A recent survey conducted by Gallup analyzed how much vacation time microbusiness owners take on a regular basis (with a microbusiness defined as a company having less than 5 employees, including the owner). According to the survey, 1 in 5 owners (20 percent) reported not taking any vacation days in the past 12 months, with another 21 percent saying that they took a week or less. Of those surveyed, 20 percent took one to two weeks of vacation, 10 percent took two to three weeks, 10 percent took a month of vacation, 9 percent took two months, and 9 percent took more than 2 months.

Interestingly, the median annual vacation day total for microbusiness owners falls around 12 days, which aligns with the average vacation days taken across the general workforce. But almost 1 in 5 of those owners surveyed (18 percent) reported taking more than 2 months of vacation last year, which pulled the average amount of vacation time by microbusiness owners all the way up to 29 days per year.

Gallup analysts found that microbusiness owners who reported higher revenue and those who have employees take fewer vacation days on average than those owners who have lower revenue and no employees. Among those owners who fall into the highest revenue bracket (over $500,000 per year), the median number of vacation days dropped back to 10, indicating that owners in this category are most focused on investing time and energy into their businesses.

Another factor impacting vacation time was age of the business, with those who had just started their business in the past year reporting much less vacation time than those with established businesses. Those business owners who took the most vacation time generally had been operating their company for 20 years or more. In addition, those microbusiness owners who said they took less vacation in the past 12 months also worked more hours on average per week.

Gallup found that microbusiness owners who don’t take vacation time are more likely to struggle with work/life balance and feel dissatisfied with their standard of living. However, 35 percent of those who had no vacation reported feeling energized by their work.


King, Steve. “1 in 5 Microbiz Owners Take a Lot of Vacation.” Small Business Labs. 8/5/14.

Ryan, Ben. “No Vacation for One in Five Microbusiness Owners Last Year: Lack of Vacation Leaves U.S. Microbusiness Owners Less Satisfied but Still Energized.” Gallup Economy. 7/24/14.