Company owners are used to missing out on festive moments, research finds.

Despite being a national holiday, nearly one in five (18 per cent) SME decisionmakers have had to go into work on Christmas Day, and nearly a third (32 per cent) have sacrificed the festivities to check and send work emails, according to a study by Zurich.

The insurer’s latest data has shown that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are missing out on a number of festive moments. Nearly one in ten (9 per cent) have missed their child’s nativity play and 9 per cent have also missed putting the Christmas tree up.

Another milestone in the festive period for many professionals across the country is the work Christmas party, but one in ten (13 per cent) have missed this event.

Not only have SME decision makers had to work over the Christmas period, they’re also losing out on annual leave. Data from Zurich’s SME Risk Index reveals one in ten (14 per cent) decision makers have not taken any annual leave this year and in addition, almost one in five (18 per cent) have not had more than ten days off this year.

Jason Eatock, Head of SME at Zurich says, ‘It will come as no surprise to SMEs that despite commonly held views about the lifestyle benefits of working for yourself, the reality can be very different.

‘Missing big events such as your child’s nativity play is a high price to pay and shows the pressure many SMEs are under.

Eatock adds that as we look forward to taking some rest over the Christmas season, it seems current economic and political concerns are driving many of our small business owners to carry on working.

‘We hope that everyone gets a chance to enjoy the holidays and as ever we offer our support to make their businesses run as smoothly as possible during the festive season.’

Read more written by Ben Lobel