Most small business owners will work through Christmas

Over three quarters of small business owners in the UK plan on working through the festive holidays, with as many as half dedicating three hours or more per day to business tasks.

According to a study by OnePoll, commissioned by Xero, 15% of business owners will spend more than half a day working, and 17% won’t take any time off at all.

Gary Turner, Xero’s managing director, said:

“As Christmas approaches, small business owners, like anyone else, deserve a break. But these results highlight that even during a time like the festive season, it isn’t possible for most of them to switch off altogether.”

There is a clear generational gap when it comes to entrepreneurs opinions on their planned achievements for the next two years, and the work/life balance.

Older business owners are primarily interested in their bottom line: over 70% of those aged 45 – 54 aim to boost their profits, compared to the 35% with this goal in the 18 – 24 age range.

However, the report results show that younger business owners probably have a better idea of how to juggle priorities with only 17% of the 18 – 24 range, and just 10% of the 25 – 34 range, saying that they need to improve their work/life ratio. This is in stark contrast to the 39% of 45 – 54 range and 42% of the over 55s who feel like this aspect needs improvement.

Turner adds:

“Annual leave is one of the many employee benefits that small business owners sacrifice, because it could have a detrimental impact on the bottom line.

“Getting a good work-life balance is very tricky, but it’s really important that we all switch off occasionally. It’s a question of balance: if you’re waiting to board a plane, relaxing with a coffee or stuck in a queue, why not log in and check your emails or accounts? On the other hand, when you’re spending time with the family or headed for the beach or ski slopes, I say leave your work behind.”


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Words: Peter Cribley

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