New research from American Express shows that the UK’s small business leaders recognise the importance of frequent breaks and downtime to the success of their business and a healthy work-life balance – but day-to-day pressures mean many are struggling to carve out the time.
A clear majority (82%) agree that regular time off from work is important for their wellbeing, while a similar number (84%) believe that activities or interests outside of work are vital to help them unwind and disconnect. Two thirds (66%) would like to discover a new interest or hobby if time allowed.
However, the reality is that some entrepreneurs struggle to achieve this. Almost half (46%) admit feeling guilty about not spending enough time with family or friends and one third (33%) say that they stopped their hobby when they started running their own business.
The survey also found that almost eight in 10 (78%) agree regular breaks are important to being a good leader and over half (56%) think they and their business would benefit from more time away from the workplace – a five percentage point increase compared to last year’s research.
Amanda Salt, Vice President, Small & Medium Enterprises, UK Card Services at American Express, said: “It’s encouraging that our research found a majority of small business leaders recognise the widespread benefits of downtime – whether that’s enjoying a favourite hobby or taking a personal trip. Meaningful time away from work is essential so they can switch off, recharge and find fulfilment away from day-to-day pressures. Our focus is on supporting entrepreneurs as they grow their business through rewards that give them more choice in how they achieve a healthy work-life balance.”
Unmissable Welcome Bonuses
The research comes as American Express launches a series of limited time offers that see the most generous ever Welcome Bonuses on its American Express® Business Platinum and Business Gold Cards.
Between 22 February to 30 March, new Business Platinum Cardmembers that sign up can earn a substantial Welcome Bonus of up to 120,000 Membership Rewards® points; 80,000 points when they spend £12,000 in the first three months, and another 40,000 points 14 months later.
Over the same period, new Business Gold Cardmembers are eligible for a Welcome Bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points when they sign up and spend £6,000 in the first three months, and another 20,000 points 14 months later.
By using Membership Rewards points, small business owners can make more of their downtime by turning their everyday business spending into activities and treats. These points earned on every transaction give entrepreneurs flexibility to use their rewards in a way that best suits them. Terms apply.
For example, 60,000 Membership Rewards points could pay for a new Apple Watch at retailer Currys, to help them track fitness levels and progress in a new sport. More than a third (36%) of entrepreneurs say that exercising is one of the top things that helps them switch off, according to the research. For those looking for a memorable break to help recharge, 100,000 Membership Rewards points can be redeemed against a three-night stay in a Hilton Hotel in New York.