Despite this many parents highlight advantages of homebound children with 10% claiming they work harder during the holidays

Eggs-in-a-basket my business

Small business insurer Direct Line has unveiled research revealing that 60% of the UK’s 844,000 home business owners will have to take time away from their businesses to care for dependent children in the school holidays.

This will account for an estimated 20 hours of lost time per working week, and equate to a cost of around £220m for home businesses over Easter and roughly £658m during the six week summer holiday.

Despite the financial cost, the report also reveals that many of these children also gain valuable exposure to the world of business through their business. In fact 30% of parents claim their children actually learn entrepreneurial skills and 27% of children learn the value of work.

Almost a third of those surveyed felt they work harder, and have a stronger desire to succeed because of the influence of their children being at home. While 26% said they receive moral support and 13% benefit from the extra company they receive during school holidays. Additionally, 10% of home business owners said they actually achieved more when their children were at home.

By region the South East and London are set to suffer the biggest financial impact, with losses of £39,424,840 and £32,972,160 respectively. In contrast, Wales and the North East will be the least affected at £9,119,760 and £6,760,000.

Jane Guaschi, business manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “Running a business from home is not for the faint hearted. Running such an enterprise whilst taking care of children is even tougher.
“This additional responsibility can be difficult to manage, so ensure you are well prepped for any surprises that may crop up during the busy holiday periods. That said, it is great to see that many business owners feel motivated to succeed and work harder when they are around their children.”

Annabel Karmel MBE, author and entrepreneur, commented: “Being your own boss isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle, and so reducing the workload when the children are at home is easier said than done. To keep Britain’s businesses as productive as possible I believe there should be further investment into subsidising childcare costs for those operating home businesses.

“Making the decision to run a business from home is often triggered by the need to have more flexibility as a parent, so give yourself a break. Don’t feel guilty about swapping your laptop for a playdate, or exchanging emails for an Easter egg hunt.”