The work Life Balance – UK entrepreneurs “sacrifice love, family and fun” to start a business

The UK’s small and medium business owners have contributed Billions to the global ‘after-hours’ economy by working longer than standard industry hours, according to a global survey by Sage out today

In our office, I have noticed how the working day has changed over the last few years, as pressure and customer demand grows, the working day is being elongated and often I find myself and my team working till the early evening, putting in an average of 50 hours plus a week.

I have been monitoring this closely over the last few months and I feel that with a more efficient day and less distraction by minor issues, we could actually fit all our work into the 8 hours a day, thus giving more time to spend with our families and to recover.

However it would appear we are not alone.

The UK’s entrepreneurs are a hard working bunch, and it shows in their contribution to the global after-hours economy.

Combined, they have added at least £240bn in hours worked beyond the norm, with 38 per cent routinely working more than a 40-hour week, according to research by Sage.

The main drivers of hard work were feeling “fuelled by the love of what they do”, which 31 per cent agreed with, and being “motivated by the sense of achievement”, which 36 per cent said they felt.

But the hard-working entrepreneurial spirit isn’t confined to the UK – across the world, owners of small- and medium-sized businesses have added a total of £8.3 trillion to the global economy by working extra hours, with 46 per cent saying they work more than the standard hours for their industry.

Germany has particularly hard-working entrepreneurs, with 57 per cent saying they routinely work more than eight-hour days.

However, the extra effort comes at a price – across the world, 44 per cent said their relationships had been impacted by their dedication to work.

Almost 40 per cent said they had sacrificed time spent with their families.

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”22px” font_weight=”normal”]38% of staff[/gdlr_heading]
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Work 40-60 hours per week
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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”22px” font_weight=”normal”]8% of Staff[/gdlr_heading]
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Of staff work 40-60 hours per week
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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”22px” font_weight=”normal”]44% of staff[/gdlr_heading]
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Regularly take work home with them
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Among British business owners, a third said they had put their businesses ahead of relationships, but among these only one in 10 said it was worth it in the end.

Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Sage, said:

“We know it takes hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life. This survey highlights the extent of that commitment.”

It is the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world, and the contribution of these businesses that powers the global economy.

Read the sage report on work life balance here

Answer our poll on working hours at the bottom of this page

[survey id=306776505]

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