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Three quarters of business leaders have admitted that the last two years have been incredibly stressful, but they had hidden that stress from their team. This is according to a major new report from Capitalise, the small business platform that gives small businesses and their adviser transparency and control over their business finance all in one place.

The report, titled Get Fit for Business, commissioned independent research company Censuswide to poll 500 UK-based small business decision-makers in December 2021. The report the data is contained in tracks how business leaders are coping mentally and physically, and also how their professional and personal relationships and financial numbers are shaping up.

Leaders clearly recognised the need to de-stress, however, with almost 73 per cent trying a stress-relieving activity such as yoga or meditation for the first time.

Furthermore, when asked about their health and wellbeing, 83 per cent agreed that they do their best work when they’ve had enough sleep and are eating and exercising well. But, 71 per cent said that working from home has left them feeling less physically fit.

As a result, the report also revealed that 78 per cent of business leaders have increased investment in the health and wellbeing of their team, knowing that this creates a happier and more productive workforce. Especially as 30 per cent said that keeping their team motivated was their biggest concern – this figure increased for healthcare, retail and transport sectors, which is understandable given the pressures placed on these industries during the pandemic.

But, despite some business leaders feeling burnt out (21 per cent), over three quarters (76 per cent) said that they are feeling optimistic about 2022. What’s more, 75 per cent said that the way their business was able to adapt during the pandemic has boosted their confidence as a leader.

Derrick Evans MBE (AKA Mr Motivator), the British fitness instructor and expert advisor for this report, commented:

“Getting up and being active is the first step to a healthier lifestyle and positive mental outlook, but often that first step can be the hardest. Leaders of busy businesses are regularly strapped for time and energy, but even just standing up and sitting down every hour is enough to get your blood circulating. Sometimes a few minutes of deep breathing between meetings is all it takes to focus your thoughts. 

Just like how business leaders demonstrate care for their employees, and bravery in boardrooms, they need to start taking care of themselves. Business leaders: check in with your people but also check in with yourself. Pick up the phone just to ask someone how they’re doing and if they ask you the same question, be honest in your answer. Getting fit for business is a team sport.”

Commenting on the research findings, Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully MP, said:

‘Small businesses, operating under difficult circumstances, have performed incredibly well during the past two years. I am pleased to see the biggest priority for small business leaders remains expansion and growth, crucial for jobs in local areas, and the economy.

‘I am also encouraged to see more focus on staff wellbeing. This ensures a healthier and more productive workforce, who are the backbone of the British economy.’

Paul Surtees, CEO and Co-Founder of Capitalise comments:

“The last few years have been tough for small businesses, as lockdowns and an ever-changing business environment has left business owners feeling exhausted. That’s why now, more than ever, business leaders need help, whether mentally, physically, or via external support such as from their accountant, a coach and a platform like Capitalise. 

Capitalise can help small businesses  discover a healthier way to do business in 2022. We’ve got a complete programme of hard hitting research, wellness videos and all the insights, support and tips you need to get financially, physically and mentally get fit for business. 

We’ll get business owners running the numbers and running around the block. They’ll  be able to learn how their credit score impacts business growth and the impact a great night’s sleep can have on productivity. And, we’ll make finding funding feel a little easier.”

To read the full report, please visit here: Get Fit for Business

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