The UK’s small & medium business owners have contributed £157 billion to the global after-hours economy (valued at £5.5 trillion) by working beyond standard industry hours for their businesses, according to a new global survey by Sage.
Globally, this contribution comes at a price. Nearly half (46 per cent) of all global business owners work over 40 hours a week. Across the channel, German entrepreneurs are working particularly hard, with 57 per cent working more than 40 hours every week.
A better balance
However, in the UK, business owners are achieving a better work life balance, with 38 per cent saying they are working more than 40 hours a week.
Over a third (36 per cent) of those surveyed say they have sacrificed family time for their businesses, and globally, 44 per cent of business owners say that their dedication to their enterprise has affected their relationships. In the UK, more than a third of entrepreneurs admit to putting their business in front of their personal relationships. Only one in ten of these entrepreneurs ultimately say it was worth it.
Even with UK entrepreneurs managing to balance work and life, 17 per cent of UK’s small business owners have cancelled a date because of work, and close to half (48 per cent) have missed family events because of their long hours.
The survey highlights the human sacrifice made by small & medium business owners to power the global economy. Over half of UK business owners (60 per cent) say the extra hours are worth it, fuelled by the love of what they do (31 per cent), and motivated by the sense of achievement (38 per cent).
Leaving a lasting legacy
British entrepreneurs also seem motivated to build or maintain a family legacy, with 11 per cent running a family business, and an additional 11 per cent aiming to create a business their children could run.
Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage comments: “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. We should do all we can to support these heroes and recognise all those hours of hard work they are putting in after the rest of the world has gone home.”