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written by
Max White

Online on holiday

A white sanded beach with a palm tree overhanging clear blue water

Holiday [noun]: a time when someone does not go to work or school but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax (Cambridge English Dictionary).

It’s a word that does not feature in a business owner’s vocabulary. Although they might travel, they rarely relax.

Switching off

In fact, eight out of ten business owners say they interrupted their holiday at some point to address a work related issue. In the same study, 34% of entrepreneurs said they were communicating with employees daily during their holiday.

All of us, entrepreneurs especially, need time to switch off. Our lives now are more stressful than they have ever been. We’re working longer hours, spending more time in front of screens, sleeping less, exercising less. A vacation in some shape or form, for however long, is very much a necessity.

If you are an entrepreneur who hasn’t been away in a while, then you are forgiven. Entrepreneurs by nature do not find it easy to hand over control or to step back from what they’re doing. It means trusting someone else to take the reins. But whilst it might not be easy, it is important.

The cost of not holidaying

If you work around the clock then you risk burning out. A study of 2,000 bosses found that 25% have fallen ill due to stress and overworking. And it’s not just physical illness you put yourself at risk of. Mental Health charity, Mind, says business owners put themselves at risk of mental illness when they ignore their general wellbeing.

“Having a good work-life balance, including regularly having time off, is key to staying mentally healthy,” says Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind.

“Consistently working long hours and managing an excessive workload can take their toll on our physical and mental health, with the potential to negatively affect business performance.”

So remember, taking a short break now could save you being off ill for longer in the future. Don’t wait until next year. Find some time to take a step back from it all, if only for a while.

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