Almost a quarter of SME owners will miss Christmas, according to new survey

Almost a quarter (23%) of UK small business owners in the construction sector will miss Christmas celebrations this year due to business and work load commitments, according to new research from SME funding partner, Ultimate Finance.

  • Nine out of ten say that their business has had a negative impact on relationships and family life
  • 81% say poor work / life balance has a negative impact on their family relationships
  • Half have missed a special family occasion such as a birthday

Steve Noble, chief operating officer at Ultimate Finance, commented: “Christmas is an important time of year for many reasons, not least that it is one of the few times when there is potential for the majority of people in Britain to relax with family and friends. This is particularly important for SMEs who often work extremely long and lonely hours.

“Our research shows that many small business owners in the construction sector are not getting the opportunity to ‘switch off’ during Christmas. Instead, the stresses and strains of running a company is constant. This never-ending work-pattern can put strains on personal relationships, further isolating those who are not finding the time to take off. It is important that the issue of pressure on SMEs is addressed as a serious problem.”

Robert Stewart, a business psychologist, added: “Taking time out to spend with friends and family is an important part of life. It can be restorative and help with mental wellbeing. I find that business leaders often struggle to strike this work / life balance, sometimes feeling guilty about ‘downtime’, despite very much wanting to more spend time with loved ones. Not getting that time off can be extremely detrimental and I welcome this research which shows the true extent of the problem, which we can work together as a single business community to tackle.”

To help SMEs who need support with their wellbeing, Ultimate Finance has created an information hub with insight and guidance on a range of business wellbeing topics.

For further information, please visit