As the summer season draws to a close and holidaymakers return to work, one in three (30%) new business owners admit they haven’t had a holiday in over two years, with over a third (34%) of entrepreneurs saying they don’t have one planned for 2016 or beyond.
The question of work-life balance is always a tricky one for entrepreneurs, with small business owners working up to 20 hours more a week than an average UK employee, according to Lloyds Bank. The drive and determination of Britain’s entrepreneurs proves a threat for the balance between work and play.
A third of female start-up owners (36%) admit that they haven’t been able to take a break of ‘more than a few days’ during the last 12 months, instead choosing to focus their time and energy on running their business. Male business owners follow a similar trend with 57% stating they haven’t had a break in the same period.
Even those who do manage to get away still suffer from an ‘always-on’ working culture, with one in three (34%) checking-in every day with colleagues or clients, and 79% of start-up owners getting in touch with work at some point during their holiday.
Jo Harris, managing director, Lloyds Bank Retail Business Banking, commented:
“Many entrepreneurs make the leap into business ownership full of promise for more control and flexibility – getting away from a 9-5 desk existence. Being your own boss delivers countless benefits, but the responsibility that comes with it can make it harder to switch off and go on holiday. This drive and determination is the lifeblood of start-ups, but it’s important to seek out ways of getting support to allow you to take a break.”
However, this perception of balance does prove different between demographics: 32% of entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-34 think that their work-life balance is better than when they were employed, compared to 65% of those aged 35-44. Millennials it seems, are losing out.
Female entrepreneurs, in particular, appear to be striking the right balance between their home and work lives with the vast majority of respondents (70%) saying their work-life balance was better after starting up a business. This is in contrast to just over half of men (55%) who thought the same.
It seems that although owners of start-ups are putting in long hours, many are seeing the benefits compared to their previous roles as employees.
Almost twice as many women than men said they were ‘very satisfied’ with their work-life balance (41% compared with 21%). Female entrepreneurs were also twice as likely as men to say they see more of friends and family after they started a business than before (19% compared with 8%).
However, despite having greater satisfaction with their work-life balance, it’s not necessarily easily achieved. Women were twice as likely to cite work-life balance as a major challenge when starting their own business than men (37% compared with 18%).
Ultimately, for Britain's busy entrepreneurs satisfaction of work-life balance is important, with over a third not having a holiday on the horizon in the next year, time away from the office might just be what the doctor ordered.