A week in the life of…
Vice president and general manager, Robert Bosch Middle East
Volker Bischoff Vice president and general manager, Robert Bosch Middle East
I am an early bird and like to start my day as soon as possible. As I make my way to our offices in DAFZA, I cannot help but take a moment to appreciate the traffic-free roads – a rarity here in Dubai – while listening to the latest in business news on the radio. At the office, I touch base with my assistant, who has been with Bosch for more than four years – I rely on her a lot. We plan the week ahead and discuss upcoming appointments or meetings; it’s shaping up to be a very busy week. After a long day of internal meetings and strategising, I head to Kite Beach for a seven-kilometre walk to unwind, before heading home for dinner with my family.
I spend an hour at the gym before heading to the office. I make the most of this time to focus and realign my thoughts. A good workout is a great way to keep in shape mentally and physically, and prepare for the day ahead. Back at the office, I spend the greater part of the day sifting through a plethora of emails before heading to our Welcome2Bosch lunch – something I look forward to very much as I get to know new associates better. After a long day at work, I take my daughter to the gym. She is busy studying for her exams and is grateful for the time away from books. I cannot resist having an icecream during this time and we head home for dinner afterwards.
Today, I am flying off to Riyadh to attend a business forum and will check in at our local branch and touch base with some stakeholders. I spend a busy day in Riyadh, with thought-provoking discussions with some young Saudis regarding the current reforms sweeping the country. I am encouraged by their enthusiasm and pride. I take time to check in with my assistant back in Dubai and manage to grab a moment to text my family back home. My flight back to the UAE is delayed, but I am able to get home in time for bed.
I wake up early, knowing I have a busy day that starts with a management meeting in the morning with the various heads of departments in attendance. Back at the office, I spend the day discussing business performance and expectations in the upcoming months for the Middle East region. We also reflect on our experience with the exciting home office concept introduced last year, where employees can work from the comfort of their home four days a month. We spend the afternoon inaugurating our recreational room, complete with table tennis, billiards, darts, a design thinking corner and a library, which prove to be a hit with the staff. The rest of my afternoon is spent in a teleconference with colleagues from around the world before leaving for the day to unwind at the community swimming pool. I am home in time for dinner and look forward to the traditional Algerian couscous that my wife has cooked up for us, while we spend the evening listening to my daughter’s tales from school.
I spend all day immersed in a workshop on the results of our associate survey, which were very positive. The morning is spent discussing how we can further improve the satisfaction of our associates. I am pleased with the outcome of the meeting, and fortunate to be surrounded by highly committed employees. The afternoon vanishes in a flurry of internal meetings, where I have the opportunity to hear several interesting ideas from my team. After a long week in the office, I can look forward to spending the weekend at a resort with my wife and daughter.
Friday in its entirety is spent with my family in Ras Al Khaimah, as we relax by the hotel pool under the glorious sun and I catch up on my book. I don’t find enough hours during the week to read as much as I should and the book I am reading at the moment is proving to be a real page-turner. My family and I spend the day together and I manage to fit in a session at the gym. We head back to Dubai late in the evening, and I am extremely happy to have spent a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city, having disconnected from work for a while.
Saturday at the Bischoff household usually begins with a family breakfast. I find it important to spend valuable time with my wife and daughter. We spend the day at the mall and stop to have lunch at La Mer, where we spend a few hours strolling along the shore. Our evening is spent watching a movie at home over dinner, as we get ready for a new week ahead.