Not taking at least three weeks annual leave? Time for change!

Australian small business owners are struggling to get some much needed time away from work. Surveys of small business owners show more than 50% haven’t taken a holiday in the last year, and 25% in the last two years.

Small business owners who feel they cannot take time off from their business need to consider the impact of working long hours without a break. Beyond Blue, the national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, has documented that working long hours is associated with poor psychological health, increased family conflict, excessive fatigue, worry, irritability and increased rate of injury.

50% of business owners don’t find it difficult to take time off from their business for holidays. The key reasons for this are:

  • Good delegation – They hire and train employees to run the business in their absence.
  • Preparation – They standardise systems and operational processes so their business operates effectively in their absence.
  • They have bigger and more successful businesses – Business owners with no employees find taking holidays very difficult.
  • Complete extra work prior to taking holidays and reschedule work to fit in with their holidays.
  • Close down their business for several weeks per year to allow for holidays.
  • Use remote technology to work remotely and check in on their business. The tools available to business owners including checking emails on phones, internet banking, remote log in to business computers, etc.

All business owners need to structure their businesses so that they can take three to four weeks of annual holidays per year. This is necessary for the business owner to perform optimally, and for their business to perform to its potential.


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