Small business owners lose 24 working days a year due to work worries - and it's costing them thousands, according to new research.
A new study into the lives of 1,000 American small business owners found the average owner loses 44 minutes of productive work time every day due to worries about their business performance, security and other areas.
That adds up to an incredible 191 hours over the course of a year - the equivalent of more than a month of working days.
And it's having a clear hit on their finances too. The average owner studied valued their time at approximately $50 per hour, meaning that work worries cost owners nearly $10,000 (9,550) annually in lost time.
The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Alarm.com, found that the average small business owner brings their work worries home with them more than 3 times a week, with 35 percent of owners admitting that work worries follow them home five days a week or more.
37 percent of owners say that work worries have spoiled an important family event or personal occasion, and one in four owners feel that they worry more about their business when they're away from it than when they're at work.
Overall, 41% of small business owners say they worry too much about their business. After "the economy", the most frequent work worries are: cashflow (37 percent), time management / getting everything done (35 percent), and bills (21 percent). Other frequent worries include crime prevention and security, and concerns about employee trustworthiness and reliability.
"Too much worry is harmful, and it's concerning to see that business owners, who drive the economy, are worrying so much," says Anne Ferguson, vice-president of marketing at Alarm.com. "Business owners tend to take on many different roles and responsibilities, which can make them vulnerable to work worries. The good news is that new technologies can help owners address and even solve many of the most common work worries."
However, these results don't mean small business owners are blindsided by all this worrying. 85 percent say persistent worrying comes with the territory of owning a small business.
In fact, 74 percent of small business owners said they wouldn't trade places with someone with a traditional 9-to-5 job, despite their work worries. 62 percent said they've gotten better at managing their worries over time.
What would help alleviate some of the worries? According to respondents, the best solution is more business (49 percent). A vacation (26 percent), and an easy way to check that business tasks are done (18 percent) were other potential fixes.
"We're not surprised that most business owners become better at managing work worries over time, as owners tend to be resourceful and good at finding ways to work smarter.," says Anne Ferguson, vice-president of marketing at Alarm.com. "Small businesses are often the first to adopt new tools like smart business security systems, which help owners cut costs, save time, automate troublesome tasks and stay in control even when they're offsite."