Small Business Owners Rethink Holidays: 9 in 10 Still Working – Insights from Entrepreneurs

Why small business owners struggle to take time off and how TUI is offering well-deserved holidays to deserving entrepreneurs.
Discover why small business owners struggle to take time off and how TUI is offering well-deserved holidays to deserving entrepreneurs.
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Small business proprietors face challenges in taking breaks, as research indicates that nine out of 10 Brits continue working during holidays. This trend, termed the “downtime deficit” by TUI, underscores the struggle for work-life balance.

According to the study, most business owners only utilize five days of annual leave, in contrast to the average 17 days taken by 9-to-5 employees.

In an effort to address this issue, two entrepreneurs, who cherish their work but grapple with work-life equilibrium, seek to alter their perspective on holidays.

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By sharing their experiences, they aim to inspire others to set aside work and prioritize essential relaxation.

One such entrepreneur is Tom Plumridge, a 32-year-old self-employed builder from Buckinghamshire. He shares, “I love my job as a builder but I’m changing the way I work for my future baby.”

Discover why small business owners struggle to take time off and how TUI is offering well-deserved holidays to deserving entrepreneurs.
Self-employed builder from Buckinghamshire Tom Plumridge. (Picture: Jam Press)

Reflecting on his vacation history, Tom Plumridge admits he hasn’t indulged in a two-week break since he was 21. Despite cherishing his job’s autonomy, he acknowledges its demanding hours and aims to reprioritize.

As an entrepreneur, he finds it challenging to disconnect entirely, often plagued by work-related concerns. However, impending fatherhood has prompted a shift in perspective, emphasizing the significance of family time and creating lasting memories.

Despite the challenges, Tom appreciates the benefits of self-employment, relishing the flexibility and networking opportunities it affords in the building industry.

Meanwhile, Zavia, a self-employed personal trainer from Manchester, shares Tom’s passion for aiding others but sometimes neglects her own well-being. She finds fulfillment in assisting clients in achieving their fitness goals but admits to occasionally overlooking her own needs.

Dedicated to her profession, Zavia works tirelessly to support her clients, often sacrificing personal time. While she occasionally travels for work, her commitment to her clients keeps her tethered to her phone and laptop, with little time for leisure.

Discover why small business owners struggle to take time off and how TUI is offering well-deserved holidays to deserving entrepreneurs.
Zavia, a self-employed personal trainer from Manchester. (Picture: Jam Press)

Zavia’s dedication to her clients goes beyond mere livelihood; she’s deeply invested in their well-being and progress, which intensifies her workload. While she finds immense fulfillment in aiding others to lead healthier lives, she often overlooks her own needs.

Being a self-employed personal trainer allows her to assist clients according to her vision, despite the demanding schedule and occasional fatigue. However, her commitment to her clients means she frequently sacrifices personal time, feeling the constant pressure to set a good example.

Although she occasionally travels, mostly for work-related purposes, she seldom disconnects from her devices, even during leisure moments like hiking in Portugal.

According to TUI’s research, the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs, 97%, admit to working during holidays, with a third spending four hours daily on work-related tasks while on leave. Despite their passion for business growth, almost half of entrepreneurs find it challenging to detach from work, highlighting the struggle to achieve a work-life balance.

While some acknowledge the benefits of taking time off to reset goals, many lament their inability to enjoy more leisure time, often having to cancel holidays due to work commitments.

Nonetheless, individuals like Zavia find the trade-off worthwhile, despite the inherent challenges of maintaining equilibrium between work and personal life.

Discover why small business owners struggle to take time off and how TUI is offering well-deserved holidays to deserving entrepreneurs.
Zavia, a self-employed personal trainer from Manchester. (Picture: Jam Press)

Maintaining a balance is crucial, as Zavia emphasizes. Despite witnessing immediate transformations in her clients and deriving immense satisfaction from her work, she acknowledges the allure of a fully relaxed vacation.

Recognizing the importance of downtime, she appreciates TUI’s campaign, viewing it as a valuable reminder to prioritize self-care and recharge. In support of entrepreneurs like Zavia and Tom, TUI offers a chance to win a free holiday.

Nominations for deserving entrepreneurs are open until June 8, 2024, with holidays redeemable over three years. Visit www.tui.co.uk/content/downtime-deficit to submit your nomination.

Discover why small business owners struggle to take time off and how TUI is offering well-deserved holidays to deserving entrepreneurs.
A group shot showing Panso Christaki, Tom Plumridge, Scott, Jo Throp and Zavia. (Picture: Jam Press)

Andrew Flintham, TUI UK&I’s managing director, lauds the passion and dedication of entrepreneurs. At TUI, they believe everyone, including hardworking business owners, deserves a break, whether it’s lounging on a beach or exploring a new city.

TUI is delighted to offer well-deserved trips to deserving entrepreneurs and encourages nominations for those going above and beyond. Additionally, here are some top professions where individuals took just 1-2 days off last year:

  1. Personal Trainers (35%)
  2. Photographers / Videographers (27%)
  3. Designers (25%)
  4. Plumbers (22%)
  5. Makeup Artists (20%)
  6. Electricians (19%)
  7. Hairdressers (18%)
  8. Builders and Chefs (16%)
  9. Farmers, Beauticians, and Shop Keepers (15%)

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