SME owners are fuelling the economy – by doing too much overtime » SMEInsider

SME owners are fuelling the economy – by doing too much overtime

Heads of smaller UK businesses are contributing £22 billion to the economy by working extra hours, according to a new report from digital lender Everline and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

Almost 80 per cent of those responsible for a small firm admitted to working overtime in the last month, with 18 per cent often working more than 60 hours per week.

As the holiday season approaches, more than half (52 per cent) of those ordinarily working normal weekday hours – not in a pub or restaurant – are planning to continue working on at least one bank holiday over the coming 12 months so as not to get behind on their work.

More than one in ten respondents expect to work this Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively).

Using new data from Everline’s Small Business Tracker, the report found  that the older generation of small business decision makers tend to work more overtime – 13 hours to the younger generation’s 9 hours in the last month.

Older business owners, therefore, are more likely to be primarily responsible for a wider range of functions such as marketing, administration and finance. A shortage of skilled workers is forcing decision makers in smaller business to work overtime to make sure things run smoothly, the report found.

“A shortage of skills is constraining the ability of businesses to expand their resources and as such decision-makers are being forced to take on responsibility for greater range of functions,” said CEBR economist Sam Alderson.

“While small business owners should be applauded for their dedication and hard work, it’s a shame that these qualities are being devoted to tasks such as administration rather than strategy and business development: areas that could translate into sustainable growth for the small business sector,” he added.