UK SME owners work the least hours in Europe

A new survey that was conducted by Hiscox found that UK small business owners on average worked fewer hours than small business owners in France, the US, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. The research took a look at 500 small businesses that were located in the six different countries.

It found that entrepreneurs in the UK averaged a work week of about 37.6 hours compared to the overall average of 41 hours for everyone in the study. In addition, those that were included in the study indicated that they were not as optimistic about the coming year as they were last year and only 10% reported that they had plans to take on new staff members over the next year.

The average holiday that was taken by UK small business owners was 21 days per year which was the highest holiday amount outside of Germany. According to the Federation of Small Business in the UK, its members were spending quite a few extra hours at work in order to help build their growing business and so they felt that this report did not paint a true picture of workers in the UK.

The Hiscox report read that many people have other reasons for setting up small businesses that are much deeper than just money such as lifestyle changes and freedom from the working life. The survey also found that business owners in the UK were not as critical of their government regulations and labour laws as those that live in other countries.

Out of all of the entrepreneurs included in the study from all countries about 40% stated that they felt the year ahead was going to be better which is a decrease from the almost 50% that believed this year would be better when asked last year.