A third of small and microbusiness owners turn to drink to cope with stress, according to a survey by online accounting firm Crunch.
The survey polled 750 self-employed people and entrepreneurs about the factors that cause them stress and how they deal with them. It found that 35 per cent hit the bottle to help them relax, with 20 per cent more men than women (39.5 per cent versus 29.5 per cent) using alcohol to de-stress.
Respondents reported a number of factors that contribute to increasing stress levels, including the unpredictable nature of work (23 per cent), late payments (13 per cent) and tax and red tape (9 per cent).
Kick back with a good book
The most common ways to combat stress were watching TV (57 per cent), reading (45 per cent) and exercising (42 per cent). Drinking was the fourth most popular method of de-stressing, the survey found.
Microbusiness ambassador at Crunch, Jason Kitcat, said: “It’s extremely worrying that so many of the freelancers and SMEs that drive our economy forward are turning to drink to deal with stress.
“It’s clear that the government needs to do more to reduce the burden of red tape and ensure that freelancers and small business owners’ rights are being better protected. On average it takes freelancers 25 days to chase a payment, and cashflow is a consistent source of stress; this is simply not good enough.
“It’s also important to realise that although starting up and running a microbusiness can be stressful, it can also be extremely rewarding. This explains why it’s one of the fastest growing sectors of the country’s economy, collectively employing 8.4 million people.”