President's Message - July 2019

Posted: 29th July 2019, 12:51pm

Unsurprisingly, many business owners can find it hard to switch off from their business. We all work long hours that extend well beyond the 37.5 hour week and rarely find time to take a break. Recent research suggests that 30% of small business owners didn’t take a summer holiday last year.

Yet taking that break can provide the opportunity to put much of our day to day activities into better perspective. We go on holiday to re-engage with family and friends and enjoy quality time together. We hope to re-charge our batteries so we can return to work more energised and raring to go once again. Working on the laptop, taking calls and checking our emails throughout the day impinges on that quality time. If we end up doing that, we’ll spend all day still thinking about business – and that, surely, defeats the point of being on holiday?

Of course, as a business owner, it’s impossible to let go completely. I say this as one who finds it hard to switch off from the office. But perhaps a balance can be struck: leave the laptop in the villa or hotel room for the day and enjoy the day out. Then, if needs be, check the emails in the evening.

Two days into a fortnight’s holiday, I rang my PA to ask why I hadn’t been contacted about various ongoing jobs. “Because we’re dealing with everything for you as instructed” she said. So, place trust in colleagues to keep things ticking over in your absence. You never know what hidden talents may emerge while you’re away. Maybe your business will be better for it. And no-one should begrudge you taking a break.

For those of you not tied to the school holidays, do join us for Brunch at the newly refurbished The George of Harpenden on Wednesday 21st August at 9.30am. For those who are managing to get away in August we look forward to welcoming you back at our Networking Lunch at Thompsons on 6th September and at our Breakfast Meeting at St Villa on Wednesday 25th September.

Alastair Woodgate
Chamber President

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