Yorkshire Bank has published research which states that the UK’s happiest small business owners live in Leeds, Sheffield, and Edinburgh. 62% of entrepreneurs in those cities rate themselves as happy at work, with 14% in Leeds and Edinburgh and 10% in Sheffield rating themselves very happy.
It is not all cause for celebration in the North, however: Liverpool has almost double the average level of acute stress amongst entrepreneurs, with 14% rating themselves as very stressed.
Glasgow small business owners reported the lowest levels of satisfaction, with only 52% of respondents rating themselves as happy in their daily working lives, below the 58% UK average.
Yorkshire Bank’s findings come from a survey of 2,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs in the UK’s 10 largest cities and across a range of sectors. The research focused on topics including work-life balance, ambitions for growth, and diversity, with a particular interest in stress management techniques.
Yorkshire Bank suggests that small business owners in the North are happier due to proper stress management.
75% of respondents across the UK reported using mindfulness techniques to manage their stress levels. Entrepreneurs in Glasgow and Birmingham lead in meditation with 36% participating, while 80% of business owners in Birmingham practice other mindful exercises.
Entrepreneurs in London are the least inclined to practice mindfulness-centred stress management, with 27% reporting that they do not use any such techniques.
Gavin Opperman, Group Banking Business Director, CYBG, said, “What this research indicates is the resilience of the UK’s small business owners. With so much uncertainty on the horizon, it’s easy to assume that SMEs are seeing the cup half empty, yet our research findings are refreshingly positive. The fact that many northern cities are home to some of the most stressed business leaders, but also the happiest is quite remarkable, indicating they’re managing their stress well and have got the right balance.
“Running a business is tough and UK SMEs are the backbone of our economy at a tumultuous time. Yet despite this, our data has shown that many business leaders still hold the importance of downtime and happiness in high regard. It has a knock-on effect in terms of business profitability, aspirations, and the culture of an organisation. We don’t know what the future holds beyond Brexit but we do know that small business leaders are by no means defeated. I’d encourage SMEs to think bigger and expect more, of themselves, from the wider business outlook and from their business community.”