Entrepreneurs in the UK working longer hours

1 10 2007

As new EU rules on statutory leave are introduced, research carried out on behalf of Abbey Business Banking shows over half the UK’s entrepreneurs are working more than the European recommended standard of a 48-hour week.


The report has been published following research from 300 small-to-medium business owners in May of this year. Key findings showed:

• Entrepreneurs in the South West work the longest week clocking up 57.9 hours; 

• London entrepreneurs work the least hours averaging 44.2 per week;

• Agriculture and Mining entrepreneurs work on average 62.1 hours per week; and

• 40 per cent of entrepreneurs in the South East feel their health has suffered as a result of long hours.


Abbey’s research found that South West entrepreneurs were putting in the longest hours whilst entrepreneurs based in London were working the shortest week. The average entrepreneur in Britain works over 50 hours every week.

28 per cent of all entrepreneurs felt their health had suffered due to working long hours; this increased to 40 percent in Greater London whilst only 15 per cent of entrepreneurs in Yorkshire and Humberside felt their health had been affected.

The findings also varied greatly from sector to sector. No entrepreneurs in the financial sector felt their health had suffered whilst 42 per cent of manufacturing entrepreneurs felt their health had deteriorated due to their work.

Ian Wilson, Managing Director of Abbey Business Banking, commented:

“Entrepreneurs in the UK are working longer and longer hours. It is a testament to their dedication and work ethic that they are prepared to put in the extra effort to ensure their businesses succeed. However, working hard comes at a cost and as our research has shown over a quarter of Britain’s entrepreneurs feel their health has suffered due to the amount they are working.”

Despite these findings, most entrepreneurs still feel that working alone is preferable to working for someone else, despite the long hours they have to put in.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts on why entrepreneurs put in so many hours – is it by choice or neccessity?

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