Increased Use of Digital Tech Makes SMB Employees Struggle with Work/Life Balance

Kim Mays
Slide Show

Top Issues Affecting SMB Employees Today

Starting a small to midsize business (SMB) these days seems easier than ever, what with all the technology available to assist with finances, marketing and production. So it wasn’t too surprising to read that a survey by the UK company Post Office found that there has been a “boom in SMBs” and that many of the new entrepreneurs are people who are middle aged and changed careers and started a new business in an area in which “they were genuinely interested.”

Of these respondents, 48 percent were women who sought “flexibility and freedom” with their new startup job.

Of course, most of us would agree that being your own boss seems like a dream come true. But other articles I’ve read show the dark side of owning an SMB: Lack of time. Despite the plethora of high-tech gadgets and apps, many business owners find themselves working all hours.

The cloud has given us access to our data from just about anywhere, which is amazing. SMB owners and employees can work from their desk, the shop floor, or the coffee shop across town. And yes, this most certainly will help increase revenue. But it also compels many to keep working beyond usual work hours.

While many SMB employees gain productivity with new technological advancements, they also lose their sense of time management. According to SmallBizSurvival, keeping busy seems to be a virtue when you run a small business, but maybe it’s time to realize that you’re working too much. “…[M]ore and more studies and anecdotal information point out that being busy does not correlate to being successful,” says the writer, Glenn Muske.


Muske points out that time management is key and prioritizing is also important. He lists five ways that SMB owners and employees can try to stay productive without losing out on their lives outside work:

  1. Find a method for prioritizing daily tasks and stick with it.
  2. Step back and check to see if you’re staying busy for busyness’ sake, or if you can put some things aside for another time.
  3. Aggregate your information that needs to be reviewed, then set aside a specific time each day to go through that info.
  4. Also dedicate a specified time each day to respond to emails. Opening email as they come through can distract you from other tasks.
  5. Instead of using digital notepads, write your to-do list on a small notepad. It will limit the number of items you can add and more easily allow you to check them all off in a shorter amount of time.

Another tip is to take time each day to get away from your smartphone, PC and tablet. Dedicate some time to enjoy the moment and the quiet. It will help you recharge and you will feel more prepared to get back to your high-tech tasks.

Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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