Bosses need to take a break

Bosses are finding it difficult to tear themselves away from the office while on holiday - if they can take any holiday at all...

According to a survey by stationery company, nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents intend to contact the office this summer while away.

Of those, 39 per cent said they plan to call in a couple of times throughout their break, 25 per cent said they will contact the office once a day and 23 per claimed they will be checking in several times a day.

Simon Drakeford, group CEO of Euroffice, says: ‘[Owner-managers] are finding it increasingly difficult to leave their work behind and relax while taking annual leave. Ultimately, the extra stress will begin to take its toll – and this can negatively affect employees as well as the business.’

According to research by the Chartered Management Institute, a quarter of all UK managers have no plans for a summer break this year.

No time for holidays

More than a fifth of small business owners in the UK do not have time to take a day off as holiday over the whole year, according to a different survey.

Research from Lloyds TSB Business Insurance reports 14 per cent of owners take between one and five days’ holiday, while 22 per cent have six to ten days off a year.

Those who run firms with more than three employees were found to be more stressed about their work and more likely to say they can ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ switch off from their company.

Small firm owners who do go on holiday are often in touch with their companies while away and 62 per cent take a business mobile phone with them.

Anne Marie Koukourava, partnership director for the insurer, comments that new technology has made it more difficult to switch off from work.

She adds: ‘It’s ironic that the very benefits associated with being your own boss, such as choosing your own hours and flexibility, are the very things that seem to be lacking for many of Britain’s small business owners.’

Speaking to the Aberdeen Press and Journal, Carol Nicholson, an HR consultant, advises people to leave laptops and mobiles at home when taking time off for a holiday.

Managers struggle to find time for holidays

Most managers take little holiday and one in eight claim to take none at all, research finds.

More than two thirds (69 per cent) took two weeks or fewer off work throughout the course of last year, with 13 per cent saying they took no time off, according to a study of 507 decision makers by IFF Research.

The number varies greatly between size of organisation, with 16 per cent of sole traders taking no time off but only 1 per cent of decision makers in companies of 50-250 employees claiming the same.

While 41 per cent of employers feel that the amount of holiday they had taken was ‘about right’, around half, (52 per cent), think it wasn’t enough.

Some 56 per cent of sole traders think the holiday they’d taken was not sufficient, compared with 34 per cent of managers from organisations employing between 50 and 250 people.

Whereas 54 per cent of female staff are very satisfied with the holiday they get from work, just 40 per cent of men feel the same. And although 57 per cent of employees in the public sector are very satisfied, the figure falls to 40 per cent in the private sector.

IFF Research managing director Mark Speed says, ‘The pressures of running a business seem evident with the finding that the majority of employers take well below the four to five weeks’ holiday typical for UK workers, with a full 13 per cent saying they never take a break.

‘In smaller organisations, employers are more able to set the level of holiday which they personally take. Even with this control, many clearly feel that they cannot take a decent amount of leave.’

Related Topics

Business ownership