Life admin – those unavoidable tasks and events that interrupt our everyday lives – is squeezing SMEs, research from AXA PPP healthcare has found.

shutterstock_394295824With nine out of ten (88%) UK SME bosses surveyed acknowledging that they – and the teams they manage – are already regularly working more than their scheduled hours, it’s perhaps of little surprise that life admin such as health appointments, car problems, poorly children or loved ones and sorting out money matters often has sharp side-effects for smaller firms. 

Over three-quarters (76%) of respondents reported an adverse effect on their business when employees are tied up with life admin during work time. Of these, 28% said it affected their business’ productivity, 25% said it affected employee morale, 24% said it put pressure on remaining employees’ workloads and 23% felt it caused unnecessary stress among their team. And, managers themselves reported feeling the pinch too, with nearly two-thirds (63%) admitting they’re “more stressed” when employees take time out from work attending to life admin. 

Iain McMillan, SME director for AXA PPP healthcare, said: “Life admin disrupts our flow and often always sets us back in one way or another. Whilst, from time to time, we all need to see a doctor, a dentist, make childcare arrangements or sort out an MOT, smaller businesses really do feel the pinch when working time is lost to life admin.” 

Asked about possible time-savers, three-quarters (75%) of managers surveyed said utilising digital healthcare such as virtual doctor appointments would help their business – by reducing employees’ time out of the office (44%), helping to reduce presenteeism (16%) and boosting productivity (15%). 

McMillan continues: “Finding a convenient time to sort out life’s business is not always easy – and, as a healthcare company, we appreciate that this can be especially so when it comes to looking after our own health or that of our family, children or elderly parents. To help people to see a GP quickly and conveniently, our virtual GP service called Doctor@Hand can be a real help.”