Stressed entrepreneurs skip summer holidays

A survey suggests entrepreneurs are too busy to go away this year. Something tells us that's not a good thing...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 02 Nov 2011
If you’ve dug out your finest Hawaiian number and dusted off your flip-flops in preparation to join the annual migration to Sienna and Salcombe, spare a thought for the nation’s business owners. Because according to a Sage survey, almost half say they’re going to be too busy over the next few months to be able to get away for a summer break. And what’s worse is that, according to the research, for almost a quarter, it’s the second year in a row that they’ve had to forego a holiday. Keep this up, and we’re going to turn into a nation of pasty-faced, over-tired, stressed, austerity-obsessed stay-at-homes…

The survey, of 1,000 businesses, also found that of those who did say they were off on their hols this year, 16% have opted to stay in the UK (which Sage added was to save money. Though it remains unclear as to whether that’s on travel costs or data roaming fees as bosses email the office on an hourly basis). So that’ll be more 10-mile tailbacks on the M5 as some chump turns his caravan over on the M5. And another third of entrepreneurs said that this year, they’re taking fewer holidays as a whole.

Now, obviously, this news can be spun both ways: either the entrepreneurs in question are so busy with all the new business coming in that they couldn’t possibly consider taking time off. Or, more likely, their businesses have been badly hit by rising inflation/a drop in consumer spending/cashflow issues (delete as appropriate), which means they’re having to work extra-hard to bring in business.

Even if times are tough, though, there’s plenty of evidence, to show how important it is to take a break. Earlier this year, a study by Post Office Travel (ok, it’s got a slightly vested interest) found that workers need to take a break on average every 62 days, or else they’ll become more ‘anxious, aggressive and ill’. And, as most workers will testify, an anxious, aggressive and ill boss is not a nice boss to work for. In fact, it could turn you into Horrible Bosses. Although, to be fair, finding that time to get away may be a lot easier said than done.

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