More and more micro-business owners in the UK now spend their holidays switching between business and leisure.
New research by FreeAgent has revealed just how many business owners now take their work with them when they go on holiday. According to the findings of its latest poll, over 90% of micro-business owners admit to checking work-related emails or doing work-related admin while they are on holiday - with nearly two-thirds (61%) saying that they do so on a regular basis.
FreeAgent surveyed nearly 600 freelancers and micro-business owners about their experiences of self-employment. The results show that long hours are the norm for many self-employed people, with 38% of respondents saying they work more than 48 hours in a typical week and 7% saying they typically work 64 hours or more.
What's more, 11% of respondents will take only one week or less of holiday in 2018 - including 5% who do not expect to take any time off at all from their business this year.
Those that do manage to take more holiday are having to keep on top of work while they are away. However, the report concludes that these "workations" could actually be allowing freelancers and micro-business owners to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
"It's often tough for small business owners to take holidays and get some proper downtime, as many feel they'll either be abandoning their work or that their business won't be able to cope if they take a break. But by not taking time off, they also risk their health as they're not able to properly recharge their batteries," said Ed Molyneux, ceo and co-founder of FreeAgent.
"The positive news, however, is that we seem to be seeing a shift in how micro-business owners view their holiday time. The greater availability of reliable wifi and 4G networks mean that it's easier than ever to manage business tasks on the go - even when you're overseas - and this is leading to more people taking 'workations'."
It's a positive development, he said. "Rather than risking burn-out by staying tethered to their home office or business premises, they're able to take a holiday and relax but also keep an eye on their business, manage important admin and respond to any emergencies."