Magalhaes: Well, once you have your vision, once you have your vision more or less, well, not set in stone, but you know, once you have a vision that you’re happy with, how do you broadcast it to your employees? What’s the best way to broadcast it to the rest of the company?

Angelique Slob: I would start with the higher purpose and the values. That is the first thing, because that will also be reflected in many of the other things. And then, I think you should always be clear, like, for example, I’m with one of my clients and I’m working on the performance management system, and I started the introduction to explaining how it reflects their purpose, and their values, and their strategy. So it’s like, okay, this whole performance management, everything that is in there is based on the idea that we believe that people should be the best version of themselves, and that we need to be a learning organization, and we believe in personal leadership.

Angelique Slob: And so, that is all going to be reflected in the performance management system. So, you can always go back to it. So, you give a lot of transparency of why certain things are in place, certain policies are in place. Obviously, this will also be reflected in your day to day feedback. So, it’s like, you can broadcast it literally in different ways. Obviously, you have to write it down somewhere, make sure it’s like, you know, the values could be on the wall, the values could be on your day to day tools, in a document, in a culture book, but make sure that it’s there, and it’s accessible, and that people repeat it, repeat it, and repeat it.

Angelique Slob: And everything you do, you can basically reflect, so I would also say, take some people that are responsible for culture, to make this also strategic decision. Let’s say you can find a new client that’s going to pay you good money for a project, but they are known for their ties with weapon industry, and you are very pacifistic as a company. Then you can say, okay, we have to let go of this money, this opportunity, because working with this client is not aligned with our values.

Angelique Slob: And it’s a matter of reinforcing, and I think that is the start. If you’re going to say, let’s say your strategy is to say, we’re going to move to a more remote team, because we’re going to access more international markets, we have trouble finding talents, the right people just here. It’s going to be expensive for us to have both in office, and paying people commutes, and making … Then, it’s also very good to explain that strategy very well, and also what are the consequences.

Angelique Slob: So, if you’re doing an intervention, in general, transparency is very important for modern day organizations. Make sure they know what’s going on, why do they need to do what you want them to do, what you ask them, why are they working on certain projects, why are certain strategic decisions being made. Because if people don’t understand that, we work with very intelligent people in tech. If people don’t understand that, they get frustrated, and you lose their talent, they’re not going to be productive anymore.

Luis Magalhaes: So, that’s actually something that I was wondering, because we were talking, and I work a lot with the tech industry as well. A trend in the tech industry, especially for leadership and management teams, is that founders try to find people who will challenge them, because that’s healthy. And I do believe that’s healthy, but what makes it hard sometimes, especially when it comes to shifts in direction, is to get buy in from a decent amount of the leadership team.

Luis Magalhaes: So, when you’re going into companies and you’re talking with leaders, and they want to make cultural shifts, how do you see the great leaders getting the buy in from the leadership teams, and do you mediate some of that, and if you do, how do you mediate it?

Angelique Slob: I prefer to work with the people, the leaders that have the vision. I think if you’re a visionary leader, then you automatically already have a lot of buy in, because you have a vibe, and you’ll be able to share your vision. I think it’s also having that as a capability is one of the most important things of a leader nowadays, to be able to lead, to have a vision and motivate people for it.

Angelique Slob: Obviously, it is not always the case. The middle management could sometimes be a bottleneck in change management. So, there are different strategies in that. I spoke to a CEO who had a company like 300 people, IT company, and he really believes in more remote working, but the middle management didn’t. And what he did was an intervention to take away everybody’s offices, and made them into a space.

Angelique Slob: So, I’m asking, I see where you want to go, but it might be not giving you the buy in that you are looking for, like the actual internalization of your vision. So, it is also important to, for them I advised, let’s do a session with this middle management team, or even like with different teams with the management involved, where you could ask people, “So, what is important for you when it comes to work-life balance? Design your ideal work day. Is that really getting into the car at like eight in the morning to be in the office at 8:30, and stay there all day, or you know, would your ideal day be different?”

Angelique Slob: So, let people buy into the dream and take them out of their day to day reality, and see how can you translate that to an actual workplace plan that works. So, this is one technique, but there’s obviously different techniques as well. So, you can sometimes come with a financial business case. Sometimes that is the way to convince leadership teams, especially if they’re really cost driven and commercially driven.

Angelique Slob: So, if you need to get the buy in from CFO, then I wouldn’t take like, okay, let’s design your ideal work day, but I would say, “Look, I’ve made some calculations here. This is actually the money you can save if people would start to work more often from home.” I have the experience in multinationals and I also worked with, I have a project management background, but I’m also intuitive. So, it’s one of my strengths, is that I can actually kind of feel, okay, this is today the best intervention, the best strategy, the best technique to get this person onboard, or to get this message, or to get everybody aligned in this vision.

Luis Magalhaes: How do you manage that when working with tech companies, where so many people, they aren’t into it? They are very data-driven and very proof-driven. What is the conversation like when you want to get your point across, but the thing that you have to rely on is your intuition, that feeling that there’s something here that’s not quite right?

