The national study of small business bosses, undertaken by Santander Business Banking, shows that holidays are seldom a time to get away from it all, with over three quarters (76%) saying they have had holidays disrupted by work issues.
One in eight (13%) say they’ve had to cancel holidays, while 10 per cent haven’t been able to get away at all in the past year because of work commitments. An additional 13 per cent have returned home early while one in five have come away from a holiday to attend a meeting.
However, holiday disruptions often pay off with almost seven in ten (69%) of small business owners say they return to work happy that they have kept up with work while on holiday and more than six in ten (63%) say they have improved client relationships by being available on holiday. In fact, a workaholic 29 per cent say they even managed to pick up a business opportunity while on holiday and 28 per cent concluded a deal from their sun lounger.
Paula Ickinger, Head of Business Banking Marketing at Santander, said: “The past year has been extremely tough and business owners have had to work harder than ever to ensure the survival of their business, which has meant sacrificing their work/life balance even more than usual by working during their holiday.
“Clearly, however, small business owners don’t all see having to work on holiday as a major imposition and for many it’s all part of the service and their dedication to running their own business.
“However, business owners should try to ensure they do not overdo it by reducing their holiday work, delegating where possible to keep things running smoothly. Seeking support is vital in order for business owners to get the rest and relaxation they need.”
Paula added: “By ensuring they are with a business bank which provides online access business owners can quickly and efficiently deal with any banking tasks while on holiday. Additionally, by ensuring that your business bank has the best rates, small business owners could save thousands of pounds each year, which offers greater means to hire additional support if needed. With so many business owners viewing working on holiday as a necessity, it is important that they ensure they choose a bank which provides convenient ways to keep up to date with their finances.”
Just 24 per cent of small business bosses have had entirely uninterrupted holidays during the past years, the research shows.
One in eight (13%) of those who have had to work on holiday say it ruined their break and 28 per cent admit working on holiday has led to arguments with family and friends. Up to 16 per cent say they missed out on a holiday activity they have been looking forward to.
Many small business owners feel that they did not spend enough time with their family or friends on their break, with nearly 400,000 (41%) complaining of this. Even after a holiday over a third (35%) feel they have not had a proper break and are not well rested.