We all know entrepreneurs have a hard time handing over the reins to even their most trusted employees, but it’s a sorry sign of the times when they can’t even tear themselves away from their business for a couple of weeks over the summer.
Such is the state of the economy, though, that apparently this is exactly what’s happening: according to a new survey, almost two-thirds of business owners say they’ll be taking a shorter holiday than usual so they can keep a closer eye on their business. Which doesn’t exactly indicate that business owners are bursting with confidence, does it?
The good news is that about three-quarters of the business owners quizzed by internet service provider Eclipse say they’re planning some sort of holiday this year, even if it’s not the usual fortnight. But for those who do manage to make it abroad (or to a caravan in Bognor, if austerity’s the order of the day), even if they’re away in body, most will be firmly back in the office in spirit: 60% said they’ll be in ‘daily contact’ with staff, while 17% said they’ll ‘be available 24/7’.
We suppose that at least these business owners are getting some sort of break – 10 years ago, before the days of BlackBerrys and international calling plans, they’d probably have just been chained to their desks all summer.
And we’d argue that taking some sort of holiday is good for them, and for their business (not to mention their staff): it gives them a chance to take their minds off work and recharge the batteries. But even more so if they leave the BlackBerry at home – after all, it’s hard to relax when you’ve got a mobile phone making demanding noises every time someone can’t find the stapler.
Still, with all this austerity on the cards, entrepreneurs have every right to be protective about their businesses, even if it does mean calling a temporary halt to the pursuit of work/life balance.
Now all we can hope is that the coalition Government delivers on its promises to make life easier for small businesses. Instead of going on holiday this year, maybe business secretary Vince Cable and his departmental chums will take a leaf out of SMEs' book and spend their summer working on ways to help? Or perhaps not.
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We're all going on a (very short) summer holiday
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