Small Business Execs Stretched for Time

January 8, 2006 ( - Nearly one in five managers admit to reading work-related e-mail and documents while in the bathroom and nearly half work while driving, according to a recent survey.

The survey of 300 small business executives conducted on behalf of Staples, Inc. found that small business leaders are especially finding it difficult to strike a balance between work and personal time because they often lack the support infrastructure of their big business counterparts.

In fact, nearly two-thirds (62%) work well beyond a 40-hour week, and one in five (21%) work a double week, logging an extra 40 or more on-the-job hours.

These demands to work longer hours have bled into their personal lives, with 21% saying they work while they eat dinner at least four to five times a per week. Some 37% could not remember their last vacation.

Mobile phones and hand-held e-mail devices put even more pressure on the executives to work around the clock. More than 68% work on their days off checking e-mail, voicemail or making work-related calls while 66% work after hours and at night. Some 51% work on their holidays and 47% work during what is supposed to be family time.