As part of the research, accounting software firm Xero surveyed more than 1000 small business owners and sole traders across the country.

It found one in three small business owners felt they’re working too many hours a week, while more than a quarter believed the number of hours they worked was unsustainable.

Xero managing director for New Zealand & Pacific Islands Craig Hudson said small business owners should find ways to work more efficiently and invest in tools to improve productivity.

“The small business economy is a major part of Aotearoa’s economy, contributing more than a quarter of GDP and accounting for 97 percent of all businesses across the country. When that part of our economy is humming, everyone benefits.

“But at the moment small business leaders are telling us they are working unsustainably long hours. We also know that this isn’t due to Covid-19. Even before the global pandemic more than 40 percent of small business leaders were overworked.”

Hudson said the biggest issue was admin tasks which can be overcome by technology.

“Three in five Kiwi business owners say admin work impacts their well-being and passion for their work, with over half of them saying admin actually gets in the way of them doing the work they enjoy.

“Of course, admin is an integral part of owning and operating a small business. But we’ve got to find ways to work smarter, not harder. It’s important for Kiwis to remember the reasons they made the decision to start their own business. I’m sure administrative work wasn’t one of them.”

He said micro-businesses, which have less than five employees, were historically the most overworked.

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