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Stress levels escalate for Australian small business owners, a quarter feel burnt out


Australian small business owners are under immense pressure and risking their wellbeing, with almost half (45 per cent) claiming their stress levels have increased in the past 12 months and a quarter feeling burnt out, according to Officeworks’ inaugural Small Business Wellbeing Index.

The Index, based on research of more than 1,000 small business owners nationwide, revealed 40 per cent are struggling with trying to juggle everything themselves, and a further 22 per cent are experiencing loneliness and isolation.

Despite these significant issues, only a quarter of business owners are seeking support for stress, while a slightly higher percentage (29 per cent) are seeking help for the business issues to which they attribute their lack of wellbeing.

So what can we do to release all this stress?

In response to the challenges many small business owners face and to help them improve their wellbeing, Officeworks recently launched its Small Business Coach event series which is travelling across the eastern seaboard and hosting free, inspirational breakfast events for small business owners.

Campaign ambassador, Carolyn Creswell, of Carman’s Fine Foods said, “Being a small business owner is tough work and it becomes very easy to overlook the importance of business wellbeing as you try to stay on top of your daily workload.”

“Learning to maintain my business wellbeing has been one of the most important things that’s contributed to Carman’s Fine Foods’ success. I hope to help small business owners achieve improved wellbeing through the Small Business Coach events.”

What else did this Officeworks research find out about stress among SMBs in Australia?

According to the research, location and age are key indicators of business wellbeing.

Small business owners from metropolitan areas are least likely to worry about ensuring their staff are happy and fulfilled at work, with 64 per cent agreeing it was a consideration compared to 83 per cent in rural areas.

Small business owners in rural Australia also enjoy work more than those in metropolitan areas, reporting the lowest ranking against feeling frustrated at work (59 per cent), compared to small business owners in metro areas (82 per cent).

The Index also found that young small business owners (18-34 year olds) experience more stress than their older counterparts, with almost half (47 per cent) of 18-34 year olds revealing their stress levels at work had increased over the past 12 months compared to 28 per cent for those aged over 50.

So are you among the stressed 45 per cent? Feel free to register for a Small Business Coach event, a free online webinar, or for more inspiration and advice about how to improve your business wellbeing.