Survey: Business Leaders Are Feeling Overworked and Disconnected From Their Companies

Business leaders–and their employees–are tired.

That’s one of the conclusions from the Adobe Document Cloud “The Future of Time” survey, released Thursday. The survey comprised 2,100 small- and medium-size business leaders, as well as 3,400 employees of large companies, in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. 

“Burnout has gotten worse in the past year,” wrote Todd Gerber, vice president of product marketing for Adobe Document Cloud in a company blog post about the survey. Fifty-six percent of SMB leaders said they are working longer hours than they would like. Among that group, 65 percent said they’ve been working more since the coronavirus pandemic began.  

A majority of leaders also reported feeling like they always have to be reachable (61 percent) and that they are always stretched for time at work (57 percent).

For some groups of business leaders surveyed, the struggles appear to have sapped the joy from owning a business: 55 percent of minority business owners, for example, said they no longer feel a connection to the reason they started their company. Meanwhile 49 percent of essential businesses–defined as those that provided consumers crucial products or services during the pandemic–said that they would sell their business tomorrow because it no longer brings happiness. 

Things don’t look much better for workers, according to the survey. Companies should be aware: More than a third of employees said they plan to switch jobs in the next year. And among enterprise workers who say they are working longer hours than they would like to, 39 percent blame company culture. To help retain your employees and attract new ones, be sure to check out Inc.’s advice on boosting compensation, increasing salary transparency in job listings, and more. 

Adobe’s survey, conducted online in April and May, defines SMBs as businesses with between one and 999 employees. “Business leaders” include those who “handle contracts and documents that need legal signatures for their business.”  

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