Unplug, kick back and relax

Hillier Hopkins LLP

Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisers

Call +44(0)330 024 3200 and discover how we can help you.

Summer is here and for owner-managers it is time to soothe the fears and address those worries about taking time off. For many entrepreneurs it can be really hard to control their anxiety and get a release from their business. For those who feel the need to be present, the idea of a holiday can bring more tension than relief. However, there are a number of things to consider before cancelling plans or dismissing them altogether without a second thought.

During the summer time business demand is not usually quite so high as at other times of year because clients and customers also take time off. Thus, even for business owners summer can be considered a good time for holidays. If something comes up, try to postpone or sub-contract the work but do not cancel your free time.

What happened to the summer holiday?

Research from Sage suggests that more than 30 per cent of entrepreneurs do not take holidays. 
Usually people feel that they are continually short of time and because of that they decide that there is no time to take a holiday. This can be counter-productive though, as even the most energetic people occasionally need a break. If you are permanently rushed off your feet it may be time to hire somebody else to delegate or share tasks. This will bring the opportunity to dedicate time to yourself, your family and also to develop new business.

Delegating successfully

Letting go can be tough, especially for entrepreneurs and owner-managers. Maybe you have already employed a deputy but you do not trust them enough to go away for a few days. In that case you need to train that person to assume the front position of your company and let them fill the role for periods you are there to build confidence for when you are not. If you cannot leave them to it when you are there, you are unlikely to when you are away and you will be never be able to take a decent break.

Delegating tasks may be hard for you but it can bring a lot to your business. If the boss is out, employees need to take responsibility and learn how to solve problems without depending on the boss’ presence. In the long run, building this degree of trust in the organisation will also contribute to the overall growth and development of the business. The leader should step back, trust his employees and let them gain confidence to succeed. If a business cannot survive the boss’ holiday, then maybe the boss is the problem.

Take holidays seriously

Taking a break and recharging the batteries is important for human beings and it should not just be a novelty for those with significant responsibility. A work pause is really important not only for the person themselves but also for the firm’s environment. Every business needs people with energy. If you only work and do not recharge your batteries, it will negatively affect your performance over time.

As an owner of the company it is your responsibility to manage your time off and stress levels to avoid burning out at work. It is not only the manager’s free time that is valuable but also the employee´s time too. Penny de Valk, managing director of talent management at Penna Talent Management, states that “Evidence shows you become less productive without proper breaks. Even if people work longer hours, they’re not as creative and can’t maintain the same intensity level”.

Taking a break can be good for your business.

Taking yourself out of your business for a period of time helps you refocus and think about your business from a different perspective. Periods of absence often result in creative thinking and problem solving. Away from the daily distractions, you may find that a week’s holiday gives you the time and space to think about the development of your business and injects new energy and motivation on your return to work.