We have all seen people logging onto their company emails by the pool or on the sun lounger just to check the sky hasn’t fallen in during their absence – most of us have been that person from time to time.
In fact, recent research from challenger bank Aldermore shows that one in five small business owners have cancelled a holiday in order to finish off some pressing work at the office and a fifth failed to take a single day off work in the past year.
You have to feel for their families, not to mention for the health and well-being of those who are the backbone of our economy here in Wales – owners of small and medium sized businesses. Another, similarly concerning study, shows that some junior staff are also bearing the brunt of unpaid overtime worth around £1.6bn a year.
Neither study paints a very healthy picture of the world of work in modern Britain, though the findings don’t come as a surprise. It is clear that owners of SMEs aren’t making time for annual leave – or that when they do they are still fully engaged with work. Small business owners are always motivated to give 110 percent since the business tend to be their baby, but, interestingly, Aldermore’s research shows that while many small business owners neglect their own holidays and annual leave entitlements, they do take a responsible attitude to ensuring their staff take their allotted leave. Some seven in ten employers encourage workers to take their full holiday entitlement, with only one in six actively suggesting employees forfeit their full allowance.
Burn-out is very common among those who run SMEs and it is vital that the well-being of those at the helm is made a priority. And since many column inches are being taken up at the moment with talk of responsible work-practices, productivity, future working practices, flexible working and work-life balance, now is the time to put it at the top of your To Do list.