Work/life balance worries SME bosses more than finance

SME bosses worry more about the impact of work on their lives than they do about profit and loss and finances, a new study reveals.

Work/life balance trumps profit & loss and client demands on small business bosses’ worry list, according to AXA PPP healthcare poll.

Asked what keeps them awake at night, one in four (26 per cent) SME bosses say that they worry about the impact of work on their lives. Profit and loss concerns adversely affect one in five (18 per cent), followed by managing client demands (17 per cent), lack of business growth (15 per cent) and access to finance (13 per cent).

When it comes to bosses’ biggest people worries, losing staff came top for 29 per cent. Staff loyalty was a concern reported by a quarter (25 per cent) and a similar proportion (24 per cent) identified skills shortages as their biggest problem.

Iain McMillan, SME director for AXA PPP healthcare, thinks that pressure can help us to thrive but too much for too long or in the wrong place at the wrong time can be overwhelming and make for sleepless nights.

Wages were bosses’ top cash concern, with 27 per cent identifying paying employees as their biggest cost issue, followed by access to finance (22 per cent), operational overheads such as rent and equipment (15 per cent) and ability to pay suppliers (15 per cent).

McMillan continues, ‘Running a small business is often exhilarating and many SME bosses wouldn’t change it for the world. But it’s rarely trouble-free and, by identifying and addressing the problems you can do something about and accepting that some things simply have to go on the back burner you can keep moving ahead.

‘Work can snowball – especially at this time of year – but with over a third of bosses recognising work/life balance as a leading priority it looks like positive New Year resolutions are starting early.’

Further reading on workplace happiness

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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