Written by Jacob Montague and

For more details please contact us

New research suggests that employees at small to medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”), both junior and senior, are the most susceptible to “never switching off”. The summer holidays are here, if not around the corner for most, and a survey conducted by Process Bliss, a process management firm, suggests 67% of employees will spend some time working whilst on a summer holiday.

There is a worrying trend amongst SMEs that, wherever they might be, there is an expectation that employees be ready and available. The survey goes onto ask employees why they felt this need to “check in” despite being on leave. The results were as follows:

  • 36% said they cannot relax properly without knowing things are done;
  • 28% want to be conscientious;
  • 24% worry that something will be missed;
  • 16% don’t trust colleagues to keep everything in order; and
  • 13% feel that they are the only ones that can do their job.

All of the above are causes for concern and showcase a need for better employee engagement and understanding of their working processes and habits. “No one should be expected to work during the holidays, or feel that the SME they work for cannot manage a few weeks without them” states Alister Esam, CEO of Process Bliss.

Furthermore, a worryingly high 41% stated that their superiors expected them to be available. The recent Process Bliss research goes hand in hand with a survey conducted in May of this year, by Close Brothers, where 60% of business leaders at SMEs stated they never switch off from work. If the senior management do not feel they can switch off, it is no surprise that this pressure is filtering down to the employees. Work/Life balance is not only increasing in importance for employees but for companies. Businesses are now more clued into the negative effects a poor work life balance can have on its work forces. An inability to rest appropriately can lead to poor mental and physical health and a huge decrease in productivity through absenteeism and presenteeism.

The good news is that there was evidence of companies adopting new measures to combat this inability to leave work at work and, importantly, these initiatives have been met with positive and productive attitudes from business leaders; 67% of those in senior management roles felt the initiatives applied to them as well too. These initiatives included: encouraging individuals to leave work on time, using flexitime schemes, having regular breaks, and offering employees the opportunity to work from home.

“Senior figures in businesses should also work cohesively to lighten the load. Simple changes, such as ensuring out-of-hours workloads are shared, can be effective in ensuring that everyone feels supported” comments David Thomson, CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance. Businesses will be amazed at the positive, tangible benefits that can be facilitated by wellbeing practices. We at Forbury People are experts in enabling a change in company culture and ethos to reflect a more modern and healthier working attitude. Contact one of our specialists by heading to our contact page here.

12th July 2019