Insurance · 4 January 2017

Financial woes found to be key reason for work stress

Over seven in ten business owners admitted that work stress meanth they sometimes wanted t0 change career

Over a third of UK business owners lose motivation to run their company at least once a year, according to new research that has revealed the personal impact of running a business.

The study, undertaken by accountancy firm Haines Watts, found that financial pressures were the primary cause of work stress. Over half of survey respondents cited money worries as a constant drain on their motivation.

The struggle of business owners in maintaining a healthy work-life balance was also highlighted in the research.

Just four per cent of survey respondents claimed that the balance favoured their personal life, while almost two-thirds believed that work took up too much of their life.

A “love-hate” relationship was identified in the study, as 71 per cent of owners admitted that work stress meant they sometimes wished they were doing something else entirely.

The strongest motivator recognised by business owners was the responsibility to provide for their families.

Commenting on the findings, Haines Watts partner, Michael Davidson, referred to the “spiral of stress” that all company owners can find themselves in.

“Part of this stems from business owners attempting to tackle financial difficulties, such as cash flow problems, growing pains and over-expansion, as they arise rather than planning for them in advance,” he said in a statement.

The study also highlighted regional differences in the extent work stress affected small business owners.

Almost half of founders in London and the South East of England lost motivation at least once a year, while less than a quarter of those in the North West of England suffered from a loss of drive.

Davidson’s advice to overwhelmed small business owners was to “step back and plan for the future”.

“This often starts with short, medium and long-term business planning and then building a strong management team to help deliver the plan and keep the wheels turning.

“Being able to discuss concerns and share advice with like-minded people can be a real life saver for business owners overshadowed by complex challenges and who, as a result, lack the will to go on.”

Find out which eight health and well-being apps can help support your workforce.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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