What vacation?: Canadian small business owners struggle to get time off

61% of small business owners surveyed said a lack of time off has led to higher stress levels (Getty)
61% of small business owners surveyed said a lack of time off has led to higher stress levels (Getty)

If you ask a small business owner how their vacation was, there’s a good chance they’ll answer you with a puzzled look.

Not taking time off is one of the costs of doing business for entrepreneurs, and the lack of leisure time can quickly make life stressful.

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A new survey from CIBC (CM-PY.TO) shows four-in-ten (39 per cent) small business owners have taken little to no vacation time this year, while 60 per cent struggle to get time off from work when needed.

An inability to get time off means 54 per cent have given up on most hobbies and extracurricular activities.

"Entrepreneurs wear many hats to ensure their enterprise runs smoothly and profitably. But this often creates real obstacles in achieving work-life balance," said Andrew Turnbull, senior VP of business banking at CIBC, in a release.

"Time spent on bookkeeping, accounting and payroll is contributing to the problem and business owners have been telling us they spend too much time on these activities."

(CIBC)
(CIBC)

A lot of entrepreneurs start a business, in part, for the freedom of choosing their own hours, but the survey found 65 per cent reported actually working more, not less.

A lack of work-life balance means 61 per cent said their stress levels have increased.

So, what would small business owners do if a genie granted their wish for more vacation time?

At 52 per cent, travelling topped the list of responses.

Socializing with friends and family came second at 38 per cent.

Pursuing a passion, hobby or activity (35 per cent), and exercising or playing sports (34 per cent) were neck and neck in third place.

Getting some rest was second-lowest on the list of priorities at 28 per cent, followed by relaxing or meditating at 26 per cent.

"Passion and dedication are two of the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur," said Turnbull.

"Business owners make huge contributions to the Canadian economy and to our communities. Our aim is to support Canadian entrepreneurs with innovative solutions that give them more time to focus on what matters most – from growing their business to enjoying hobbies and family.”

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

Yahoo Finance Canada
Yahoo Finance Canada

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