Angelique Slob: Yeah. I usually can convince them. What I do like about especially startups, not the bigger IT companies, where people are more thinking in the corporate structures, what I see in startups is that people, they read a lot of books, they look at companies like Buffer and Netflix and they see what they do. They can, with their rational mind, understand that this is how to become successful.

Angelique Slob: But then, they have some trouble to connect that to their intuition. So, also, I worked with one client who says like, “For me, it’s very difficult to understand when do my people need help and when do I need to step out.” That made me laugh. I was like, yeah, you are looking for methodology. And I would say, you just kind of develop an intuition and a knowing to know, okay, this person will be right, and that person actually helped a little bit more.

Angelique Slob: So, it’s interesting that I see people actively looking for methodologies. So, what we do is we are developing some training programs that will be aimed for people skills for tech leads, and that call for remote teams that could also cover more like this kind of soft people skills. But I do, I work also with coaches. So, I’ve had, because I’m not a coach. I can also identify, but people can also self-assess, I have in this area on people skills, or this area on my personal development, it’s a bottleneck for me as a leader or a CEO.

Angelique Slob: And then, I can connect them to one of the coaches in my network. I usually pick the person that is, you know, I think the best fit for that person, and I would say, “Look, work with this coach. It’s part of the scope of our project, because we work on organizational design, but it’s a different track. And I’m not involved, I don’t need to know, because that’s more into the interpersonal skills, but they are important in the leadership development of the company.”

Luis Magalhaes: Got it, got it. Okay, so, I want to jump to some more personal questions to close this interview. So, I guess, let’s start there, what is your ideal work day?

Angelique Slob: My ideal work day?

Luis Magalhaes: Yes.

Angelique Slob: I struggled also a little bit with the transition from, like, you have to get up early and work hard, as my parents taught me, to the new kind of work day that I feel by intuition I would be more successful if I can follow my natural energy. I believe in following your energy. I believe that, so, for me, it’s getting up a little bit relaxed in the morning, have some downtime, because I need some time to wake up, and come back to earth, and I want to start the day easy, really have some time that is like not work time, but is just my quiet time.

Angelique Slob: Then I start to work day, and I have some peak hours and focus in the morning. And then, at one point, I’m either getting hungry, I need to eat. And also, that is also the point that I need to get away from my computer. So, I feel that my body wants to move. I need to go outside for fresh air. And I find that more and more, since I left the office environment, and I work in cafes, or coworking spaces, or from home, I find it very difficult to do this eight hour thing. It’s almost impossible for me.

Angelique Slob: So, I need to start to walk. I go for a walk and do something. And depending on which country I am, but if I’m close to the beach, I would go to the beach for a swim, have lunch, have some time off, and then get back and have another working session. In reality, it’s not always like that, obviously, because you know, sometimes you have calls planned, and things you have to do. I work with different timezones, so sometimes it’s like, I really need to go outside, but then I just, I say, oh no, I have a call in half an hour, so I kind of do some quick exercise or just walk around the block, to be back in time for the …

Angelique Slob: To be keeping up with the challenges of the day, and everything that is happening, and to have this combination of using intuition, and also being productive, it’s kind of finding the balance, follow my energy flow, but also follow the to-do list.

Luis Magalhaes: All right. Sounds like a good compromise. So, if you have 100 Euros to spend with each person working for you, what would you give them to improve their work life?

Angelique Slob: That’s a very nice question. 100 Euros?

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, it’s not a lot.

Angelique Slob: Not a lot.

Luis Magalhaes: If you have a lot of people working for you, it becomes a lot.

Angelique Slob: Exactly, exactly. More for like, I have 100 people in my company, I need to spend like, give them 100 Euros each?

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. I mean, let’s be real, if you have 100 people in your company, you can’t really find out what’s the best thing to give to each individual, right?

Angelique Slob: Oh my god, can we just park it a little bit so I just think about it?

Luis Magalhaes: Sure, let’s get to your end. What purchase, can be higher than 100 Euros in your case, has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

Angelique Slob: It is investing in a workspace, physical workspace, and it means for 100 Euros, I would say a coworking part time place in a coworking space, spending on coffee in cafes. Because for me, I cannot work from home all day. I need like change of sceneries. And that’s something maybe I would just, I could do that because I would like that, so I think maybe everybody else would like that. So, I’d offer that to my staff as well.

Angelique Slob: There is also that follow your energy. If you need to be, say, okay, I really want to be in a café right now for this particular work piece that I’m doing, because I like the vibe, then please go.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. That’s actually something that I tell people. Look, if you want to give a simple benefit to your employees, just pay them for coffee. Pay them like one or two bucks, or one or two Euros for them to be able to be at the café, working. It’s like they just need to order something in most cafes in Europe, and they can work however much hours they want, as long as they order a cup of coffee or something like that. It’s not that expensive, just pay it for them, right?

Angelique Slob: I know. But exactly, I think also having like a subscription for coworking space, giving like money for coffee, because you know, it’s important for people to not feel too lonely, for people to be able to connect with all this, to have social activities, to not be in the house, in their pajamas till 4:00 p.m..

Luis Magalhaes: Yes. That’s why I do these interviews, because it’s a reason for me to take my pajamas off. Okay, so, what book or books have you gifted the most?

