Survey shows business owners expect a hectic holiday season and 2012. Vacation? Who needs vacation?
December is a busy time of year for most people. Aside from the usual craziness at your small business, folks are generally loaded down with additional personal commitments from finding the perfect gift for a grumpy relative to adorning our homes up to neighborhood standards. Sure, having an excuse to indulge in holiday treats and attend lots of festive gatherings is fun, but a new survey from cloud computing company RingCentral shows that for business owners the holiday period is only growing more hectic.
The poll of 300 business owners released this week showed that while it may be a cheerful time of year, it's also a chaotic one:
70.4 percent of respondents reported they expect to work more this holiday season than last year.
Only 14 percent of business owners are planning to take a real vacation, i.e. a complete break from work, including work-related e-mails or phone calls.
With continuing lean times keeping up the pressure on small business owners to take advantage of even the faintest glimmers of economic recovery, and technology enabling work responsibilities to follow us just about everywhere, entrepreneurs are facing increasingly packed schedules. But the news isn't all bad for business owners. A separate study found that 50 percent are expecting this holiday season to be better for business than last year.
Also possibly in the positive column are findings from RingCentral (which, as a provider of remote-work solutions, obviously has a horse in this race) that show that even though entrepreneurs are working more hours, technology is allowing them increasing flexibility about when and where those hours occur and how they fit into the rest of life's activities. For example, 73.4 percent of respondents said they'd be more flexible about allowing employees to work remotely this year than in the past. Though it must be said that the same ability to plug in anywhere makes it increasingly tricky to cut ties to work entirely.
Do you think you'll manage to take a hiatus from work this holiday season?
JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist. @EntryLevelRebel