Over half (59%) of small business staff say that there are clear business benefits to be gained from their time off on holiday. The chance to clear their head and gain a better perspective on their next professional venture was ranked highest among 1,000 SME workers and owners. New research from the Business is GREAT Britain campaign, also shows that one in five bosses (21%) return to work looking to hire new staff and 19% with plans to actively grow and expand their enterprises in some way. Britain is also a nation of secret entrepreneurs as nearly one third (29%) of small business owners and workers use their annual leave to develop their next business or work-based ideas.

August proves the most common month to take a break, with 38% of people choosing to go away during this part of the summer. Yet many fail to completely unwind and relax as over one in three (37%) admit to checking their work emails occasionally during their break. Additionally, one fifth (20%) of staff confess to keeping in close contact with colleagues, and 10% even continue working when their ‘out of office’ is on. One fifth of those surveyed think about work on a daily basis when on their summer break.

Shaun Pulfrey, Founder of Tangle Teezer and ambassador for the Business is GREAT Britain campaign, said: “My life has just become a life again after dedicating it to Tangle Teezer for eight years. So I’m more than happy to get my holiday time back. Although, saying that I didn’t miss holidays when bringing Tangle Teezer to market as I was so focussed and excited. This year I’m having a nostalgic trip back to Boston where I worked for many years and actually came up with the concept for Tangle Teezer.

“You can never switch off creativity so I’m always making notes when I’m away, whether it’s new ideas or ways I think the business can move forward. I don’t worry about the day to day running of the office – I trust my staff completely to do that.”

Peace of mind comes into play too, for workers considering a summer break, with many stating they worry they will have forgotten to do something important before leaving the office (30%) or that work will not get done in their absence (20%).  42% of those who own and run small businesses, feel the thought of them leaving their organisation short staffed would discourage them from going and would consider cancelling their plans.

Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle Ltd, said: “The only holiday where I don’t work is between Christmas and New Year when we close the factory, all other holidays the work continues. But, how much of a drag is it to reply to an email when sipping on a cool beer by the pool? I keep it to an hour or so a day to keep the emails under control and I love it, I have a relaxed perspective have time to think things through.”