The UK’s entrepreneurs are risking business burn out due to over-working and not being able to switch off, as dedication to their business encroaches on their personal lives.
New research from the 2018 International Business Festival has found UK entrepreneurs are highly committed to their company but struggle to find the right work-life balance. This has not only personal but also professional ramifications, with excessive stress making it difficult to sustain productivity levels.
The survey of entrepreneurs reveals even though UK business owners are passionate about their business, they are time poor and do not have enough time for family, holidays and their love life.
The survey also found they struggle to switch off from the ‘always on’ working culture of today. In the last month, more than half of business owners stayed at work past 10pm and a similar proportion have sent work emails after midnight. Furthermore, 41 per cent say they don’t have enough time to sleep properly, over a quarter are too time poor for lunch and 31 per cent run out of time for exercise.
Yet these busy entrepreneurs are driven to make their enterprises a success. When asked what they would do if they won £10 million on the lottery, over half said they would invest all or some of the money back into their business.
They are also upbeat and positive about the future; 86 per cent say their business has a long-term future and nearly three quarters say their business is well-placed to make the most of global opportunities.
Max Steinberg, Chair of the 2018 International Business Festival, says: “SMEs are often called the ‘engine room of the UK economy’ but it’s clear they are at risk of running out of fuel. Striking the right balance between your business and personal life is challenging but vital to the effective running of a business. The 2018 International Business Festival, featuring a packed programme of expert speakers and advice hubs, equips small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills and expertise to ‘work smart’ and scale up their business without scaling back their personal lives.
“Many individuals establish their own companies to focus on their passion but to also achieve greater work-life balance that their 9-5 job does not allow. Not only is there a risk that they will lose heart when the entrepreneurial reality doesn’t live up to this dream but there are important business benefits from being well-rested and minimising stress. Holidays and time out of the office allows us to find inspiration, think creatively about challenges and innovate, as well as building relationships, which are all crucial to unlocking growth potential.”
Meanwhile there is evidence that traditional business attire is changing; only half of entrepreneurs have worn a suit and tie to work in the past month which hints at more relaxed working styles. Cambridge business owners are least likely to wear a suit a tie to work, with only 39 per cent of respondents in this region choosing this attire compared to 63 per cent of business owners in Birmingham, a difference of almost a quarter.