Chocolate santas

Nearly half (49%) of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners and decision makers have admitted to ditching the Christmas Day festivities to do some work, according to Zurcih's latest SME Risk Index.

Despite being a national holiday, nearly one in five (18%) SME decision makers have actually had to go to the office on Christmas Day, and nearly a third (32%) have to check and send emails.

Nearly one in ten (9%) have missed their children's nativity play and the same number have missed out on putting up the Christmas tree. Another milestone in the festive calendar for many professionals is the office Christmas party, but 13% have missed such events.

Not only have SME decision makers had to work over the Christmas period, they’re also losing out on annual leave. Data from Zurich’s SME Risk Index reveals one in ten (14%) decision makers have not taken any annual leave this year and in addition, almost one in five (18%) have not had more than 10 days off this year.

Jason Eatock, head of SMEs at Zurcih, said: "It will come as no surprise to SMEs that despite commonly held views about the lifestyle benefits of working for yourself, the reality can be very different. Missing big events such as your child's nativity play is a high price to pay and shows the pressure many SMEs are under.

"As we look forward to taking some rest over the Christmas season, it seems current economic and political concerns are driving many of our small business owners to carry on working. We hope that everyone gets a chance to enjoy the holidays and as ever we offer our support to make their businesses run as smoothly as possible during the festive season."