New figures show that a third of small business owners have cut a holiday short by one to three days because they did not want to be away from work for too long. Another 16 per cent had cut short a getaway by more than five days and over a quarter had not taken a proper holiday due to work commitments in over three years.
Perhaps unsurprisingly 81 per cent of small business owners admitted to working while on holiday. A third of those surveyed said they worked between two and three hours every day while away and 14 per cent said they worked more than five hours each day. Nearly half said that work related stresses led to unsatisfying holidays, another 10 per cent said they would rather not take a holiday than deal with pressures while away.
Concerns while on holiday included the worry of lower employee productivity whilst the boss is away, losing prospective business leads and not being contactable in the event of an emergency or crisis at work.
However, freelancers had a dual role in this. As well as their own concerns relating to holidays, they proved to be a welcome resource for other small firms while the bosses were away.
One man bands found help by hiring freelancers (27 per cent) to take charge of some or all of the workload.
Other results show that those with five employees or less were more likely to worry about the day-to-day operations while abroad than those who had a larger workforce.
When it came to choosing a holiday destination nearly a quarter based their decision on wifi connectivity and another 21 per cent chose where to go based on being in a similar time zone so they could interact remotely with their team.
More than half business owners and employees promised their spouse they would leave work at home for the duration of the holiday, yet over a third broke the agreement less than 48 hours into their break and 14 per cent of the deal-breakers confessed to working in secret.
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, Founder and CEO of online marketplace PeoplePerHour, who published the research said: “Entrepreneurs are notorious for not being able to switch off, but in my experience taking a real holiday can truly benefit your business. No pressure to come up with ideas is often the solution to finding your best idea yet.
“Taking an idea and nurturing it into a business is a hard process, cut throat decisions and dedication is required but when it comes to holidays business owners need to realise that some rest and relaxation from work can only be a good thing.
"Various studies including figures from ONS all find that finding a work-life balance is important to well-being. You need to have trust in your workforce be confident in their ability to understand what to do for the relatively short time you are away.”
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2014