American Express has released results from its Open from American Express Small Business Monitor survey, which reveal small business owners in the US are taking less holiday time than ever before.
Slightly more than half of those surveyed (59%), say they take at least a week off over the summer, compared with an average of 67% during the past four years. Those that do take time off, continue to think about their business, with 65% saying they worry about the company when away from the office.
”Small business owners are optimists by nature ” in fact, the survey shows that 87% see the glass as half full,” said Open from American Express small business advisor, Alice Bredin, adding: ”But when they”re not in the driver”s seat, even if for a few days, they often can”t relax.”
However, as Bredin explained, time away from the office is often highly important for success: ”35% of those surveyed say their best ideas come during downtime ” ideas which could lead to business growth. It”s crucial that they learn to take a breather to recharge their energy and creativity ” for the good of their business.”
Three-quarters of respondents say they check in with their company either by phone or email while away, with 32% checking several times a day and some as often as once an hour. However 21% say they resist the temptation to make contact with the office at all when on holiday.
High on the list of common worries while away is important clients not getting the same level of service (39%), followed by staff judgement calls (26%), employees slacking off work (25%) and who will manage business in their absence (22%).
Interestingly, female business owners worry more about staff judgement calls than their male counterparts (30% versus 21%), as well as employees slacking off work (27% versus 20%).
However, women are criticised less by their families and partners than men for working while on holiday; 27% of men receive criticism compared with just 18% of women.