We were interested by some research published recently that reported two thirds (66%) of small business owners admitting to speaking to the office at least once a day while on holiday and not taking time to The survey from employment law consultancy Peninsula also suggested that some 58 per cent of owner-managers claim to have had an argument with their partner about getting in touch with work while on holiday.
This mirrored a similar survey last year by FreeIndex, which found that a third of small business owners also planned to work on Christmas or Boxing Day. The suggestion behind the statistics is that small business owners do not feel able to relax and unwind away from work. Many, it is suggested, feel they need to work additional hours to keep their businesses moving forwards.
Clearly there is a serious point to be made here. All of us need a break from time to time to recharge our batteries, step back from the day to day and perhaps even use vacation time to come up with new ideas, directions or fresh perspectives for our businesses. Whilst the ease of remote working has many benefits perhaps it has also made it too easy to take work phone calls or respond to emails when we ‘should’ be away. It has also been suggested that being “too connected” denies colleagues the opportunity to step up to the plate when we are away.
All of this, of course, is true. But for many small business owners their business is as much a passion as it is a job, in which case it doesn’t necessarily feel like work, and to be disconnected from it gives them a mountain to catch up on when they return from their break. So is it really so much of a problem if we combine a little of our vacation time, our quality time with friends and family and little bit of R&R, with the ability to stay connected to our businesses? For us, the jury’s out.