In line with Stress Awareness month, a new report reveals 77% of small business owners and decision-makers across the UK are working more than the recommended maximum 48 hours a week, putting themselves at high risk of burnout.
The annual 2022 Business Challenges report carried out by card payments specialist takepayments has revealed the true strain the pandemic and the cost of living crisis has put on the wellbeing of those running small and independent businesses.
The study of 1,000 small business owners and decision makers found that just 1 in 3 owners have at least 2 non-working days per week.
Men are at more at risk of suffering from burn out as a mere 1 in 4 state they stick to a 48hr work week compared to 1 in 5 women.
The long hours seem to be taking its toll on business owners, as those who state they have a good work life balance has declined year on year.
This years report reveals a mere 13% of business owners and leaders feel they have a good work-life balance. In the 2019 report, before the pandemic, 59% of SME owners were happy with their work life balance, showing a steep 46% decline over the past few years.
The cities with the worst work life balance
Small business owners in Norwich are the least happy with their work life balance as a mere 6% say they have a good balance. Manchester is a close 2nd with only 7% claiming to have a good balance.
This isn’t surprising as 75% of Norwich SME owners state they work more than 48-hours per week and just over one third (37%) state they get at least two rest days during a week.
Sandra Rowley at takepayments said, “The past few years have been challenging for business owners across all sectors, with severe disruptions in business operations from the coronavirus pandemic and the cost of living crisis impacting upon work life balance.
“It is interesting to see momentum building as trials of the four-day working week are being rolled out. Over a third of SME’s say it would have a positive impact on their business. This has risen by 5% since last year, while the number who believe it would have a negative impact has decreased.”