After a few difficult years, Kiwi SME owners are entering 2024 with a new mindset: finding the perfect work-life balance, according to MYOB’s recent SME snapshot.
MYOB’s regular SME Snapshot report, which interviews over 500 SME business owners, says that their top priority for the new year is improving their work life balance at 35 percent.
Another key priority is investing in business growth (29 percent), while almost a quarter of SME business owners (24 percent) say they want to take a holiday.
MYOB General Manager for SMEs, Emma Fawcett, says that it is “encouraging” to see business owners eager to prioritise their wellbeing after a challenging few years.
“When we reflect on the challenges of the last few years and the persistent economic headwinds of the last 12-24 months, SME owners have had to deal with it all – while still keeping the lights on and the team paid,” says Fawcett.
“While there are many rewards, I don’t think it can be overstated how tough running your own business can be. This is why it’s so heartening to see more business owners paying attention to their own wellbeing and focusing on finding more time for themselves. It’s incredibly important – for avoiding burnout, improving their mental health, and for ensuring they’re feeling refreshed and in the right mindset to support their teams and make the right calls for their business when it counts.”
Read more: Work trends for 2024
Around one in five, or 20 percent of SME owners, say it has been a year or more since their last break that lasted longer than three days.
Eight percent say they don’t remember the last time they took a holiday.
The survey, taken in October 2023, found a quarter of SME business owners say they would not be taking time off in the Christmas/New Year season in order to get the most out of one of the most important trading periods of the year.
“With our insights showing increased optimism from SMEs around New Zealand’s economic performance in 2024, it is no surprise that local business owners are looking forward to some respite. For some, this means taking the time to prioritise a better balance between work and wellbeing – taking a much-needed break,” adds Fawcett.
“For others, it means seizing the opportunity provided by any potential improvement in trading conditions to fuel the growth of their business.”
Fawcett adds that for SME owners to find success in 2024, they will need to rely on opportunities that will encourage them to work smarter, not harder.