Entrepreneurs in the UK work less than their global peers

Bosses of British small businesses have a shorter working week than those in other countries

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 17 Oct 2013
Starting and running a business in the UK just got a big thumbs up, as research reveals small business owners in the UK work fewer hours than their counterparts in other major economies.
The survey, by insurer Hiscox, revealed entrepreneurs in Britain work an average of 37.6 hours a week, compared with an average of 41 hours in places such as the US, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
Not content with having shorter working weeks, us Brits also take more holidays than most, with an average of 21.4 days a year (beaten only by Germany). According to the survey, of 500 small businesses in six countries, business owners in the US only take 10.1 days a year and the French just 17.
Apparently we also consider off duty pursuits such as having lunch at our desks, after-hours networking and checking voicemails away from the office, as work- more so than any other economy.
‘People set up small businesses for many reasons other than money,’ said the Hiscox report. ‘They value the freedom, autonomy and lifestyle changes that running their own business can bring.’

The survey also found we feel less constricted by government than our global business peers. Only 54% of Brits think government bureaucracy is a major barrier to new business, compared with an average of 70% in other countries.
Sounds to MT like we’re a damn sight happier but we wouldn’t mind seeing exactly how these averages were worked out. Most of the entrepreneurs we know work pretty long hours. A sentiment mirrored by the Federation of Small Businesses, who told us the results were not representative of their own members, who tend to put in long hours, especially in the light of renewed confidence.

And before you start calling us a shower of work-shy wastrels, take a look at the latest growth figures.
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Britain’s growth will outdo that of the US, Japan and leading eurozone economies for the rest of the year – so we must be doing something right.
The OECD predicted our economy will expand at an annual rate of 3.7% in the third quarter and 3.2% in the final quarter – estimates beaten only by China in both quarters and Canada in the third.
Guess we’ll be taking the rest of the year off then yeah? Just joshing…

Economy Misc

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