As the great summer getaway begins, a national survey of small business owners found those in the millennial generation are most likely to want more time offline. 73% of 25-34 year olds would like more time unconnected, compared with 53% of 45-54 year olds and 40% of over 55s who would like time switched-off from devices.
Similarly, a quarter of all 25-34s are very concerned about the amount of time spent with phone and email access, compared with 18% of 35-44s and only 9% of 45-54s.
The survey by Moneypenny, the UK’s leading outsourced communications provider, suggested that millennials are more proactive than their older work colleagues in trying to spend time unconnected from work: 38% of 25-34s compared with 21% of 45-54s.
However, they are also more likely than older business owners to worry about possible consequences of switching-off: only 9% of 25-34s said they had no worries about disconnecting, compared with 40% of 45-54s who said they weren’t worried about switching-off.
The survey showed some interesting trends emerging across all age groups. In a bid to take control of communications, the survey showed that across the board business owners frequently ignore certain calls, with 28% ignoring calls from clients and 56% ignoring calls from friends and family.
The survey also showed business owners worry that by switching-off they might miss customers (22%), admin will pile up (21%) and they might be responsible if something goes wrong while they are unconnected (11%).
The survey also revealed some interesting differences across different industry sectors, with those in the legal sector being more likely to deliberately spend time unconnected: 67% of legal professionals, compared to 30% of those in sales and marketing for example.
Commenting on the survey results, Joanna Swash, Managing Director of Moneypenny, said: “It’s really interesting to see those who grew up with the digital revolution are more likely to want to release themselves from the ‘always on’ work culture. But at the same time worry about what might happen if they do disconnect.”
Joanna added: “Fortunately there is a wealth of solutions available to ensure business keeps working during the holidays, from virtual PAs to automated answering systems, so there’s no reason to be taking calls from the sun lounger.”