BT Tradespace, the business social networking site, has identified the trends of small and medium enterprises’ (SME), with longer working hours and a more environmentally sound approach at the forefront of many businesses at the start of the New Year.
It was revealed that half the owners of small businesses in the UK are working more than 60 hours a week, according to a poll conducted by BT Tradespace. Almost one in ten people (8%) are putting in 100 hours a week or over – the equivalent of 14 hours of work a day.
The survey found the most common weekly work time was 50-60 hours a week, with 21% of people working this amount.
Mick Hegarty, head of BT Tradespace, said: “Those running small and medium sized enterprises are working hard to compete and that shows the passion, drive and resiliance they have.
“However, smaller companies can achieve a better work-life balance by embracing new technology, enabling them to do things quicker, more efficiently and more flexibly.
“Their size makes them perfect candidates to adapt, innovate and thrive.”
The poll from BT Tradespace also revealed that a quarter of SMEs are helping the environment by clamping down on commuting to work. Businesses are also implementing more home or flexible workiing schemes, or using more business technology such as video or telephone conferencing instead of asking employees to travel to meetings. They are also encouraging staff to leave their cars at home.
Recycling is the most popular green initiative, carried out by 25% of small businesses. 17% are reducing energy use, cutting their gas and electricty bills at a time of rising prices.
Mick Hegarty said: “Companies can help the environment in many ways and the size of SMEs allows them to be more flexible in adopting new work patterns.
“Key decision makers are realising that modern technology, like broadband, cuts the need to travel to work every day of the week because people can work from home.
“The vast majority of SMEs are environmentally aware and are trying to do something in the fight against global warming.”
The survey for the business social networking site found only 2% of the UK’s SMEs are doing nothing at all to help the environment.