Work-life balance: Majority SMBs feel stressed, burnt out as remote work chips away at personal time

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August 29, 2021 1:01 PM

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Covid-induced burnout has gotten worse in the past year. Over a third of SMB owners said they have seen employee burnout and attrition due to work pressures during the pandemic.

Most firms find it difficult to engage employees in wellbeing programmes: Report56 per cent SMB owners said they now work longer hours than they would like to -- average 45.1 hours, more than the standard workweek.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The majority of small and medium business (SMB) leaders are feeling stressed and burnt out as remote work has blurred the line between work life and personal life while free time has just become more work time during the Covid era. According to an Adobe survey titled The Future of Time of 5,000 SMB owners and enterprise workers globally in August, 56 per cent SMB owners said they now work longer hours than they would like to — average 45.1 hours, more than the standard workweek. Also, three in five SMB leaders feel pressured to respond to emails and customer issues even after clocking out for the day. The survey was conducted to gauge where do respondents feel the most time pressure and how it has impacted their work and personal lives.

Covid-induced burnout has gotten worse in the past year. Over a third of SMB owners said they have seen employee burnout and attrition due to work pressures during the pandemic. The impact is more on minority-owned, women-owned, and essential small businesses as 67 percent, 49 percent, 67 percent of them respectively felt more stretched for the time at work than non-minority-owned, men-owned, and non-essential small business owners. Minority business is an American term for entities that are at least 51 per cent owned and operated by ethnic minorities. Essential small businesses are defined as businesses that retailed crucial consumer products or services such as groceries, healthcare, and emergency services during the pandemic.

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The survey noted that these stresses carry over into respondents’ home life. 64 per cent minority-owned, 54 per cent women-owned, and 60 per cent essential small business leaders felt higher levels of stress in their personal lives from trying to keep their business afloat. Consequently, more minority-owned (55 percent) and essential small business (51 percent) leaders said they are losing the passion that spurred them to launch their own businesses. In fact, nearly half of essential small business owners said they would be willing to sell their business tomorrow if they could.

Particularly with respect to the Indian small businesses, according to a study by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) earlier this year to assess the impact of the pandemic on micro-units set up under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), 88 per cent PMEGP beneficiaries had reported a negative impact. However, the government currently doesn’t have the data around the total number of MSMEs shut due to the lockdown measures. “As MSMEs are present in both formal and informal sector, data regarding temporary or permanent closure of the units are not maintained by the Government of India in Ministry of MSME,” MSME Minister Narayan Rane had said in the Rajya Sabha recently.

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