Business from the beach? Why taking a break will benefit your business

work break

For many of us, running our own business looks like an attractive prospect: the opportunity to work flexible hours, take holidays whenever you want and put an end to office politics, all paint a picture of working bliss.

What is often forgotten is the sheer pressure many business owners are under as they work to please customers, deliver on deadlines, and turn a profit. What once looked like freedom can quickly become an all-consuming responsibility, making it nearly impossible for small-business owner to step away from their desks.

Worryingly, recent research indicated that a third of small business owners take 10 or less days holiday each year while half a million admitted working throughout the 2016/17 festive period, even on Christmas day. The knock-on effects of these relentless routines are also proving detrimental, with a survey by mental health charity MIND revealing that a quarter of SME owners experience some form of mental illness each year. Striking the perfect work / life balance is definitely easier said than done. 

So, if you are already working every hour under the sun to try and pay your own wages, can you ever justify taking time off? Here are five things you might want to consider:

Take a break to boost brain power

If you’re living and breathing your business all day, every day, it’s often difficult to see the bigger picture. Taking time off is a great way to reflect on successes, failures and to think about what’s coming up next. Stepping back could well give your brain the break it needed to bring on that all important eureka moment.

Delegate to accumulate 

By delegating responsibilities to other team members, you might find out that you could hand over more work, more often, freeing up your time for the most important decisions. It’s also likely your employees will be further motivated by the chance to take on new responsibilities. Going on holiday is a great chance to give this a go.


With entrepreneurs working an average of 50.5 hours per week, compared to the UK average of 37 hours, it’s even more important for business owners to take a break occasionally to avoid stress building up and long-term exhaustion.

Set an example

The best entrepreneurs set an example for their employees and want them to have a good work / life balance. Set an example by taking time off and encouraging your staff to do the same.

Accept that timing isn’t always everything

Unless you’re running a seasonal business, there’s rarely going to be a perfect time to take a break. Accept that running a business shouldn’t stop you from some all-important time off. Also, booking in your holidays months in advance gives everyone to prepare accordingly, so there are no surprises on your return. 

So now you know the business benefits of going holiday, you’re probably already googling beach retreats for three weeks of email-free fun. As if! We know it’s not easy to completely disconnect but what is important is that you’re balancing downtime and business activity. 

An easy way to help you find this balance is through investing in the right tech, so you can stay connected while you are on the move. 2 in 1 laptops offer increased flexibility, while smartphone tethering and mobile hotspots will help you keep on track of business from the beach.

Simple innovations like battery cases that increase your phone’s battery life can also prove invaluable if you’re in a more remote location. What’s more, investing in a video conferencing kit for your office will mean you can always have a quick face-to-face catch up to stay updated on the day’s progress, saving you from scrolling through emails. Investing in the right tech before take-off will save you lots of time and stress while you are away.

So, for any small business owners debating whether to book a holiday this summer, don’t lose sight of why you started all this – the freedom, the control, the ability to take time and think about the bigger things. So, go ahead, get away and take the right tech with you, you might just find the work / life balance you’ve been longing for.

Jim O’Hagan, Development Director, Dixons Carphone Business.