Many entrepreneurs are portfolio workers but not all portfolio workers are entrepreneurs but having said that is interesting to look at a new report just released by the Bank of Scotland. They report that the average UK entrepreneur is now working 50 hours every week, around three more than last year. In fact, 43% are now working even longer weeks than this (an increase on last year’s figure of 38%). This is expected to get worse with the credit crunch.
So is it worth it? Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that working harder seems to have a positive effect: the owner/ managers of those companies that have grown more than 10% in the last year had also worked the longest hours: an average of just over 52, to be precise. The bad news is that all this isn’t very good for their health. The proportion of entrepreneurs reporting that work was stressing them out has jumped from 54% to 71%.
There is one easy answer for entrepreneurs and portfolio workers: take more holiday. When you’re working so hard all year, taking time off is probably even more important than it is for most people – but in fact, entrepreneurs are actually much worse at taking holiday. They average just 15 days a year – that’s five less than the statutory minimum for UK employees. In fact, one in four don’t even get round to taking a full week off at once all year.
We are pleased to report that Katie is just coming to the end of her annual 2 week family holiday. Yes – she only takes 2 weeks a year with a few occasional days thrown in. Most portfolio workers tell us that they take little holiday and some have actually said that it’s boring to go on holidays as they enjoy their work so much. So what to do? Listen and feel what your body tells you. Pay attention to the needs of those who are close to you. Don’t do what reports and so-called experts tell you to do. And that includes us! I will have taken 4 weeks holiday by the end of the year and that works for me. But like so many other portfolio workers I enjoy what I am doing so much I don’t like being away from it for too long. Sad or fulfilled? You decide. I know what I think.