Almost half of SME leaders are ‘under too much pressure’, study finds

A new study suggests that almost half (48 per cent) of small business leaders and decision-makers are feeling ‘strapped for time’ and ‘under too much pressure’ at work.

The research, which was carried out by computer software group Advanced, found that 40 per cent of bosses were finding it difficult to prioritise tasks and make important decisions.

It also found that this ‘busyness’ culture was having a negative impact on workplace attitudes at many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 46 per cent of respondents claiming that they were becoming ‘short-tempered’ under stress and 18 per cent adding that they were isolating themselves from their colleagues.

The study’s authors argued that such behaviour was almost certain to have “a detrimental effect on staff morale, motivation and productivity,” and that business owners needed to do more to reduce “workplace stressors.”

In many ways, this can be achieved by seeking specialist advice and assistance with regards to tax, payroll and administrative duties.

Advanced’s findings come just weeks after a separate piece of research carried out by Direct Line for Business found that many SME bosses are so busy, they have been unable to take a holiday in the past 12 months.

Alex Arundale, of Advanced, said: “The life of a director just keeps getting more complex, demanding and noisy. But busyness is neither a healthy trend nor a badge of honour.

“Being busy has sadly become a synonym for success when it is, in fact, a drag on the whole organisation’s productivity,” she said.