“What holiday?” as UK SMEs prepare to work this Christmas

working during Christmas

New data shows that, even for those who will not have to work on Christmas day, many will be completing work-related tasks. Staggeringly, almost a quarter of small and medium sized business owners will be checking or sending work emails over the course of the day, while more than one in seven will be using a work device to carry out other work-related tasks.

More than a quarter of small to medium-sized business owners have admitted that they will be missing out on at least one festive event this Christmas due to work commitments. Nearly one in seven will be missing a family get-together, while one in ten will not be available to help put up the Christmas tree. Almost one in fifteen will not be attending their own office Christmas party.

Work commitments will cause small business owners to miss all-important family time this Christmas, too. One in twenty has confessed that they will not be putting stockings out for their children this year, and a further one in twenty admits they will be too busy to attend their own children’s nativity play.

Results from this year’s survey of over 1,000 SMEs are no anomaly. Nearly one in five SME owners stated in this survey more than 12 months ago that they have had to go into work on Christmas Day in the past, while nearly a third have sacrificed time on Christmas Day to check and send work emails.

Anne Griffiths, Head of SME Proposition at Zurich, says: “It will come as no surprise to SMEs that despite commonly held views about the lifestyle benefits of working for yourself, the reality can be very different. Missing big events such as your child’s nativity play is a high price to pay and shows the pressure many SMEs are under.

“As we look forward to taking some rest over the Christmas season, it seems that uncertainty in the business environment is driving many of the UK’s small business owners to carry on working. We hope that everyone gets a chance to enjoy the holidays and as ever we offer our support to ensure their businesses run as smoothly as possible during the festive season.”