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Thousands of UK business owners at risk of burnout, survey warns

Thousands of UK business owners are heading towards burnout, with some going without a holiday for as long as five years, according to new research.

Almost one in 10 UK owners of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have not been on holiday for five years, according to research by SME insurance firm Simply Business.

Business owners said they struggle to take adequate time off from work amid the pressures of ensuring a steady income and running a business.

More than a third of the 500 business owners surveyed said taking holidays means they forgo more than £2,500 in lost income.

Bea Montoya, chief operating officer at Simply Business, said that “burnout” will have a detrimental effect on productivity and could have a “wider impact on the UK economy”.


She said: “SMEs make up for 99% all UK businesses and are crucial to our economy.

“And while a number of factors contribute to the ‘productivity puzzle’ we find ourselves in, this inability to switch off is having a huge consequence.

“Ultimately, their mental and physical health is on the line and productivity isn’t going to shoot back up when we have a nation of employers feeling burnt out.”

Around 62% of business owners said financial worries stop them taking time off work, while 61% said they still deal with emails while they are on holiday if they do take time off.

One in 10 people surveyed say they do not take time off as they have concerns that employees will not carry out work effectively while they are away.

Ms Montoya added: “SMEs are the backbone of Britain. This makes the findings of our recent research all the more concerning.

“Taking a break from time to time to recharge the batteries is vital, and can be the catalyst for future growth.”