Holidays without work a “luxury” for many operators, says Xero Small Business director

Holiday

Small business owners are increasingly embracing the 80:20 travel trend, whereby 80% of their holidays are reserved for leisure with the remaining 20% dedicated to work, according to Xero’s Travel Habits Report.

Key findings from the report, which compares the travel habits of 400 working Australians and 400 small business owners, include:

  • 48% of business owners have embraced working remotely while on holidays over the past 12 months, compared with one in five workers.
  • Amongst the business owners who worked remotely on their holidays, 25% worked interstate, 14% worked overseas, while 9% did both.
  • 43% of business owners were already following the 80:20 rule, while a further 21% more said they planned to do so when taking a holiday in the next 12 months.
  • 43 per cent of small business owners who have adopted work-centric travel trends, such as the 80:20 rule have cited improved work life balance (79%), enhanced relationships with family and friends (71%) and increased personal productivity (47%)

Anneliese Urquhart, Small Business Director, Xero Australia provided Dynamic Business with insights into the cloud accounting company’s findings.

DB: Is remote work, while on holiday, a lifestyle choice or a business reality?

Urquhart: The decision to embrace remote working is both a lifestyle choice and the reality of doing business in today’s current landscape. More businesses are embracing new ways of working, including remote working and working while on holiday. The increased use of cloud technology and laptops and mobiles as our primary work devices, means we’re able to stay connected from anywhere in the world, so long as there is an internet connection. By having the ability to work remotely, we’re seeing more small businesses and workers adopt different working environments, moving away from the traditional office to at-home working spaces, cafes and co-working spaces home and abroad.

As technology advances, and the way in which we work evolves, we’re going to see more and more people trial new ways of working – whether that be working remotely or a little a bit while on holidays. While 64% of Aussies said they would be open to working a little while on holiday if it meant they could take more leave, the trend is even more likely to be embraced by small business owners with 72% of them indicating they are open to working on holiday.

DB: What factors have fuelled the popularity of the 80:20 rule?

Urquhart: Many small business owners don’t have the luxury to completely switch off when taking holidays. Therefore, by adopting the 80:20 rule it allows them to stay connected to the business while enjoying quality time off with family or friends. If you do need to stay connected whilst on holidays, it’s important that you plan ahead to ensure you set and maintain boundaries around the amount of time you spend working. You still need time to switch off and actually enjoy your down time. Another factor is that the 80:20 rule empowers small businesses to take leave frequently throughout the year, reducing their risk of burnout.

DB: What technologies help businesses adopt the 80:20 rule?

Urquhart: Adopting this method is simple. So long as you have a laptop, tablet or mobile and access to internet, you can work remotely. Cloud-based technologies have made it easy for colleagues to stay connected and manage everyday business functions such as finances, invoices and staff working hours remotely. Many business management tools also have apps for mobile devices, making it easier for people and colleagues to connect on the go without the need of being on a computer.