happy business people

New research by Samsung reveals UK business leaders’ clock off at 3.06pm

happy business people

From Twitter to Meta, layoffs mount in the tech industry.

With more than 35,000 tech workers across 72 companies having been laid off this month alone. But despite Elon Musk’s decision to ban remote working at Twitter and claim that he would be working and sleeping at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters until the "org is fixed", this type of demonstrative dedication to work isn’t an ideal shared by other business leaders.

New research commissioned by Samsung, surveying 1,000 UK business executives, reveals that gone are the days when burning the midnight oil was the norm. With the average ‘clocking off time’ for business leaders now 3.06pm. Further still, one in five business owners (20%) said they only work when they want to, while just 14% stick to a traditional 9-5.

Prioritising self-care and family life, setting their own hours, working holidays; all define the new ‘fluid’ British business owner

  • 47% of entrepreneurs have ‘no fixed hours,’ with 9-5 becoming the exception.
  • 97% perform non-work activities during their newly defined ‘working day’.
  • 37% of entrepreneurs have been on a ‘working holiday’.
  • 51% have upgraded their work phone to enable them to work from anywhere.

Work is headspace not a physical space

More than ever, work is about focus not location, with the average business owner not having set foot in an office for 148 days, and one in five never having done so at all. Instead, almost two-fifths (37%) of entrepreneurs have taken a working holiday without telling clients, with the practise far more common amongst those aged 25-34 (48%) compared to just 20% of those over 55. That confidence seems linked to technology, with more than half (51%) upgrading their work phone so they can operate anywhere, on their own terms. There is, however, a continuing sense of dedication, with 43% of small business owners taking less holiday time, preferring to continue to work from wherever they are.

Mental and emotional wellbeing are major considerations, and there is growing sentiment that work should not be all encompassing even among business owners; 71% said they put their family life ahead of their business, with 27% saying the same for friends. In a sign of how much the conversation has shifted, half (49%) said they prioritise their emotional health ahead of their business.

Modern entrepreneurs aren’t just trying to improve their own work/life balance though, they’re encouraging their staff to do the same. Half (49%) let their employees change their working hours to fit in with their lives, a third (35%) are happy to let their staff choose their working hours so long as they get the job done, and remarkably, almost a quarter (23%) will let staff come in late if they’ve been out the night before. That duty of care is being taken seriously, with 36% allowing their employees to take “mental health days” if needed.

Making the most of time spent working

The days of being deskbound are almost over, with 97% of respondents performing non-work activities during the traditional “working day.” Self-care is clearly a priority, with three-quarters (74%) taking time out to exercise and, almost half (47%) to develop a new skill, such as learning a language. In a further uplevelling of work/life balance, respondents spend an average of 1 hour and 12 minutes on household chores, and 39% spend up to 2 hours playing with their children. More unusual work-time activities include learning to knit, bathing a pet iguana, attending a football match and 46% admit to getting their hair done during their office hours. Apparently far more normal is the habit of napping, with one in five (22%) taking daily siestas to help them perform better.

Commenting on the research, Joe Walsh, Director of B2B at Samsung UK said: 

“UK business owners are the backbone of our economy, and their dedication and commitment inspires me every day. This research reveals, that they are also leading the charge on transforming our preconceived ideas of how we should work. For modern entrepreneurs, work is wherever they find the right headspace. It’s all about finding new ways of working that bring more individual satisfaction and reward.”

“Multi-tasking, multi-screens, multi-priorities; all are now commonplace, with a refreshed focus quality over quantity. As many of the respondents expressed, if their business can be run effectively from a beach in Greece or after picking up their kids from school, why shouldn’t it be? Technology is at the heart of this change, with the right tools empowering them to juggle what they need to do and what they want to do, without missing a beat, and driving growth.”

Serial investor and founder of 10x10 Capital, Andy Davis explains,

“The stereotype of how a business owner must work and act is being rewritten. It’s now about what is most effective both personally and professionally. For me, speed is everything, so I need technology that develops alongside my workflow and is easily accessible wherever I go. My Samsung Z Fold4 has helped me grow from being a good to communicator to a great one, because it literally lets me see the big picture.”

To find out more about Samsung’s range of business focused products and services visit: https://www.samsung.com/uk/jointhefold


Shweta Pamula | Samsung


I started my career in Fashion Merchandising working for global brands like Uniqlo and Burberry, but moved into Consumer Insights after getting bored of the minutiae of analysing product line performance.

Instead, I wanted to understand the macro trends at play and know how to use this to influence the bigger strategic decisions. For 8 years, I worked across the biggest high-street names: M&S, Debenhams, River Island, New Look & Primark. At each of these companies, I worked on large strategic projects that I would deliver to senior stakeholders in the business. My projects spanned from developing and imbedding Customer Segmentations, shaping Channel Strategy, Brand Development and even helping plan and launch a new division from scratch. Having felt I had mastered retail insights I wanted a new industry and challenge, and my role as Insights Manager for Home Appliances at Samsung has given me exactly this. Working for a global tech leader, life at Samsung is fast-paced and challenging; here too I have been able to influence channel, brand, product and marketing strategy. Not being one to settle I am now adding the exciting world of Smart Home Technology to my remit as well.

Consumer and Market Insights are heavily embedded in technology, we rely on using the right tools to be able to understand the market, connect with our customer base, and importantly those who don’t shop with us at all. I learned how to use more technical software like CRM FastStats to track the movement of our customer base, and mastering BI software like SAP Business Objects and Tableau allowed me to analyse sales performance, whilst Voice of the Customer and Brand Tracking programmes allowed me to monitor our customer and brand health. Finally, platforms like Edited, GFK, Statista, and Kantar all allowed me gather market and competitor intelligence. The combination of learning and using these wide varieties of insights technologies allow me to make evidence-led recommendations of where the opportunity gaps are and how we fill them. Since the pandemic I have especially enjoyed supporting on the acceleration of online growth and shedding light on how we can improve the online customer journey.

One of the reasons I wanted to move into Consumers Insights was how new and evolving it is as a sector; we have come a long way from the mirrored focus groups of the 80’s. Technology has provided scalability to make all kinds of insights much more accessible and affordable so that businesses no longer rely on experience or gut feelings, which for me means the impact I can have is far reaching.


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