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A look at the eclectic plans SME bosses have for summer holidays

6 Mins

(6) Plain sailing

Hayley Reynolds, RAW PR, said: “I set up RAW PR & Marketing nearly six years ago. Up until now I have been flat out on the business and it’s been difficult to get away. My husband joined the business 18 months ago so we are now both involved.

“However, this year, for the first time, we are planning a six-week break where we’ll be driving our 26ft 60 year-old wooden boat to Venice and then sail through Croatia with our three children, Jemima (ten), Freddie (nine) and George (six).

“I will be keeping a check of emails and will work whilst my husband Jonathan is driving, but plan to switch off almost entirely whilst we’re sailing during August.”

(7) Work is my holiday

Alister Esam, CEO of eShare, said: “I get that people need to recharge their batteries but I find it sad that so much focus goes on relaxing because work is so stressful or that people feel the need to get away from ‘horrible’ work.

“I love what I do and if you took it away I’d be lost. I find work an incredibly positive part of my life. I became an entrepreneur to take control and change the world the way I wanted to.

“I could refuse to work, be unhappy and the business might even suffer a little, but I choose not to because I enjoy work. Some holidays, such as sailing/skiing are very active, so then I choose to discard work.

“But others, such as beach/pool summer holidays, I prefer to work quite a lot and read business books. I also do different work, more strategic thinking and less tactical doing. However, if my kids or wife want to do something, go somewhere, play tennis etc, then work gets dropped immediately.”

(8) Making memories

Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott, marketing manager at Meatsnacks, said: “My family and I went to Gairloch and Portsoy (I’m in Scotland, so our school holidays have already been underway), both trips included our motor home, sun, sea and sand, which makes the perfect backdrop to unwind.

“The kids went swimming in the sea and we built sandcastles and went hunting in the rock pools – all activities that create great memories. It also gave me the chance to totally escape from work and reflect on the year so far. It meant I came back to work re-charged and ready for the rest of the year ahead.

(9) Unlimited holiday allowance – but no time to use it

Paul Cockerton is co-founder and co-CEO at Dynamo PR: “We offer our employees unlimited holiday. Not only is it a great perk for our staff, but it has real business benefits. It’s easy to manage as employees coordinate leave with their colleagues, which in turn helps build trust and a positive company culture. Plus, people come back from holiday feeling revitalised and the end result is that their work is fantastic.

“Personally, I use unlimited holiday to spend time with my family. Some of our staff are more adventurous, jetting off to new destinations at every opportunity. In fact, one of our staff took a month off to drive to Mongolia, fully paid.”

Peter Bowles, fellow co-founder and co-CEO at Dynamo PR, said: “To be honest, running a small business you rarely switch off. I often find when I’m away on summer holidays I want top level information from my business partner – any big new client wins, staff changes and so on.

“My business partner will text or WhatsApp me those details, but I’ve also set up a separate email address for super urgent enquiries that only a few key people have. That way I can switch off my main email and rely on any big issues being forwarded to me. That gives me peace of mind outside work and is a good trick.”

Rachel Jones relaxing at her cousin's farm
Rachel Jones relaxing at her cousin’s farm

(10) Silence of the lambs

Rachel Jones, CEO and founder of SnapDragon, said: “The very best thing for me during summer holidays is rounding up sheep. You can’t take your phone out and you can’t hear yourself think, which is a really good thing when you spend so much of your time focused on work.

“Thankfully I am lucky to be able to do this on my cousin’s farm. At Easter, we go lambing and in the summer holidays we help with rounding up the sheep. At the end of the summer we go to sheep sales and walk round the sales ring in circles. It’s the absolute opposite of being glued to my laptop.

“Earlier this summer I also found myself in Spain, working in the garden. Palm tree rustling, goats’ bells clanking in the background and gin and tonic probably not too far away. It certainly makes a change from the office!”

Read on to see how recording an audiobook will keep one entrepreneur busy this summer

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