One-fifth of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners are working an additional three hours daily on average to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their business, according to new research from Aldermore.
A number of SME owners reported that longer working hours meant they had to make personal sacrifices, such as reducing time spent relaxing (37%), quality time with family (32%), and exercising (20%). 43% of SME owners described themselves as being “stressed or anxious” due to the pandemic.
16% of SME directors admit to finding it difficult to create a healthy work/life balance when working outside of the office.
Tim Boag, group managing director, business finance, Aldermore said: “While it’s easy to assess the financial health of a business by looking through financial statements, it can be much harder to determine the mental wellbeing of staff.
“During this financially challenging and difficult period, director burnout is now a real risk for many overworked SME owners, so it’s vital that business owners and their employees take some time out and maintain a healthy work life relationship. That’s why we’ve launched our mental health guide to help support SME owners as part of our ‘Small But Mighty Business’ campaign.”
The main causes of the increased time SME directors spent working included: spending more time serving existing customers (27%), working to reduce anxiety about the business’s future (21%) and pursuing more new business opportunities (19%).
When looking ahead to the future, 28% of SME directors were feeling anxious about what the next six months might mean for their business. More positively, a similar percentage felt determined (30%) that their business would survive.