The UK’s small and medium sized firms make up 99.9% of the UK’s private sector businesses, employ nearly 3/5 of its workforce and account for 48% of the turnover.
In smaller teams, job roles tend to be less defined and employees usually really care about the company’s success.
However, full-on pursuit of commercial success may be putting owners and employees of these businesses at increased risk of ill health and burnout. Described as a type of stress, office burnout can manifest itself as a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.
Unfortunately, long working hours are often embedded into SME culture. According to research by AXA PPP healthcare,
- 47% of employees in SMEs across the UK said they regularly work 4 or more hours of overtime per week
- 27% if these put in 7 or more hours
- For half (52%), the extra hours are unpaid
- 22% of employees take fewer than 30 minutes for lunch
- 19% have cancelled family time and 19% have missed a child’s event such as a school play and for parents with younger children due to working over and above their contracted hours
- Over half (54%) of employees have continued to work after putting children to bed
“Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the economy – driving innovation, enterprise and growth,” comments Dr Gary Bolger, Chief Medical Officer at AXA PPP healthcare. “Their commitment is commendable yet our study shows that owners and bosses may be putting themselves and their employees at increased risk of burnout and ill health through protracted overwork.”
For more tips and advice on burnout, visit the small business health centre from AXA PPP healthcare.