Insurance · 30 August 2016

New entrepreneurs struggle to strike balance between work and life

Entrepreneurs are struggling to find the time to go on holiday

New research from Lloyds Bank has shown that one in three new business owners haven’t taken a holiday in over two years, with over a third without a future holiday planned.

The study also found that small business owners are working an extra 20 hours each week more than the national average for employees.

Jo Harris, managing director of Lloyds Bank Retail Business Banking, said: “Many entrepreneurs make the leap into business ownership full of promise for more control and flexibility – getting away from a nine-to-five desk existence. Being your own boss delivers countless benefits, but the responsibility that comes with it can make it harder to switch off and go on holiday.”

The research suggested that even when business owners do take time off, they rarely fully disconnect from their business.

Modern technology has contributed to an “always on” culture, and 34 per cent of new business owners claimed to be in daily communication with their clients or colleagues whilst on holiday.

Eight out of every ten startup owners were found to interrupt their holiday at some point to address work issues, and 34 per cent of new business owners claimed to be in daily communication with their clients or colleagues while on holiday.

Britain’s entrepreneurs are already operating outside of the traditional public holiday structure. Research from Yell Business last year showed that micro businesses lost an average of £158 for each bank holiday that trading ceased on, and many consider this cost as too detrimental to profits.

In 2015, analysis from payment processing company Wordplay found that the average business owner spent 48 days a year on admin tasks. The research suggested that businesses can cut this figure by developing digital awareness and researching existing online tools that can assist with daily tasks, cut down on paperwork and boost productivity.

David Hobday, Worldplay’s UK managing director, advised business owners to “find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions and get that well-earned break”.

Cumulative research is indicating that tight financial margins, advancements in technology and multiple responsibilities are keeping Britain’s entrepreneurs from fully disconnecting from work. Harris said: “This drive and determination is the lifeblood of start-ups, but it’s important to seek out ways of getting support to allow you to take a break.”

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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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