Despite Elon Musk’s decision to ban remote working at Twitter and claim that he would be working and sleeping at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters until the ‘org is fixed’, this type of demonstrative dedication to work isn’t an ideal shared by other business leaders.
As the majority of our Founders all work remotely within their teams at the start of their concept’s journey, the traditional hours and methods of working have always been questioned. This research from our contact Joe Walsh, head of B2B at Samsung confirms what our Founders have been activating for a while. It’s an essential read to anyone planning how they want to get the best work from their team in 2023 and how to design company culture moving forwards. Keep reading …
New research commissioned by Samsung, surveying 1,000 UK business executives, reveals that gone are the days when burning the midnight oil was the norm. With the average ‘clocking off time’ for business leaders now 3.06pm. Further still, one in five business owners (20%) said they only work when they want to, while just 14% stick to a traditional 9-5.
Prioritising self-care and family life, setting their own hours, working holidays; all define the new ‘fluid’ British business owner, according to new research from Samsung.
· 47% of entrepreneurs have ‘no fixed hours,’ with 9-5 becoming the exception.
· 97% perform non-work activities during their newly defined ‘working day’.
· 37% of entrepreneurs have been on a ‘working holiday’.
· 51% have upgraded their work phone to enable them to work from anywhere.
Their research shows just how far the modern entrepreneur has evolved from traditional stereotypes. Full time business owners in the UK revealed that nearly half (47%) have no fixed work hours at all, preferring a fluid workday set up. One-third (31%) of business owners also said they commit to less than 7 hours as a typical core working day, preferring to work when optimal to their businesses.
While an early start is popular, with an average clocking on time of 8.21am, burning the midnight oil is now less popular, with an average ‘clocking off time’ of 3.06pm, showing the rewards of efficient working practices. One in five of those polled (20%) said they only work when they want to, while just 14% stick to a traditional 9-5.
Work is headspace not a physical space
At Startup Giants, this really resonated with us. Our team all work remotely as do our clients – each founder works remotely. More than ever, work is about focus not location, with the average business owner not having set foot in an office for 148 days, and one in five never having done so at all. Instead, almost two-fifths (37%) of entrepreneurs have taken a working holiday without telling clients, with the practise far more common amongst those aged 25-34 (48%) compared to just 20% of those over 55. That confidence seems linked to technology, with more than half (51%) upgrading their work phone so they can operate anywhere, on their own terms. There is, however, a continuing sense of dedication, with 43% of small business owners taking less holiday time, preferring to continue to work from wherever they are.
Mental and emotional wellbeing are major considerations, and there is growing sentiment that work should not be all encompassing even among business owners; 71% said they put their family life ahead of their business, with 27% saying the same for friends. In a sign of how much the conversation has shifted, half (49%) said they prioritise their emotional health ahead of their business.
According to the research, modern entrepreneurs aren’t just trying to improve their own work/life balance though, they’re encouraging their staff to do the same. Half (49%) let their employees change their working hours to fit in with their lives, a third (35%) are happy to let their staff choose their working hours so long as they get the job done, and remarkably, almost a quarter (23%) will let staff come in late if they’ve been out the night before. That duty of care is being taken seriously, with 36% allowing their employees to take ‘mental health days’ if needed.
Dynamic technology for changing times
The owners detailed the biggest changes to their working lives over the last 5 years as:
- Flexible hours (36%).
- Fewer or no face-to-face meeting (18%).
- Wearing casual clothes (10%).
- Working from anywhere (9%).
Making the most of time spent working
The days of being deskbound are almost over, with 97% of respondents performing non-work activities during the traditional “working day.” Self-care is clearly a priority, with three-quarters (74%) taking time out to exercise and, almost half (47%) to develop a new skill, such as learning a language. In a further up-levelling of work/life balance, respondents spend an average of 1 hour and 12 minutes on household chores, and 39% spend up to 2 hours playing with their children. More unusual work-time activities include learning to knit, bathing a pet iguana, attending a football match and 46% admit to getting their hair done during their office hours. Apparently far more normal is the habit of napping, with one in five (22%) taking daily siestas to help them perform better.
Cherry spoke to Joe Walsh, Director of B2B at Samsung UK about the research and he said: ‘UK business owners and Founders are the backbone of our economy, and their dedication and commitment inspires me every day. This research reveals, that they are also leading the charge on transforming our preconceived ideas of how we should work. For modern entrepreneurs, work is wherever they find the right headspace. It’s all about finding new ways of working that bring more individual satisfaction and reward.
‘Multi-tasking, multi-screens, multi-priorities; all are now commonplace, with a refreshed focus quality over quantity. As many of the respondents expressed, if their business can be run effectively from a beach in Greece or after picking up their kids from school, why shouldn’t it be? Technology is at the heart of this change, with the right tools empowering them to juggle what they need to do and what they want to do, without missing a beat, and driving growth.’
For all of our Founders at the early stages of setting up their companies and deciding on how to employ people, use contractors and what their company culture is, this research shows how tech can boost productivity when you’re at your most productive. This level of self-awareness can mean that every day is boosted when you’re working creatively or catching up on admin and how to allocate your time. Our Founders are already challenging the status quo with their companies, now they can challenge the 9-5 status quo to be successful at work.