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BT Tradespace, the business social networking site, has identified the trends of small and medium enterprises' (SME), with longer working hours and a more environmentally sound approach at the forefront of many businesses at the start of the New Year.

It was revealed that half the owners of small businesses in the UK are working more than 60 hours a week, according to a poll conducted by BT Tradespace. Almost one in ten people (8%) are putting in 100 hours a week or over - the equivalent of 14 hours of work a day.

The survey found the most common weekly work time was 50-60 hours a week, with 21% of people working this amount.

Mick Hegarty, head of BT Tradespace, said: "Those running small and medium sized enterprises are working hard to compete and that shows the passion, drive and resiliance they have.

"However, smaller companies can achieve a better work-life balance by embracing new technology, enabling them to do things quicker, more efficiently and more flexibly.

"Their size makes them perfect candidates to adapt, innovate and thrive."

The poll from BT Tradespace also revealed that a quarter of SMEs are helping the environment by clamping down on commuting to work. Businesses are also implementing more home or flexible workiing schemes, or using more business technology such as video or telephone conferencing instead of asking employees to travel to meetings. They are also encouraging staff to leave their cars at home.

Recycling is the most popular green initiative, carried out by 25% of small businesses. 17% are reducing energy use, cutting their gas and electricty bills at a time of rising prices.

Mick Hegarty said: "Companies can help the environment in many ways and the size of SMEs allows them to be more flexible in adopting new work patterns.

"Key decision makers are realising that modern technology, like broadband, cuts the need to travel to work every day of the week because people can work from home.

"The vast majority of SMEs are environmentally aware and are trying to do something in the fight against global warming."

The survey for the business social networking site found only 2% of the UK's SMEs are doing nothing at all to help the environment.

About BT Tradespace:

BT Tradespace is an online social and business networking community for small businesses and their customers. It was launched in 2007 and now has over 310, 000 subscribers. The business advertising service is free to join and allows businesses to quickly and easily create and post content on the web as well as interact and engage with their customers through the use of blogs, podcasts, photos and videos. With www.bttradespace.com, anyone can buy and sell products and services, find a business and network with like-minded people, helping to boost sales and create an online presence.

For more information contact:

Dan Thomas
Senior Press Officer
BT News Room
PP A5P
BT Centre
81 Newgate Street
London
EC1A 7AJ
020 7356 5383
www.bttradespace.com

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