No holiday for IT trade

Large numbers of business owners don?t take time off for fear of driving customers elsewhere
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Many IT resellers did not take a holiday this summer and routinely use just a fraction of their annual leave due to financial concerns or the fear of losing business, PCR has found.

Az Ashraf, managing director of Newport-based A2Z Computing, said he had not taken a holiday for two years. “It’s the workload and not knowing what’s going to happen in the current market climate,” he said.

Darren Falkner, managing director of Falcon Computers in Sunderland, was left with 12 unused holiday days in the last financial year, and also spent around 50 of his regular days off at work. He said this was primarily down to opening a new store just before the recession hit. “I had ten people all wanting wages at the end of each week, bills to pay and huge rent and rates, so I buried myself into work,” he told PCR. “It’s my company so I don’t mind; at the end of the day, you only get out what you put in. I do, however, plan on a more relaxed time this year round.”

“It’s not easy to get away when you’re running your own business,” said George Nicola, owner of Tiptree Computers in Essex. “As I am basically a one-man band, when I do leave for a length of time I have to explain to someone how to get in touch with this supplier or that customer, and so on.”

There is also concern that being unavailable could drive customers elsewhere. Jat Mann, managing director of the PC Pal franchise, said that his business has won a lot of custom over the summer from people whose “usual PC guy” is on holiday.

A recent survey by the IT Job Board found that 34 per cent of IT workers do not use their full holiday allowance, with around 40 per cent saying that they don’t take longer holidays because there is nobody to cover for them.

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