• Register
Return to: Home > News > ‘Always on’ culture placing too much pressure on SME leaders

‘Always on’ culture placing too much pressure on SME leaders

Almost a fifth (15%) of SME leaders in professional services admit to feeling under pressure at all times, according to research by Advanced, a British software and services company.

The research found 61% of the 504 respondents do not switch off or struggle to switch off. Almost two-thirds (61%) cited the lack of time as the primary source of their work pressure.

Just under half (46%) of respondents, which comprised of senior decision makers at SMEs, said they would consider seeking medical help or counselling support if they felt under pressure and 60% said they would consider taking time out from their job.

Advanced group HR director Alex Arundale said: “It’s encouraging to see that most leaders of professional service firm recognise when they are under pressure at work, with many getting help when they need it.

“But it also sends a clear message – business owner mangers responsible for the UK’s economic backbone are being overworked and those that don’t take time out to refuel could face burnout.”

A majority of respondents (83%) noted their behaviour changes when under pressure, of which 55% said they get short tempered and 28% isolate themselves or become withdrawn. An additional side effect of the pressure felt by SME leaders was an inability to sleep (46%).

The University of Manchester’s business school professor of organisational psychology and health said: “SME leaders are their own worst enemy. They don’t like delegating and they worry about their organisation, which can be damaging to both people and business.

“The digital era is making it worse too. Leaders take their smartphones with them all the time and don’t hesitate to work while on holiday or when with family at night. Switching off is critical and that means taking a proper break to recharge. Otherwise, these leaders will get ill – especially if they’re under pressure all the time as Advanced’s research suggests.”

Top Content

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more

    FASB: a quest for simpler standards

    FASB chair Russell Golden addressed the IMA 2019 Annual Conference and Expo at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, California, on 18 June. IMA immediate former chair-emeritus Alex Eng acted as moderator. Joe Pickard reports.

    read more

    The future of audit, and how to get there

    Two recent reports peer into the future of the audit profession. One analyses what an audit should offer, while the other looks at how the audit process will be carried out. Robin Amlôt takes a closer look at both.

    read more

    EFAA elects new president, focuses on digital future

    EFAA’s new president, Salvador Marin, outlined his key priorities for the next two years at the organisation’s 2019 annual general meeting, while outgoing president Bodo Richardt offered advice. Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more


    As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, the International Accounting Bulletin and The Accountant will be collating all the latest news and updates from the profession on the pandemic’s impact.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.