Like a child moving on from their imaginary friend, Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, we as adults have the responsibility to grow out of this fantasised idea we have of work.

We carry this romantic idea of work that involves sacrifice, that implies that without pain there's no beauty, in other words, "no pain no gain". To look for the root of this belief would take years of research: could the answer be in the workshop of a French romantic writer, on a yellowing soviet poster representing the "New Soviet Man", or hidden in the iron towers of capitalism?

No matter who planted it, the seed is now thriving. By trying to compete with the world, to challenge ourselves, we end up fighting what makes us human.

It is not easy to compete with modern machines, but it is even harder to remember that we're just living beings. No matter how brilliant the mind, how burning the passion, our bodies need to rest. Passion doesn't have to rhyme with exhaustion, as both productivity and creativity are proved to be improved when well-rested.

However, new national study conducted by TUI has revealed entrepreneurs take the least holiday amongst Brits, averaging a mere five days per year.

A lacerating grind

From small business owners to self-employed side-hustlers, the occupations topping the list for the least holiday taken last year included personal trainers (35%), plumbers (22%), and make-up artists (20%). However, this comes as no surprise given half (48%) of budding entrepreneurs and small business owners blame their own passion for prioritising their business as the prime culprit for their inability to disconnect.

The research, conducted by TUI, highlights there is a ‘Downtime Deficit’ among a growing number of local entrepreneurs and small business owners, who ignore the temptations of tropical sun and embrace the hustle, doubling down on work. The boom in entrepreneurial mindset doesn't just apply to those who are self-employed, with 48% of Brits having one or more 'side hustles' linking to their passions in 2024.

When these trailblazers eventually find the time to escape the daily grind, they still struggle to switch off, with an astonishing 97% of these go-getters admitting to working during their supposed downtime, with one in 12 (8%) even claiming they would never put away their laptop during their holidays. What’s more, even when they have booked in time to relax, a staggering two thirds (65%) have had to cancel their well-deserved breaks due to work commitments that just won’t wait.

Rest and Recover

With another bank holiday on the way, an anticipated third (29%) of entrepreneurs will be working through, TUI has partnered with Dilly Carter, author and entrepreneur, best known for Decluttering Dollie – a decluttering business that has brought her to present BBC’s Sort Your Life Out and garnered her almost 400,000 followers across social media. Dilly knows all too well the sacrifice that comes because of the passion for business, but insists holidays are crucial to our wellbeing, but also our success.

“I wish I could tell my younger self to take that trip away, put my phone on airplane mode and completely unplug from the daily grind, as we all know you come back clearer and even more focused to succeed.” says Dilly Carter, Founder of Declutter Dollies Ltd.

There’s been a growing trend for a positive work-life balance among the younger generations for years. However, almost half (48%) of entrepreneurs who truly love what they do and want their business to grow confess they are not very good at taking downtime and finding that balance.

For this reason, TUI want to celebrate entrepreneurs by giving them a well-deserved holiday. You can nominate an entrepreneur you believe is in need of some R&R via, entries close 8th June 2024.

“We are so happy to be able to gift deserving entrepreneurs a trip away that’s well-overdue for many, so we encourage everyone to nominate someone they feel is going above and beyond.” says Andrew Flintham, Managing Director, TUI UK&I