Mistletoe, wine and work

Over half of UK SME owners plan to work over festive period.

Traditionally a time to relax with loved ones and indulge in some festive food and fun, Christmas is not known as the “most wonderful time of the year” for nothing. However, it seems that many UK business leaders are not expecting to switch off completely this festive period. This is according to the latest research commissioned by ILUX, the full-service IT consultancy, which revealed over half of UK SME owners (54%) plan to continue working throughout their Christmas holidays. 

Conducted in October 2019, the research canvassed the opinions of over 500 UK-based SMEs on their work habits and the use of IT within their business. 

James Tilbury, founder of ILUX, comments “Spending time with loved ones is undoubtedly one of the best parts of the Christmas period. However, business owners know - perhaps better than most - that sometimes switching off from work completely in order to do so simply isn’t feasible.

“This is not necessarily a bad thing; many of our customers, particularly business owners, report that the ability to stay connected with their businesses during the holidays can bring some welcome peace of mind. To minimise intrusions into family time, the key is to make sure that any time spent working is as productive as possible. This is where reliable IT provision can make a critical difference, minimising the risk of unwanted disruption caused by IT failures or outages.” 

The survey also quizzed respondents on who was ultimately responsible for IT within their businesses and the results revealed that the majority of SMEs are currently opting for the “do it yourself” approach. Three in five small business owners (59%) claim to shoulder the burden themselves with a further 10% passing the baton to another member of their management team. In contrast, just 7% have engaged the services of a dedicated IT professional and just 9% work with an external IT partner. 

James comments: “It seems that the vast majority of UK SMEs aren’t prioritising expert, dedicated and reliable IT provision, which will help to pre-emptively guard against any disruption or outage. Not only can IT problems cause unnecessary interruptions, but they can also have a detrimental effect on mental health. Cyberattacks, tech outages and breaches have all been shown to cause stress-related illnesses. This reinforces the need for comprehensive IT provision, with a focus on preventing problems before they occur, to avoid sleepless nights this Christmas-and all year round.”