PRODUCTIVITY

How To Boss It Like… Debbie Wosskow, CEO Love Home Swap

By Oliver Smith 17 December 2015
Debbie Wosskow, founder and CEO of Love Home Swap.
Summary

Britain’s business leaders are changing the world. In our weekly series we find out how they get the job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world. Eileen Burbidge, Rytis Vitkauskas and Simon Belsham seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Debbie Wosskow, founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

Wosskow launched Love Home Swap in 2009 for homeowners to swap or rent time in other properties around the world, this week the business acquired a Dutch rival which now makes the company the world’s largest home-swapping platform with over 100,000 properties listed.

She’s an outspoken proponent of the sharing economy of businesses like Uber and Airbnb, having also led the Government’s independent review into the impact of these businesses on Britain’s economy last year. Wosskow went on to help found and become the chair of Sharing Economy UK in, a trade body representing the views of companies like Zipcar and Hassle.

Wosskow isn’t just building her own business (with the occasional corporate takeover), she’s also fighting the corner for all companies in the sharing economy. The Memo sat down with Wosskow to find out how she gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

I like to start early, kicking off with email and a Twitter check at 5.30am. I use this time to deal with anything work-related that came in overnight, before exercise.

I either have a personal trainer at home at 6am or head out to Form or Equilibrium (Bootcamp studios nearby). I’m done by 7am and then get my kids up.

I try to leave my phone in my bag during breakfast and school bag packing/homework sign-off, before they leave for school at 7.45am. I then grab an Uber to my first meeting at 8am.

 

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

I am an investor in Vinaya (previously called Kovert Designs), the technology design house, which creates Altruis jewellery. I use this smart jewellery – it’s Bluetooth-enabled and works with my phone to send subtle vibrations when I get an important notification – when I want to switch off from my phone or laptop.

In terms of productivity, I use endless lists and synced diaries to start on top of my calendar – my PA despairs!

What smartphone do you use?

I have a white iPhone 6.

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day? And who are they?

It can be up to 15 people, depending on the day. Post the trainer/children/nanny/Uber driver – first thing in the office I tend to check in with the Love Home Swap management team, my PA and I’ll have a sit-down with the Head of Sales.

Increasingly for Sharing Economy UK (SEUK) I then spend time with political stakeholders as well SEUK members – part of SEUK’s remit is that we work closely with Government, representing the sharing economy community and calling for changes to better protect both consumers and sharing economy businesses.

 

I also spend time with the investment community, either with my investors or with start-ups looking for investment. I’ll spend time with my PR agency and will often have a coffee meeting with a journalist.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night?

I’m an early bird rather than a night owl and love nothing more than unwinding with a bath and a scroll through Instagram (the food and fitness bloggers are my guilty pleasure), and I try to be in bed by 10.30pm when possible.

I am a keen reader and aim to make it through the Booker Long List each year. I’m also a Trustee of Hampstead Theatre, so I see a play every week. It’s my respite from the world of tech scale-ups and engages the other part of my brain.

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a business leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.