Business Owners Taking Less Time off this Year
Almost a third of small business owners are taking less holiday this year than in previous years, according to new research from business price comparison service Make It Cheaper.
The poll of 1,000 businesses found that 29% had cut down on their holiday time in 2010, with many citing financial worries and staffing problems. More than a third (35%) admitted they were anxious about finding reliable staff to cover for them, while one in five said that even when on holiday they were unable to switch off.
Many small business owners appeared to recognise the health risks of not taking time off work – nearly two-thirds (59%) said they feared exhaustion and burn out from the long hours they spent running their business.
Tatiana Quadrello, senior researcher at the Work Foundation, said there were “real risks” in working too hard for prolonged periods, including high stress levels and even poor business judgement which could affect decision-making.
“Taking time off may seem unacceptable to many business owners but in the long run, it’s important to balance work and leisure to keep healthy and productive.”
Planning ahead and being organised, by booking holidays well in advance and sticking to the dates, was one way to ensure downtime, said Quadrello. Business owners should also resist the temptation to take work with them when away, so they could relax.
Trusting employees, she added, was also crucial.
“Tasks can be delegated and reliable people can make a great job even if you are away for some time.”
Make It Cheaper’s managing director, Jonathan Elliott, added that holidays could be “the perfect opportunity” to read up on the latest management trends and think through ways to improve the business.