Christmas candle

A quarter of small business owners in the UK will miss Christmas celebrations this year, due to business and workload commitments.

According to research from Ultimate Finance:

  • Nearly a quarter of UK small business owners have missed Christmas Day celebrations because of business commitments
  • Nine out of 10 say that their business has had a negative impact on relationships and family life
  • 80 per cent say poor work/life balance has a negative impact on their family relationships
  • Nearly a half have missed a special family occasion such as a birthday
Small and medium-sized enterprises account for 99 per cent of all companies in the UK, with 5.4 million SMEs in operation across the country.

Steve Noble, ‎Chief Operating Officer at Ultimate Finance commented: “Christmas is an important time of year for many reasons, not least that it is one of the few times when there is potential for the majority of people in Britain to relax with family and friends. This is particularly important for SMEs who often work extremely long and lonely hours.

“Our research shows that many small business owners are not getting this opportunity; instead the stresses and strains of running a company is constant. This never-ending work pattern can put strains on personal relationships, further isolating those who are not finding the time to take off. It is important that the issue of pressure on SMEs is addressed as a serious problem.”

Business psychologist Robert Stewart added: “Taking time out to spend with friends and family is an important part of life. It can be restorative and help with mental wellbeing.

"I find that business leaders often struggle to strike this work/life balance, sometimes feeling guilty about ‘downtime’ despite very much wanting to more spend time with loved ones.

"Not getting that time off can be extremely detrimental, and I welcome this research which shows the true extent of the problem which we can work together as a single business community to tackle.”