The commonly held belief that small business owners are too busy to take substantial holidays is at odds with new research from Xero. The cloud accounting provider’s Working Parents Report, which involved a survey of 1248 Australians, found that small business owners with children will have more time off than other working parents this summer.
On average, working parents will take two weeks off work over the December/January holiday period. However, those who run their own business will take an average of three weeks off. Further, the vast majority parents who run a business (94%) said they now spend more quality time with their children now than they did in their previous jobs.
Trent Innes, Managing Director, Xero Australia, said the findings reveal that the desire for a more balanced family life is one of the greatest drivers for Australian wanting to run their own business: Most parents (64%) say they would consider starting their own venture in order to have more time to spend with their family and have flexibility to fit in with their kids’ schedule (64%).
“Many people feel after they have kids that have to make this difficult decision between staying home or working,” Innes said.
“As a parent myself, I know that the last choice any mum or dad wants to make is to be able to watch their children’s soccer games versus having a career. Australian parents are increasingly being drawn to small business ownership and becoming their own boss so they don’t have to sacrifice family time for work.”
While many working parents plan their holidays to spend time with their children, childcare arrangements are a leading cause of stress (20%). There is, however, a difference in stress levels, with those who work for someone else more likely than business owners to say sorting childcare is a pain point over the holidays (21% vs. 14%).
According to the research, business owners attribute technology to helping them achieve better work-life balance.
“In today’s digital age, work-life integration has never been more achievable. Almost three quarters of parents with their own business (74%) say they are able to work remotely more often now than in the past due to cloud tools and technologies,” Innes said.