Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

On or off duty: SMEs are masters of tech but slaves to Smartphones

February 12, 2013

LONDON, February 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Hiscox research reveals:

– 89% of SMEs have mastered the use of technology

– 38% of SMEs have difficulty ‘switching off’

– 37% find working during ‘off duty’ hours intrusive on their personal lives

Despite winning the battle against potentially confusing technology in the workplace,
small business owners are feeling overwhelmed by the intrusion it causes in their personal
lives, according to new research from specialist business insurer
[http://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-insurance ] Hiscox.

The study analysed how UK business owners were coping with the ever-changing
technology landscape and how they are handling the impact on their personal lives as they
seek to keep up with changes. Positively, 89% of those surveyed felt they have mastered
the use of technology in their business, finding it manageable. However, when it comes to
their personal lives 38% admitted they have difficulty ‘switching off’ and work even when
they shouldn’t be, negatively impacting on their private lives.

Alan Thomas, small business insurance expert at Hiscox [http://www.hiscox.co.uk ],
comments on the findings: “As SMEs seek to keep their business running at all times, the
option to clock off at 5pm is fast diminishing and being ‘switched on’ is becoming a
normal way of life. Thanks to the reliance on, and access to technology, SMEs have become
masters of technology but slaves to their work, and it’s no surprise they are leading a
lifestyle where they are ‘always on’”.

“Our research confirms what we already know from working closely with them; SMEs are
constantly connected to their workplace, incredibly tech savvy and committed to their

Findings from the research:

Masters of technology

The majority of respondents (61%) keep up to date with technology recognising the
importance of it in their business compared with 14% who don’t. More importantly, almost
half (46%) would rather have something reliable that works even if it’s not the latest
piece of equipment, followed by a quarter (26%) who only upgrade and update when
absolutely necessary. 23% feel they need to adopt technology to compete and make that
investment where they can and 11% find it difficult to keep up with the latest available
technology due to the costs involved in buying the new technology and training staff. This
is in contrast with only 10% of respondents who generally upgrade their equipment with new
technology as soon as it’s available.

When it comes to future investments in technology, 59% of respondents currently plan
to significantly invest in technology in the near future, either to purchase new equipment
or upgrade existing equipment. Of these, 35% plan to do so in the next 12 months compared
with 25% who plan to do so in the next two-three years.

Slaves to Smartphones

The research shows that SME owners are maintaining an ‘always on’ attitude when it
comes to their business, working even when they shouldn’t be with 64% having made or
received work related communications when it may not be appropriate, such as when in the
cinema, at a museum or in a quiet train carriage. As this lifestyle becomes the norm, more
SME owners (74%) feel they don’t have to hide the fact that they’re working when they
shouldn’t be, from those around them, compared to 17% who feel they do. As a result, 37%
said they found work intrusive on their personal lives (compared with 23% who did not).
The most common way of hiding that they were working was claiming to be doing something
else (40%), followed by working while others think they are asleep (35%), taking a phone
call relating to work but pretending it wasn’t (23%) and claimed to be going somewhere
else while actually going to work (19%).

Small business owners are so connected to their technology that they are regularly
accused of not being able to relax or wind down (25%), followed by another 24% who
admitted that if they go for too long without checking their work emails / messages they
start to feel anxious. However, unsurprisingly while on holiday 85% of SME’s are guilty of
checking their work emails highlighting their inability to switch off.

Notes to editors

About the research

The online survey, conducted by Opinium, interviewed 1,030 business leaders (owner
managers, proprietors, managing directors, board level directors / partners, and
directors) in SMEs with up to 249 employees in the UK, between 28 November – 6 December

About Hiscox UK

Hiscox offers a range of business insurance
[http://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-insurance ] policies to cover the liabilities and
property risks of small businesses and consultants in the UK, as well as
profession-specific policies that you can tailor to suit the risks that your business
faces. Hiscox also provides specialist insurance cover for homes
[http://www.hiscox.co.uk/personal-and-home/home-insurance ] and their contents, valuables
and collections.

For more information, visit http://www.hiscox.co.uk

About Hiscox

Hiscox, headquartered in Bermuda, is an international specialist insurance group
listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of
the Group – Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox
London Market underwrites mainly internationally traded business in the London Market -
generally large or complex business which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs
the international licences of Lloyd’s. Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of
specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth
individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and USA.

For further information, visit http://www.hiscox.com [
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Files\Content.Outlook\0Z5Y1TR7\www.hiscox.com ]


Source: PR Newswire