73% of small businesses are working longer hours than last year with 83% working at weekends
New research from eFax, a leading provider of digital faxing solutions and a brand of j2 Global, Inc (NASDAQ:JCOM), has revealed that while a staggering 98% of UK small businesses are optimistic about their company's growth in 2014, they are having to work their fingers to the bone to make that a reality.
The survey, which interviewed small businesses from a range of industries such as financial, retail and manufacturing, found that 73% are working longer hours than last year with more than a third (34%) working over ten extra hours a week. 40% regularly miss lunch breaks and 83% find themselves working at weekends in order to deliver the work needed to make the business a success.
Paul Kinsella, General Manager, j2 Global Europe, commented on the findings, "When you consider that the majority of those surveyed (72%) have been in business for less than five years, it's perhaps unsurprising that many are going above and beyond the call of duty to thrive in an increasingly competitive business environment."
And it's not just the weekends that are suffering, 33% of respondents expect to take less holidays than last year, with 45% already having worked over the Christmas period.
Kinsella added, "It's important that employers do everything they can to make sure they and their staff are getting the work/life balance right, because even if they're working longer hours, they're not always working smarter. Flexible working policies have gone some way towards improving the balance in the lives of workers in small businesses, but it is important that businesses invest in the resources and technology needed to fully enable this."
"Technological advances mean that you no longer need to be tied to your desk for long periods, as you are able to work just as effectively when away from the office. If you're waiting on a contract to come through, but really need to get on the road to make a meeting, then cloud-based services like internet faxing can give you access to important documents on the go."