Could working too hard actually put SMEs at risk?

Rigorous work ethics are a cornerstone of any small business but failing to take time out from the office could potentially be putting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) at risk.


According to Worldplay, 70% of small business owners do not feel that they have a good enough work-life balance in order to take an annual holiday away from the office.


Instead, business owners choose to remain at the helm and work solidly throughout the year. One fifth even admitted to not taking more than one week off work in the last three years.


Making time out an essential


Reasons for not taking a holiday amongst business owners follow a few key trends with the demands of work often perceived to be too high to step away from the office.


Finance, cash-flow and paperwork were the biggest business headaches that prevented business owners taking time off and instead they spent the equivalent of 48 days per year on admin tasks.


A further 40% of those running an SME said they average a six day working week just to stay afloat and one tenth of owners feel that taking even a few days off is out of the question due to their commitments.


While this dedication to their business may be considered admirable to some, taking time out from the office should be made an essential requirement for a company of any size.


This will help to guarantee a healthier work-life balance and ensure that businesses are moving forward in the right way and with growth that is sustainable on a long-term basis.


Managing Director of Worldpay, Dave Hobday, explained that “small business owners need a holiday more than most” but unfortunately fear they are unable to take this much-deserved rest.


“Operation tasks are a fact of life, but there’s something wrong if they start becoming a barrier to growth, prosperity and happiness,” he said.


“Business owners need to find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions, and get that well-earned break”.


Prioritising sustainability


What this means is that small businesses need to make sure that they can sustain the level of growth occurring within their business without sacrificing weekends, holidays and time off.


This could mean improving the tech they use or streamlining their organisation to become more efficient but will guarantee a healthier state of expansion that can be continued long-term.


Failure to do this could actually set businesses up for a bigger fall – especially as cash flow is considered one of the biggest factors preventing business owners from taking time off.


If a business’ cash flow is this sensitive or unsure then the company could even be at risk of insolvency or other financial action.


It is therefore important that SMEs take the relevant advice and counsel and do everything they can to get the break from the office they deserve whilst building a strong and secure business for the future.


By Phil Smith


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