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About the Expert

Dawn Rivers Baker

Guest News Analyst
The MicroEnterprise Journal Editor-In-Chief Dawn Rivers Baker has distinguished herself as the only national journalist exclusively covering news that affects the nation's more than 20 million small businesses. more

Small Biz News Archives

 

Small Business News

Office Depot, Inc. Small Business Index Finds 1 In 3 Owners Cannot Break Away For A Vacation This Summer

With the official start of summer under way, one-third of small to medium-sized business owners (SMBs) say they will not be able to take a vacation this year, according to the latest Small Business Index conducted by Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax.

With the official start of summer under way, one-third of small to medium-sized business owners (SMBs) say they will not be able to take a vacation this year, according to the latest Small Business Index conducted by Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax.

 

For those lucky business owners who are taking a summer vacation this year, the top two elements that enable them to break away from the workplace include:

  • Reliable staff to cover for them while away from the office (35 percent)
  • Technology that keeps them connected no matter where they are (32 percent)

 

It’s no surprise that technology seems to help owners enjoy their time off, enabling them to still stay connected while away. Even while on vacation, one in four SMB owners typically checks in on the business at least two or more times per day. Almost half agree that technology allows them to feel connected to the office while away, yet a smaller contingent (35 percent) actually sees technology as a hindrance, saying it prevents them from the rest and relaxation of a vacation as they feel a need to be available 24/7. 

 

“For the millions of dedicated small business owners who continue to burn the midnight oil and put in long hours day in and day out, the much-awaited summer vacation provides a crucial opportunity to recharge and refresh,” said Steve Calkins,
executive vice president, business solutions division for Office Depot, Inc. “To help support entrepreneurs, Office Depot and OfficeMax are rolling out the latest technology products and services – from tablets and mobile devices to dedicated copy and printing services – that help streamline important operations and keep business running smoothly, even when they’re away from the office.”

 

The survey also points to a connection between taking time off and business success, with many SMBs feeling the need to stay physically close to their operations if business revenue was down. Those small business owners not taking a summer vacation this year cited financial hardship as the primary cause (60 percent). Additionally:

  • 29 percent prefer to travel during other months of the year
  • 21 percent are unable to travel during the summer since it is their busiest season
  • 14 percent do not have enough staff to cover for them

 

Interestingly, one in five SMB owners are actually taking a vacation as a direct result of business being down, providing them with extra time to take a break from work.

 

To learn more about the small business products and services available at Office Depot, including Tech Depot, please visit Office Depot’s Small Business Development and Business Information Center at http://www.officedepot.com/a/business-resource-center/.

 

Survey Methodology/Sample Qualifications

Interviews are conducted via the Internet among a nationally representative sample of small and medium-sized businesses. The May wave of interviewing was conducted from May 6, 2014 to May 28, 2014 among a total of 1,500 small and medium-sized businesses. Interviewing will be conducted on a monthly basis in order to track shifts that occur over time.

 

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