Two thirds of business owners fear exhaustion due to workload

Of the 1000 business owners surveyed, 14% aren’t planning any holidays at all this summer, with a further 38% staying close to home. For those planning a holiday, it isn’t all good news, with 29% of people taking less time off in 2010 than in previous years. 

Nearly two thirds acknowledge the high ‘burn out’ risk of the hours they work running their businesses.

Over a third get stressed out about finding reliable people to cover them while they are away, and even when on holiday, one in five aren’t able to switch off from work. Very few business owners worry about staff absenteeism though, showing a reassuring level of trust in employees.

Jonathan Elliott, managing director, Make It Cheaper, who commissioned the survey, said: “Being horizontal on a sunlounger is the perfect opportunity for business owners to read up on the latest management books and dream up new ways of increasing profits while reducing overheads. This is important downtime and shouldn’t be cut short because you are worried about the business. It’s better to have a way of staying in touch and the peace of mind that, if something major happens, you’ll get to know about it.”

Simon Reed, Publican, Pheasant Inn, Bridgnorth added: “A holiday is important, especially from a seven-day a week business. However, for many years the only breaks we have had are short ones. We have a small rural pub with no staff and it is very expensive finding stand-ins; the pub trade has declined enormously in the last two years, and it’s almost not worth paying other people to keep the pub open while we’re away. The business would suffer if we closed the doors for a week, so we just take short breaks when we can.” 

Beverly Lay, Founder,, an online boutique based in London, added: “The business – or at least my Blackberry – comes with me everywhere I go so strictly speaking I haven’t had a real break since I started my business. I find it really hard to switch off but I’m the kind of person that is always hatching a new plan or thinking about new ways to make money. I do have moments when I worry about my work/life balance, particularly as I’m juggling running my business with being a new mum.”

The research also shows that of those who are planning to take time off, over a third are planning the ever-popular staycation, either in their homes or the UK, with only 14% planning a luxury long-haul trip, whilst a third will be taking a short-haul trip to Europe.

Encouragingly, nearly half of those going away have decided to leave spending cuts at home and enjoy their break to the full although 8% of business owners will save money by not taking their kids with them!

Photos courtesy of iStockphoto, © Timur Nisametdinov, Image #8015531