It only seems a couple of minutes ago that I was merrily skipping – anyone who knows me will chuckle at that mental picture – out of the office for a 10-day break. Where on earth did that time go?I’ve decided that holidays are a good thing. But nearly a quarter of Britons do not take any summer holiday, according to recent research. This apparently puts employers in an awkward situation as by failing to take their holiday entitlements, staff risk overworking themselves which can lead to stress and other serious health problems. While I agree with this view I also see the difficulties that arise for small companies when several staff want to take time off simultaneously. In our firm we are fortunate that we don’t have too many people who need to take breaks in the school holidays, being either too old to have school age children or too young. But we are small enough to notice even one day when we are thin on the ground for administration cover and the telephone has to be answered by the one man and his dog who are left in the building. So for a small firm such as ours with stretched resources, staff taking time off can be inconvenient. I have colleagues who take little or no time off through the year. They tend to be self-employed, funnily enough. I also have a husband who runs his own business and I understand how tricky it can be for someone in this position to take time off. But once the usual objections have been overcome and the holiday taken, the benefits to individual and firm become apparent. I realise that this is difficult for all you sole traders out there but the benefits of scheduling your work and organising proper locum cover so that you can take at least a week’s break every six months have got to be worth it. I also understand it hits you in your pocket but strategic planning is imperative for any business, so can you afford not to do it? I came back in last Monday feeling relaxed and refreshed. While lazing in the sun I had spent time thinking about business, getting my head together and planning. How sad am I? But we lead incredibly busy lives these days and the holiday allowed me time to do this – something I find difficult during the normal hectic working week. Stepping off the hamster wheel is difficult to do but it allows us to get things in perspective and crystallise our thoughts to bring benefits to our businesses on our return. Bosses who complain about staff taking holidays to which they are entitled are short sighted. Of course, while I was away I heard the news that interest rates had risen and I came back to a pile of emails informing me of product withdrawals and rate changes. It didn’t take long for that same old feeling to return. And the tan – such as it was – has already faded. I’d be fibbing if I said I was thrilled to be back in the office but my break has given me the boost I needed to push into the autumn with renewed vigour. Watch out everyone, I’m back.
New lender Basinghall Finance will enter the market with a buy-to-let proposition by the end of 2006 and will go against the tide in moving away from automated processes. Basinghall has been set up as a joint operation between UK firm Home Funding and European commercial bank West LB Capital Markets. Tony Ward, CEO of […]
HSBC has launched the first of 80 new commercial banking centres. Dyfrig John, chief executive officer of HSBC Bank plc, has opened the 80-strong, 58.5m commercial centre network in Swansea, dedicated to business customers and due to be completed over the next 18 months. The facility, at the Riverside Business Park in Swansea, reflects a […]
Premier Mortgage Service has increased its mortgage completions by almost 4bn compared with the same period last year. Figures from its half-year results show completions of 16.7bn from January to June, compared with 13bn last year. Applications in the first half of last year stood at 18bn, compared with 22.8bn in the first half of […]
Mortgage Next has launched two three-year buy-to-let mortgages available exclusively via members of the Mortgage Next Network and directly authorised brokers registered with Mortgage Next Partners.The buy-to-let mortgages, which are funded by Mortgage Express, consists of a discount of 1.26% for three years giving an initial pay rate of 5.24% with a 1% completion fee, […]
Watch Felix Wintle, head of US equities at Neptune, discuss why he believes US equities are in a structural bull market and the key factors that can drive the S&P 500 higher.
In the video, Wintle addresses the following:
• The US market and why — despite equities rising from 2009 — he believes the structural bull market only started in 2013
• Key economic and corporate factors that can drive the S&P 500 higher
• Investment themes and sectors offering exposure to the domestic recovery
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