Eftpos machines have become more expensive for small or independent businesses after new fees were introduced this month.
Eftpos machines have become more expensive for small or independent businesses after new fees were introduced this month. Nicholas Falconer

No rest for the owner

MORE than half (55 per cent) of Australian small business owners or operators will work during the Christmas-New Year holiday break with a third (36 per cent) of them taking no time off whatsoever.

National research carried out for Telstra Business with bosses of small to medium businesses (SMBs) finds economic conditions will force 29 per cent of this group to stay at work.

"Taking an interrupted holiday or no break has become the norm with 26 per cent saying they worked through Christmas-New Year last year," said Telstra Business Group Managing Director Will Irving.

"Changing work patterns and the convenience of technology that lets people work when they're away from the office, are having a profound impact on the way we live.

"Small business is more mobile than ever and clearly some people will be working from home or a holiday destination.

"The research also reflects the commitment to keeping things running that's part and parcel of being a small business in relatively tough times."

Taking no holiday or interrupted holiday has become the norm with 53 per cent of SMB owners working over the break last year.

This group has almost no downtime with 95 per cent in 2010 working most days.

The study into holiday working patterns, conducted for Telstra Business by StollzNow Research, draws a strong correlation to SMBs' business outlook.

While five per cent say they are highly optimistic about their future in the current climate, almost half of all small business owners (49 per cent) expect to work more hours in response.

Conversely, 35 per cent rate the economy as "good" or "very good".


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