One in three small business owners “prioritise work-life balance”, study reveals

More than 33 per cent of entrepreneurs see “cutting down work hours” as a major priority, a new study has revealed.

The finding forms part of new research published by accountancy software provider Xero.

The report, entitled Business Rewired, examines the technological transformation and automation of the workplace, changing how, where, and when business owners work.

According to the paper, a progressive work-life balance continues to be considered a major benefit of building your own enterprise, with technology making the leap even more accessible.

Xero expects technology to greatly “augment human work” over the coming five to seven years as revolutionary new products and services become more affordable. This will empower small business owners to spend more time on what “really matters”, such as creativity, fulfilment, happiness and relationships.

And with one in three owners citing work-life balance as a priority, it is no surprise that corporate technology is being geared towards saving time.

The research also builds on the possibility of the ‘four day working week’ – a framework commonly thrown about by aspiring Governments over the election season. The report suggests that technology, combined with flexible working, could cut real term working hours in half, making four day work weeks a realistic – albeit optimistic – ambition.

Commenting on the report, study author Emma Gannon said: “I personally believe we could all squish five days into four quite easily, but it is a bigger social shift to essentially try out a three-day weekend. The trouble is that the more productive we become, the more we end up doing, which means it can be tempting to just keep going.”

Co-author Gerd Leonhard, a futurist, speaker and author, added: “As communication becomes easier, in real-time and more fluid, productivity will be boosted, with intelligent assistants completing many routine tasks on our behalves.”