When's the last time you took a break?

One in seven small business owners can't remember

When's the last time you took a break?



Less than half of Australia’s small business community take at least four weeks of leave annually, new research shows.

Online small-business lender OnDeck Australia surveyed 300 small business owners across the country to reveal just how real the risk of burnout is.

The report showed that only 43% of small business owners took at least four weeks of leave a year. More than 25% of respondents enjoyed two weeks of leave or less every year, while 14% – one in seven small business owners – admitted they could not remember the last time they had a holiday.

OnDeck Australia also found that even on the rare occasions small business owners gave themselves a break, they found it hard to detach themselves from their businesses. A whopping 77% of respondents – almost eight in 10 small business owners – said they thought about their business while on holiday, and a fifth checked in with the business “regularly” even while on leave.

“OnDeck research suggests many small business owners could be in serious risk of burnout by not taking sufficient breaks from running their enterprise,” said OnDeck Australia CFO Jerry Yohananov (pictured above).

Yohananov said studies have confirmed that employees were more productive after taking their annual leave and less likely to need sick leave, and many employers actively encouraged workers to use up their leave entitlements for the same reasons.

“Yet small business owners are not allowing themselves the same break from the businesses that their employees benefit from,” he said.

OnDeck Australia, which also released new research showing the growing demand among SMEs for brokers' services, found that one incentive for small business owners to take a break was additional business funding and respondents agreed, giving the following reasons:

  • 66% would feel confident if the business had funding in place to handle unforeseen costs during the owner’s absence
  • 31% said the additional funding could pay for additional or temporary staff
  • 20% would pay an interim manager to step into their role while they took their leave
  • 7% cited other reasons.

“I would encourage all small businesses to take regular breaks from their business to recharge, re-energise, and gain a fresh perspective,” Yohananov said. “OnDeck offers funding for a range of business-related costs, with applications for OnDeck’s lightning loans able to be processed in as little as one hour, with funding provided to approved applicants in as fast as two hours.”

“This element of speed can allow small business owners an opportunity to take spontaneous breaks – even if it’s just for a week or two – backed by a temp or other support staff or simply providing peace of mind that funds are on hand if unexpected expenses arise in the owner’s absence.”

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