Small business bosses would extend family holidays to take advantage of flexible working policies

Nine in ten small business bosses would now consider extending their holidays to work abroad flexibly, by an average of six days, new research shows. The study, by Samsung For Business, and featuring responses from 500 small business owners and senior business decision makers, sheds light on the growing trend of bosses considering extending their holidays abroad to work remotely.

The study also reveals attitudes amongst office-based decision makers are aligned with new laws recently passed by the UK Government to make flexible working the norm.

A staggering 90% of respondents said they were keen to prolong their stays abroad while working remotely, thus maximising their time away from the office without using up additional holiday days.

Insights into the motivations behind this shift towards more remote work revealed that over a third (35%) of bosses believed that working from a holiday destination abroad could boost their creativity, while 27% felt it would enhance their productivity. Other compelling reasons included the desire to bask in better weather (60%), seamlessly transition to relaxation after work (42%), and avoid depleting annual leave allowances (38%).

Notably, the study highlighted bosses' unwavering confidence in their ability to maintain business productivity while away from the office. A fifth of the business leaders surveyed (20%) expressed their openness to hiring remote workers, while nearly a third (29%) believed they could successfully finalise business deals and a quarter (25%) were confident in handling HR matters even while abroad.

In addition, the research also surfaced some surprising findings around where business leaders found they delivered their best business ideas. For years, the office has been seen as the centre of business inspiration and prime decision-making, however a significant percentage of participants reported this not to be the case, finding inspiration in a variety of surprising locations and showcasing a cultural shift in the way new business ideas are generated.

Holidays emerged as a the most fertile ground for ideas outside the office, with over a quarter of respondents (26%) attesting to the benefits of holiday destinations in stimulating their creativity and shaping ground-breaking ideas.

Walking the dog proved to be an unexpectedly powerful catalyst for 23% of bosses, closely followed by 22% who found inspiration while relaxing in the bath or engaging in invigorating workouts at the gym. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 20% of participants said that they experienced lightbulb moments in the local pub.

Commenting on the survey findings, Joe Walsh, Director of B2B at Samsung said: “We are seeing a significant departure from the traditional office-based decision-making process, as bosses and senior decision makers increasingly harness unconventional locations to spark their creativity and productivity. Small businesses which choose to embrace flexible work practices, are adapting to a rapidly evolving world and are the best placed to retain the talent and skills needed to grow.”

When it comes to creating a work environment outside of the office, a strong internet connection was essential for most, with 85% of bosses emphasising the need for reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. Beyond this however, half of the senior business leaders surveyed (50%) highlighted the importance of a "nice view" to enhance their work environment, while 39% actively sought places to stay which were equipped with smart technology for seamless integration of their work devices.

Walsh continued: “While an openness to flexibility and this shift in our working culture is important for small businesses, the seamless integration of technology and tools to facilitate this is also essential. Whether that’s ensuring day-to-day business continuity or supporting employees to connect from whatever location they feel most creative and inspired, to leveraging a platform to drive sales - technology has been the fuel propelling SMEs to work wonders from wherever.”