Business owners take just 11 days holiday per year

Finding the time to chill isn't easy when you're at the sharp end.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 27 Jan 2016

Plenty of professionals will have jetted off somewhere sunny for half term this week, but it's likely that most business owners have stayed put. According to a PR survey published today, entrepreneurs took just 11 days of holiday last year – less than half the 28 days (including bank holidays) that most full-time workers are legally entitled to.

That shouldn't come as a surprise. Most business owners are driven and extremely focused on making a success of things. But not taking some time to unwind and de-stress can be extremely detrimental to your health, and consequently to your business's performance.

Apparently even those who do get some time away from the grindstone find it hard to disconnect entirely. The survey of 500 business owners (perhaps not the most representative sample size), conducted by AXA PPP, found that 86% continued to have some form of contact with their company while on holiday.

Almost two thirds (64%) said they took important phone calls and 20% admitted they continued to take calls and deal with emails 'as normal'. And it's not like their normal working day is relaxed either – while entrepreneurs spend an average of 36 hours per week in the office, they also do 17 hours of work at home.

Read more: How to stay healthy while running a business

'It’s understandable that owners want to keep an eye on their businesses, even when they are on holiday, but it is concerning that they take so little time off and that they view their break so negatively,' said Glen Parkinson, AXA PPP's SME business director (enough acronyms for you?). 'We know the importance of downtime, not just for wellbeing but also for ensuring productivity and good mental health.'

It's not easy to find the time to relax and stay healthy when you're juggling your own life with the needs of a business. But don't forget that if you get ill or burn out then your business will suffer too.

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