SMEs owners are more motivated by the prospect of achieving work/life balance than increasing profits, a new survey by accounting software firm Reckon has revealed.
Of more than 1300 Australian SME owners who participated in the survey, just over 50% said achieving work/life balance was their definition of success, compared to 33% who aspire to higher profits.
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And what is stopping SME owners spending more time with the family? Mainly a lack of good staff to keep things ticking over while they are away, and having to spend time doing the books; 18% of SME owners ranked each of them as key barriers to success.
Some SME owners are also getting worn down by the daily grind of running a business – 17% said losing personal drive was a major obstacle to achieving their goals.
Another reason for the priority SME owners give to work/life balance over profits could be that, on the whole, business conditions are good. Almost 70% of respondents reported their business is currently performing quite well and 16% said it was travelling extremely well, compared to just 14% who said they were struggling.
If the results of the survey suggest that the dreams of many people to start their own business to exert greater control over their working life are going unfulfilled, a new Australian Bureau of Statistics report suggests employees are now spending a little less time in the office.
According to the ABS Yearbook 2008 released yesterday, the average full-time employee worked 39.4 hours per week in 2006-07, down from the record high of 41.4 hours recorded 1999-2000.
Join our debate today on feedback:
Are you struggling with work/life balance? Or are profits more important? Do you have any good tips for achieving work/life balance? Do your staff have better work life balance than you?