Most people that I know want to escape the typical 9-5 work week and have a business of their own. When I asked them why, they said that they want to earn more than a typical employee could and have more time for themselves.
I agree that you could have more financial freedom when you are already a business owner. But having more time for yourself? There would be a time in your life that you would want to become an employee again.
Why? It’s because the average work week for business owners is a whole lot different than the usual 9-5 daily grind of an employee.
How many hours do business owners work? Expectation vs reality
Everyone who is wishing to become a business owner has these expectations in mind. But as soon as they step inside the entrepreneurial industry, they would come to realise these:
Less work hours. Many have that notion that when you are already the boss of your own, they would not work 40 hours in a week like what an average employee does. Because you are the boss. You have the authority to work the number of hours that you want.
In a way, this is true. You won’t be working 40, but when you are already a business owner, you will be working 50 or 60 hours in a week, especially if you are just new or a small business owner.
Based on this article of The Alternative Board, there are about 33% of small business owners who work 40-49 hours per week, while 30% work 50-59 hours per week.
And can you guess how many hours do business owners work on the less than 30-hour range? It is only 5%.
Don’t want to work 50-60 hours per week? Download this guide and cut down your work hours in half.
Working on your preferred time. As the boss of your own company, you naturally have that privilege to work on your preferred time. Whether you want to work during the day, night, or dawn, you absolutely have the final say. However, things won’t always go on your way.
If you have a company with international clients, you can’t work on your preferred time. At most, you have to be awake and working while your clients are awake.
More holidays. I know you are eager to turn all your days into holidays. You want to relax and do the things that you want. But this might not be the case.
Sometimes, or most of the time, you will find yourself working on a holiday. I bet that you were sending and answering client emails during Halloween, and missed the trick-or-treat fun.
Reasons why business owners work longer hours
Most business owners fall into the trap of working longer hours because they work “in” their business, not “on” their business.
When we say working “in” the business, business owners spend their time doing day-to-day tasks such as administrative tasks. While working “on” the business means that business owners are working on their goals and strategic planning on how to improve their business.
Based on this article of Bulldog Reporter, 68.1% of entrepreneurs work “in” their business, while only 31.9% of them are working “on” their business. And the biggest identified time wasters for business owners are emails, 33% and administrative tasks, 24%.
While emails and administrative tasks could be delegated, most business owners refuse to do so because they feel that they are the only ones capable of doing it and that their employees do not have the right skills.
But if you keep doing everything by yourself, this would not only make you work longer hours, but it could also affect your health and entire productivity as well.
Working longer hours could make you pay the price
This Inc. article of Tom Popomaronis indicates that working MORE than 40 hours a week is not a good thing. Instead of being productive, it could actually be counterproductive and bad to your health.
Tom also outlined that working longer hours will also affect you in the following aspects:
- Higher risk of obtaining cardiovascular illnesses
- Relationship problems
- Increased alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Unhealthy weight gain in men and depression in women
- Working more than 50 hours per week will make you less productive
- Higher absentee rates of employees if you make them work overtime as you do
- Higher injury hazard rate due to fatigue and overwork
- Other health problems: disrupted sleeping patterns, increase or decrease in appetite, low or high blood pressure, decreased immune system function, poor memory or focus, mood swings
If you don’t want to be at risk for any of these, then avoid working longer hours.
How to avoid working longer hours
When I’m asked on how many hours do business owners work, I always answer that it shouldn’t be more than 40 hours per week.
I was once guilty of working more than 40 hours, but I’m now pretty much keeping my work hours within that range because I do not want to sacrifice my health, relationships to other people and my work-life balance. In fact, I was like working 50-60 hours per week before, but I’m able to cut it down between 30-40.
If you want to know how I was able to cut down my work hours, download the following guide below. How about you? How many hours do you work per week?