New study raises fears over business people's mental health

Shoppers out and about in East Anglia before the latest national lockdown

Shoppers out and about in East Anglia before the latest national lockdown - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A new study has revealed the majority of small business owners are working more than the recommended number of hours per week — raising fears over their mental health.

The 2021 Business Challenges report found that 86% of small business owners are working more than the recommended 48 hours per week with two thirds of business owners working more hours to make up for lack of employees.

The report also found that one in three (29%) business owners even expect their business to close in 2021.

Takepayments Limited, which conducted the research, found that the long hours have taken a toll on owners.

The number of business owners who say they have a good work life balance has declined by 25% — from 59% in 2019 down to just 34% in 2020. 


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Almost three quarters of business owners say they do not have at least two non-working days per week.

Commenting on the report, Andrew Mower the East of England's regional development manager for the Federation of Small Business (FSB), said: “Speak to any group of people in business and you’ll find that the last 12 months have taken a real toll on mental health.

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“Business owners have faced the same life challenges as the rest of the population, with the added pressure of taking frequent high-stakes decisions about the future of their firm.

“It's important that everyone has access to the help and support they need in the workplace and at home, which is why staff welfare and wellbeing is paramount."

Sandra Rowley, head of marketing at Takepayments, said: “2020 proved a challenging time for all businesses and unfortunately the uncertainty will continue into this year. However we have light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully life can start to go back to normal following a successful roll out of the vaccine.

“Whilst business owners are faced with difficult staff decisions and working all hours to try and keep their business afloat, it is a real concern that they may find themselves burnt out.” 

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