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Micro-businesses: switching off the ‘always on’ culture

Running a micro-business can be stressful. With the responsibility of securing work, making decisions and chasing payments – over half of business owners noted they are worried about their irregular income – there’s a lot of pressure to deal with. Add to that the impact of being constantly connected via technology and the fact that 87% of employees report problems with switching off outside of work.

This ‘always on’ culture is a recipe for poor wellbeing, which may manifest in to physical and mental health problems.

At Bupa, we believe it’s important to have an open dialogue with businesses to ensure employee wellbeing is understood and well-managed. So, we’ve spoken to micro-businesses to get their thoughts on the ‘always on’ culture and its impact on productivity.

Everyday pressures

According to recent research, over 30% of small business owners take under five days leave annually. Even more worryingly, 21% take none at all. And even those who do go away are likely to answer work emails and calls, with 85% stating they do this.

With so little space to relax, everyday pressures can easily build up, risking always being stressed or fuelling mental health problems that require treatment and time off. Figures from the Office for National Statistics make it clear that stress and mental health problems are among the top reasons for taking sick leave – an alarming 15.8 million working days are lost to these problems annually.

Poor mental wellbeing can in turn make it easier for physical health conditions to take hold, as exercise and self-care get neglected.

Long-term thinking

When you have a small team, wellbeing concerns have a major impact – especially if they affect the boss. Being in charge of all the major decisions can make you doubly reluctant to take time off – even when you really need to.

In reality, the consequences of being ‘always on’ and connected when you are stressed, depressed or physically unwell can have long-term impacts on both your health and your company’s productivity.

Taking care of yourself and ensuring you’re socially, as well as professionally, fulfilled can lead to a happier, healthier, more productive workplace for all.

Take the strain off

Pressure is always going to be high when you’re the one in charge. But there are tactics you can employ to ease the situation and lift your sense of wellbeing.

Bupa cares

You don’t have to deal with the worrying issue of employee wellbeing alone. Bupa’s extensive team of medical professionals are here to help, with services that approach wellbeing from every angle.

If you’re looking to help your team find the right work-life balance, we can help you tackle presenteeism and leaveism in the workplace with a wide range of support and tools. It only takes a few minutes to get a guide price online.


Get a guide price

Find out more about our health and wellbeing cover for your employees

Please note: Existing in-patient, out-patient and day case benefit limits and exclusions for pre-existing conditions still apply to our cover for mental health conditions.

Bupa Anytime HealthLine is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ.

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