With summer holidays in full swing UK business owners are often faced with the difficult choice of taking some well-deserved time away or staying close to home to keep their business running.
However, new research by the American Express® Business Platinum Card has found that over 50% of business owners don’t set an “out of office” when going on holiday.
The findings paint a picture of a growing trend which American Express indicates is a result of the “always on effect”, with business owners wanting to remain connected to their work, even when they’re on annual leave.
In fact, almost one-in-five business owners said they would not travel to somewhere if they knew in advance they would be unable to stay connected - unsurprising given that two thirds (64%) of small business owners* check their work emails daily while on holiday.
Similarly, one in two business owners say checking work emails while away has made them feel happier and more in control of their time as a result.
The research reflects a willingness among UK business owners to work flexibly, including on holiday, to balance their personal needs and those of their business, whether than means working poolside from a villa or working from a shared office space whilst on a city break.
Almost two thirds (65%) of those running their own company say they choose to work flexibly and a vast majority of business owners (88%) described the choice to work outside of the identified core working hours (i.e. flexible working) as a personal one.
Colin O'Flaherty, Vice President and General Manager, Global Commercial Services, UK at American Express, said:
“The lines between our personal and professional lives are increasingly blurred, with technology undeniably playing a role. But it’s also a consequence of how our relationship with work itself is evolving. Being hyper-connected not only means staying in touch. It’s about ensuring time both in the office and when travelling is as rewarding as possible.
Our metal American Express® Business Platinum Card is designed to help busy entrepreneurs manage these two aspects of their increasingly hybrid lives, from being able to relax in a lounge before a business trip and helping them book the right restaurant for important clients, to enabling them to earn rewards on their business spend and helping business owners keep their business growing through cash flow tools.”
Research by Censuswide for American Express from 10.07.19 to 16.07.19 of a survey size of 2,000 UK adults
*Small business defined as businesses with fewer than fifty employees in line with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy definition.