Previously on 1850 Thoughts, we’ve looked at the subject of time spent in the office and the best way to manage it to achieve maximum productivity. New research focusing on SMEs and time-management has revealed that poor time-management is largely to blame for stunted business-growth, being an obstacle for the larger UK economy.

The 2017 BIG Small Business Survey of 500 SME business owners – conducted by online printing company instantprint - revealed that in an average 38-hour working week, the typical business owner finds only 12 hours to dedicate to business growth.

Furthermore, one in ten find less than an hour a week, and 8 per cent say they have trouble finding anytime at all to pursue activities aimed at business growth.

27 per cent of SME owners surveyed blame bad time management for not spending their time on profit-boosting tasks, with 10 hours being the average time spent on non-profit related tasks. 85% of this 10-hour-average is spent doing admin tasks like reports, emails and finances – more about admin tasks and how to cut down on them here.

The survey also asked business owners what techniques they use to boost productivity, in a bid to spend less time on tedious, non-profit related jobs and spend more time on growing their business. 46% say that making a good old brew is the best way to spend their break; the cup of tea or coffee is what helps them focus most at work.

A third also said that listening to music helps them zone in and focus, and 27% say that working alone  helps them concentrate best, compared to the 17% who work best in a group- that open-plan office debate keeps on cropping up doesn’t it?

Co-founder of instantprint, James Kinsella comments on the study’s results:

‘We all know how it feels to fight the clock. There are only so many hours in the day to get everything done and SMEs are feeling the squeeze…it is the management of our hours, minutes and seconds that have the biggest effect on the running of a successful enterprise.’

‘Every business is unique, but improving time management and optimising working hours can only bring positive outcomes to the UK’s SMEs’ he concludes.



Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with her love of writing about anything and everything in tow.



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