More than ten per cent of small business owners are so concerned about ensuring the success of their firm that they get less than four hours sleep each night, according to new research by Instaprint.
The firm’s annual Small Business Census also revealed that one in five have missed medical appointments due to work commitments, while 45 per cent have sacrificed family time for the sake of the enterprise. And half of those surveyed admitted to being more stressed as an SME owner-manager than they had been in their previous job.
Commenting on the findings, Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at mental health charity Mind, told Business Advice: Too many small business owners are failing to make enough time for their lives outside work, losing sleep due to stress and sacrificing social activities with family and friends.
“Having a good work-life balance, including regularly having time off, is key to staying mentally healthy. Taking proper breaks and getting enough sleep allows us to return refreshed and revived, and perform at our best.Every business owner wants to ensure their business is a success and this can mean putting in the extra hours from time to time. But consistently working long hours and managing an excessive workload can take their toll on our physical and mental health, with the potential to negatively affect business performance.
“Staff who look after their mental wellbeing are more productive, have higher morale and are less likely to need time off sick. So it’s in the interests of all small business owners, and employees more generally, to ensure that they give as much priority to their personal life as they do their jobs.
The research suggests that female owners work an average of ten fewer hours each week than their male counterparts. And despite the strain, the majority of those asked said they preferred working for themselves. Some 70 per cent indicated they would never go back to working for someone else.
But further research carried out in December 2015 revealed that almost a quarter of those considering self-employment were deterred from going it alone by the prospect of too much stress. Long working hours were also cited as an offputting factor in the survey, which was carried out by Intouch Accounting.
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