Study reveals: Danish entrepreneurs struggle to go on vacation.
Published 04/7 2023.
Many Danes are currently enjoying a well-deserved summer break. However for many Danish entrepreneurs summer holidays are instead filled with concerns about revenue and staffing issues. This is revealed in a new study conducted by Lunar. Two out of three Danish entrepreneurs take fewer holidays than regular employees, while one in five only takes 1-2 weeks of vacation in a year.
As summer vacation approaches, most Danes look forward to a well-deserved break from work and the hustle of daily life. However, for many Danish entrepreneurs, the reality is quite different, as indicated by a new survey among Danish business owners conducted by Lunar.
Regular employees are entitled to five weeks of vacation per year. However, this is not the case for Danish entrepreneurs. One-third of them either do not take any vacation at all (13%) or only take 1-2 weeks of vacation (20%) in total throughout the year. Slightly less than a third (29%) take 3-4 weeks of vacation annually. The survey paints a picture of Danish entrepreneurs forgoing the five weeks of vacation that regular employees are entitled to.
Worries trump vacation
More than one-third of the surveyed entrepreneurs say that they feel it is difficult to take a vacation from their company to a high or very high extent. The most significant concerns revolve around the fear that it will affect the company's revenue (39%), while more than one-third (35%) state that they lack employees who can take over during their vacation.
When entrepreneurs do manage to take time off, they find it challenging to disconnect from work completely. More than one-third (38.5%) admit that they often work even during their vacations. Additionally, 41% say they would like to take more vacation if they were regular employees.
"Entrepreneurs are crucial to Danish society as they create jobs, enhance Danish competitiveness, and stimulate innovation. Hence, it is essential to support Danish entrepreneurs throughout the year, including the challenging summer period. It's easier said than done to take a vacation when you have a company that needs to keep running," says Anne Marie Kindberg, Commercial Director at Lunar.
This issue is also recognized by SMVdanmark among its members:
"As self-employed entrepreneurs, they are passionate about their business and idea, and thus, they invest thousands of hours in it. So it can be challenging to disconnect and take a vacation. However, stress and burnout are real risks, even for entrepreneurs, so it's essential to allow oneself to recharge and take a proper vacation. We work hard to reduce administrative burdens that create extra work on a daily basis or during vacations," says Kasper Munk Rasmussen, Senior Consultant at SMVdanmark.
Supporting Danish entrepreneurs: We need to do more
Lunar itself has gone through a growth phase, evolving from a startup to a Nordic bank with over 700,000 private and business customers and welcoming over 20,000 new business customers in the last two years. It is important for both Lunar and Anne Marie Kindberg that there is support for the Danish startup culture and for improving the conditions surrounding smaller Danish businesses: "It is essential for Danish growth and innovation that we look at making it easier to start and run a business in Denmark. We can do that by removing as many of the worries that entrepreneurs might have on a daily basis, as possible. If we do that, it might also allow for more time to recharge now and then," says Anne Marie Kindberg.
About the survey
The survey is based on 450 responses from Lunar's business customers, all of whom are company owners and residents in Denmark. The responses were collected from June 6 to June 16, 2023.
Lunar is a digital challenger bank with a mission to simplify and enrich people’s financial lives, empower them and put them back in control by building the best everyday Nordic bank. Lunar was founded in Aarhus and currently employs around 450 people in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Stockholm and Oslo. In 2019 Lunar received a banking license and is now one of few banks with a Nordic banking platform. Today more than 700,000 private and business customers across the Nordics use Lunar.
SMVdanmark represents approximately 18,000 SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and is the only Danish main business organization that exclusively fights for better conditions for Danish SMEs.