While work commitments forced more than half of UK business owners to remain in the country to endure the coldest summer on record since 1993, many of those working in the business services sector that did manage to get away this year found themselves unable to switch off from work while they were on holiday, resulting in complaints from their partners and missing out on valuable family time.

According to research by the UK’s leading independent invoice finance specialist Bibby Financial Services, almost one in five (18%) owners and managers of business services companies – including recruitment, financial services and property firms – recognise their inability to devote time and attention to the holiday resulted in them missing out on precious family moments.

A similar number (19%) say their preoccupation with work while on holiday led to complaints from their husbands, wives or partners.

Many also confess to having regularly checked emails and made or received business-related telephone calls when they should have been enjoying time away with their nearest and dearest. Almost a third (29%) say they checked their voicemail or inbox on a daily basis, while one in 10 (11%) even admitted to doing so on an hourly basis.

But Bibby Financial Services’ research suggests problems for owners and managers of business services firms often started before the holiday, with one in four (42%) saying they worked extra hours during the week before their vacation.

Bibby Financial Services’ UK chief executive Edward Rimmer says: “The pressures on business services company owners are such that an alarming number have found it difficult to switch off and enjoy some time off with their families. I think it is indicative of just how committed they are to seeing their enterprises succeed, particularly during difficult conditions.

“It could also be due to the fact that small and medium-sized businesses don’t always have the support network required to completely switch off and as a result are missing out on quality time with the family as they continue to work through the best bits of a family break.”

In addition to the issue of working on holiday, many owners and managers of business services firms aren’t managing to take anywhere near their full annual leave allowance. Four in 10 (40%) say they have taken no more than a week off in the last 12 months, while a quarter (25%) admit they have put off holidaying entirely in the last year because for business reasons.

Edward adds: “Bibby Financial Services works closely with many small and medium-sized business services companies to help alleviate any financial pressures, and we recognise there is a growing concern for many firms as the threat of a second recession is at the front of their minds.

“It is now more important than ever that business services firms of all sizes look at how they can reduce business and financial stresses and take the time they need away to recharge their batteries.

“As an invoice finance specialist, Bibby Financial Services supports organisations by providing a flexible source of funding which alleviates the kind of financial pressures that many firms face so they can concentrate on running and developing their business as well as taking a relaxing holiday.”