Discovered whilst the company were compiling a guide advising on a healthy work-life balance for business owners and entrepreneurs, research by Sage revealed that an astonishing 45% of those business owners work between 40 and 60 hours per week and a further 16% work even longer hours still. With that in mind, it would be fair to assume that those hard-working individuals are more in need of a holiday than most. The chances are however, that while many people are just reacclimatising to work after the long Easter weekend, business owners and other self-employed workers likely didn’t take any time off at all.
Sage in fact, also offer the statistic that around 30% of entrepreneurs don’t take any holidays, in spite of their long hours and hard work. Instead, it would seem that they believe that an inability to take time off is part and parcel of choosing to be your own boss and not working within an established organisation.
Most small business owners and entrepreneurs of course, do not enjoy the statutory holiday allowance or even holiday pay of other workers, and as such their reluctance to take time off does make sense. There are however, a number of compelling reasons why holiday time can be invaluable to business owners and entrepreneurs, and could prove hugely beneficial in the long term to both the individual and the business.
As we’ve already touched upon above, being a small business owner or entrepreneur does invariably mean long hours and that can in many cases unfortunately lead to stress and exhaustion. When you consider then, that a business owner or self-employed individual is in many cases the most valuable asset for their company, taking holiday in order to combat this risk makes sound business sense. That is not the end of the story either, as taking time off also offers a number of other often overlooked opportunities.
When you’re ensconced in the ever-busy and high stress day to day existence of a small business owner it can often be difficult to see the wood for the trees when it comes to long-term planning and big picture strategy. Taking time off then, offers the ideal opportunity to take a breath and make a real and beneficial assessment of how a business is progressing and what the next step in its development can be.
What’s more, stepping back from the day to day operation of a business also gives the owner the opportunity to evaluate just how the firm gets on without them. This could be hugely advantageous as it provides invaluable information about how staff cope with responsibility and suggests areas in which more delegation may be possible in future to free up the boss’s time for more important things.
Self-employed individuals with no staff unfortunately do not have the benefit of potential delegation to employees, but taking time off can still be useful in a similar way. Holidays and the necessary discovering of support networks to keep business running while a self-employed individual is away, can after all serve as a ‘dry run’ for potential emergency situations. What we mean by this is that once an entrepreneur has found a mechanism by which their business can survive without them for a while, that can be utilised once again in future in the event of an emergency which forces them away from their desk.
Whilst at face value it may seem counter intuitive to suggest that taking time away from work can be beneficial for a business owner or entrepreneur therefore, in practice a few days away from the desk might be exactly what both the owner and the business needs. If you worked through Easter then, and as long as your IT system is in place, it might just help you and your company to attack the new business year with gusto if you sit back for a while and enjoy the benefits of a well-earned rest.
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