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Small Business Owners Use Technology to Juggle Work-Life Balance

old companies, old businesses . / Credit: Colgate.com

If you spend more time gripping your mobile device than you do holding your significant other’s hand, you’re not alone. According to a new survey, 60 percent of small business owners confess to similar behavior patterns.

Staples, the office supply company, conducted a poll exploring the use of technology and social media and its positive and negative effects on productivity and work-life balance. At first glance, the results aren’t encouraging, showing the growing tendency of small business owners to mix business with pleasure.

Nearly half (43 percent) of small business owners told the pollsters that their work during hours spent with their families. And 68 percent who own a mobile device rely on just one for both personal and business use, making it difficult to “switch off” during family time.

But this doesn’t automatically make you a domestic dud. In fact, this increased dependency on technology also comes with benefits as it allows small business owners the ability to achieve both increased productivity and a better work-life balance, according to the survey.

“Technology and mobile devices, in particular, can actually be good for family relationships, allowing Mom or Dad to stay plugged in with work while simultaneously attending events — ball games, school events — that were historically only possible for the non-working parent to attend,” said Dr. Seth Meyers, a psychologist. “Though the small business owner’s attention may be divided in such contexts, it allows for greater balance than before such technology allowed.”

Surprisingly enough, the survey didn’t find much push back from significant others who felt neglected — 4o percent of them don’t seem to mind this new work-life balancing act and support the small business owner’s need to work more to help make ends meet, even if that creeps in to relationship time.

That may be because the significant doesn’t feel totally left in the lurch. When asked whether they would feel greater withdrawal to go a week without their significant other than a day a day without their smartphone or mobile device, 63 percent of the small business owners polled said they would miss their partner more than their phone.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.