August 2016: Summer is spelling bad weather for small businesses in the South East, according to a survey of 200 small business owners in the South East. Over two thirds (69%) of small business owners believe their business productivity falls during summer months.
Sandler Training (UK), a business development consultancy, commissioned the research to get insight into the ‘summer slump’ phenomenon and small business views on taking summer holidays.
According to ApprovedIndex, the summer months costs UK businesses £8bn a year in reduced productivity. Small business owners in the South East believe that the issues fuelling this dip in summer productivity is reduced personnel (44%), followed by staff being on ‘holiday mode’ (28%) and reduced availability of suppliers and customers (29%).
To mitigate against this summer slump, the vast majority (87%) of small business owners in the South East have implemented policies to stop workers taking holiday at the same time during the summer months.
Many small business owners (19%) are also forgoing having their own summer holidays in order to address a drop in productivity. However, those that are taking holiday are failing to actually switch off. Nearly two thirds (65%) are taking smartphones on holiday with them, and then checking emails on average of 3.7 times a day. 14% of small business owners also state that they can’t go on holiday without also packing their company laptop.
Despite small business owners negative views on the summer slump, nearly three quarters (70%) conceded that taking a holiday could conversely boost their personal productivity – with 45% saying that having a break recharged their batteries and nearly a quarter (24%) believe that it helps relieve feelings of stress.
David Davies of Sandler Training Thames Valley comments: “Summer holidays should be revered, not feared, by small businesses. Rather than feeling negative about the summer season, they should be actively encouraging their employees to take a long summer holiday. Time away from work is refreshing – employees are typically more productive when they return so productivity levels out."
“It’s also important that the small business owners take a holiday themselves. Productivity is not synonymous with hours worked. Prioritising time where they can unwind means that they can reflect and think without distractions, which enables them to think strategically and creativity, which is essential for business growth. Over a quarter (27%) of the small business owners admitted that they had thought up the original concept for their business whilst on holiday – proof if needed that holidays can be fantastic business!”
About Sandler Training (UK)
Sandler Training is the UK’s leading sales, management and leadership training organisation, with 28 centres of excellence across the country. The Sandler method uses non-traditional, disruptive methods Sandler gives busy entrepreneurs the freedom to change on a personal and professional level.