School holidays set to cost home businesses £658 million

On average, these home business owners will invest four hours of working time every day, or 20 hours per working week, to make up for the time they take away from work to look after and entertain their children during school breaks.

The summer holidays are estimated to cost home businesses in the region of at least £658 million during the six week break.

Home business owners in the South East are set to lose nearly £120 million, the most out of any region.

In London, the summer holidays will cost home business owners nearly £100 million because of the time they need to take away from work to look after children, while the figure for home businesses in Eastern England is £73 million.

While there may be financial implications for home businesses, the research reveals that many children gain valuable exposure to the world of business through their entrepreneurial parents. 30 per cent of the parents questioned suggested that their children learn entrepreneurial skills and over a quarter said that their children learn the value of work.

Almost a third of parents also said that they feel their children being at home during the holidays gives them a reason to work hard and succeed, while more than a quarter receive moral support from their kids and 13 per cent say they benefit from the extra company they receive during the school holidays. Additionally, 10 per cent of home business operators highlighted that they are more productive when their children are on holiday.

Jane Guaschi, Business Manager, at Direct Line for Business who commissioned the research said: “Running a business from home requires blood, sweat and sometimes tears. If you add taking care of children to the mix, running a home business becomes ever harder. The additional pressure of fitting everything in can be difficult to manage, so ensure you are well prepped ahead for any surprises that may crop up during this busy period. At the least, it is worth considering home business insurance to cover you against any liabilities so that you can enjoy the time with your children, and have one less thing to worry about.”

“It is, however, fantastic to see that so many home business owners feel motivated to succeed and work harder during the school holidays.”

Annabel Karmel MBE, author and entrepreneur, added: “Being your own boss isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle, and so reducing the workload when the children are at home is easier said than done. To keep Britain’s businesses as productive as possible, I believe there should be further investment in subsidising childcare costs for those operating home businesses.”

“Making the decision to run a business from home is often triggered by the need to have more flexibility as a parent, so give yourself a break. Don’t feel guilty about swapping your laptop for a play date, or exchanging emails for a day out with the kids and family.”