In a surprise to no one, research has confirmed that SME owners are regularly putting their business ahead of their own health and family time. But it has revealed how much they are sacrificing, and where they are most distracted by work.
A quarter of entrepreneurs admit to working seven days a week, while four in five have missed out on “quality time” with their family because of their business.
That is according to research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by small business lender Prospa, which examined the sentiments of 250 Australian business owners.
Interestingly, the results found that the stresses of business ownership appear to diminish with age: those aged between 18 and 49 years were more than twice as likely as those aged 50-plus to feel unable to relax while on holiday because of business pressures.
Even romance is being sacrificed in the pursuit of business, with one in four business leaders aged under 50 confessing that their business had distracted them while they were out on a date.
Of major concern is that work is most commonly a distraction for business owners while they are trying to sleep, with more than two-thirds (68 per cent) having this problem while trying to get some shut-eye.
Sleep deprivation was directly linked to 3,017 deaths in 2016 alone, and is a major drain on productivity in the workplace.
Work is also commonly a distraction during family time (60 per cent), on holiday (58 per cent), while watching a movie or television (54 per cent) and while driving (39 per cent).
Prospa CEO Beau Bertoli suggested that, as we head into the festive season, business leaders do what they can now to minimise the stresses and distractions over the holidays.
“I’ve been a small business owner and I’ve lived this. Concerns about cash flow during the holiday period can create a great deal of stress and distracts from spending quality time with family and friends,” he said.
“Small business owners make big sacrifices to build a better future for their families.”
A separate study earlier in 2018 found that one-third of business leaders feel social isolation as a direct result of their long working hours, while 35 per cent are missing out on important family events, and 17 per cent are sacrificing their own physical health and wellbeing.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.