Angelique Slob: Reinventing Organizations from Frederic Laloux.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow, I’m going to need you to spell that out for me.

Angelique Slob: Yeah, Reinventing Organizations from Frederic Laloux.

Luis Magalhaes: Laloux?

Angelique Slob: Laloux. L-A-L-O-U-X. I’ll write it to you later so you can put it somewhere.

Luis Magalhaes: No, I got it, thank you.

Angelique Slob: Yeah. And then, the other one is Tribal Leadership, and it has three or four authors. And I really love those books. They’re both, the core of their message, Frederic Laloux, it’s the teal organizations, so maybe you’ve heard about that.

Luis Magalhaes: Yes.

Angelique Slob: That’s organizations that are, basically they talk about the consciousness of an organization, the different levels that you can see in an organization. The Tribal Leadership is explaining five levels. They acknowledge five levels in an organization. They go from very tribal, which is a gang, to the most highly enforced organizational culture you can have, and they explain the journey, how you can use your own personal leadership skills to move your company or team to the next level.

Angelique Slob: Laloux is basically talking about companies that are at the fourth or fifth level already, and he’s describing them, and he’s giving also advice on how to get there. And I’ve been working with that for, those concepts, they involve also values, they involve self managing teams, self managing organizations. So, they go to those new, modern day organizations that I believe, and many people do believe that they are the core to be successful in highly innovative modern day gig economy, where people just come together remotely for certain projects or for certain times, and there is no fixed job description. People really need to find their own way.

Angelique Slob: If you want to create that, and you have to be, for most of the organizations, new organizations, you have to do that, then you have to look into those concepts and make sure you get that in place.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice. Okay, sounds like two interesting books. Going to have to get them for myself. So, final question. If you were hosting a round table dinner about remote work and the future of work on a Chinese restaurant, and you were getting all the top execs from Silicon Valley, what is the message that you’re going to place inside the fortune cookies that these people will be opening at the end of the night? What message is written inside?

Angelique Slob: You should’ve sent me those questions beforehand to give me some time to think about it.

Luis Magalhaes: Sure, don’t worry. You can always-

Angelique Slob: [crosstalk 00:41:43] I just connecting now a little bit what bubbles of I’m going to tell you, and I think one of them is, in the message in the fortune cookie, I would say, “Come as you are.” And because my comments is that for people to understand that if everybody can show up as who they are, it will give you the intention behind it, the sense of, I respect this person, respect this person as equal. That will help you in creating an autonomous team, because you understand that this person has this equality and brings something to the table. It will help you with diversion and inclusion issues, and it’s like a core message if you think.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s a lovely message. It’s a lovely message to end with. Thank you very much. So, obviously, thank you for being here, for acceding to this interview. Also, a shout out to June [Bonello 00:42:46] that organized the [inaudible 00:42:48] summit in Lisbon, and that introduced us.

Luis Magalhaes: Angelique, tell people where they can find you, where they can continue the conversation with you.

Angelique Slob: So, on my website, hellomondayclub.com, and I can be found on different social media handles, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, @angeliqueslob, and I think I’m the only one, so it’s easy to find me. And I will, maybe you can put like a link to download the compass, for some people to have some, have a look, if people want to receive it.

Luis Magalhaes: Of course. Send it over by email, please. I will be happy to.

Angelique Slob: Definitely, definitely, and I have more resources and more content on my website, and share on my, mostly LinkedIn, my company page, and my personal profile, I share a lot of interesting content. Yeah. And then, I want to thank you, Luis.

Luis Magalhaes: Well, you’re welcome. It’s my pleasure.

Angelique Slob: Yeah. It was a really nice conversation, same to you, and I hope to see you soon.

Luis Magalhaes: We will certainly see each other. I mean, I’ll be at the next remote meeting, if you will.

Angelique Slob: We will meet soon, so we’ll talk. We’ll keep the conversation going.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, so, thank you so much, again, Angelique. It was a pleasure. See you around.

Angelique Slob: See you, bye bye, thank you.

Luis Magalhaes: And so, we close another episode of the Distant Job podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners, and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations, that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well.

Luis Magalhaes: You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast indication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners. Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click on your favorite episode, any episode, really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up, and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up, so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form.

Luis Magalhaes: And of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration, and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world, because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. And to help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need, and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate, 40% faster than the industry standard. And with that, I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode.

For further inquiries regarding podcasts, eBooks, blog posts, or general information about remote recruitment don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected]

More ways to listen:

Is culture something you are or something you want to be? Join us as we explore the future of work and how you can implement a culture that’s based on your company’s purpose and values.

Angelique believes your company’s culture should really reflect your purpose and values but how do you establish and implement that?

Writing down where you want to be or where you are right now, might be a good place to start. This could help you have a clear vision of your company.

There are different ways to build your company’s culture but is always important to remember that as a founder, you have the obligation to build something that makes you happy.

There will be times where you’ll have to make decisions or sacrifices to follow your culture; letting go of clients might be one of them, if they don’t follow your vision or if their values are not aligned to yours.

Listen to learn how you can implement a good working environment whether you’re working in an office or with a remote team.

 

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